Something special happens when we
gather and sing truth together. Even more than “special”; a more fitting word
might be eternal. And why? We as
worship leaders spend hours rehearsing a perfectly normal three to four minute
song, the people in our church mill in to the sanctuary just minutes before (some
with coffee in hand), and all we are doing is singing the words up on the
screen in unison. Why does that seem to matter so much? Why does that seem to
affect our hearts and affections for Him in a totally different way than
anything else? Why is it so paradigm-shifting to say, sing, and actively be
about lifting Him up; acknowledging to ourselves and those next to us that we
draw near to One who deserves to be set apart, exalted, and unceasingly
I love the opportunity songs like
this one give in a corporate setting. Songs about the cross, songs about His
love, songs about our future hope all play their part as well; but there’s
something about songs that herald this theme; that paint this picture for us;
that He is high and lifted up! This thought is uniquely beneficial to our
How many times have you heard that
the Lord “inhabits the praises of His people”? We find that in Psalm 22:3: “Yet
You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” We know as well from
numerous other places in Scripture that this is true (2 Chronicles 20:18-22,
Mark 14:3-9, Acts 2:1-4, Revelation 4). But, for the sake of where this song
leads us, let’s look again at Psalm 22 and notice the verses sandwiched around
1 My God,
my God, why have you forsaken me?
you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my
God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you
are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 In you
our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
5 To you
they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
Any of that sound familiar?
the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And
about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema
sabacthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew
The beautiful promise that God
inhabits the praises of His people; that we can stand on the shoulders of our
fathers and be strengthened by the view of God’s faithfulness from generation
to generation; that comes straight from a Messianic psalm that Jesus quoted as
he was dying on the cross! We know that because of Jesus’ obedience to the will
of the Father, and because He is the Word through whom all that is created came
to be, He is seated on the throne and has the Name that is above every other
name forever (Philippians 2:1-11)!
It is right that we lift Him up, and
give Him the highest praise, and exult in His exaltation on the throne; not
only because our hearts are made glad in it (Psalm 16:11), but because Jesus is the reason that we can boldly come before the throne of God! We have the hope of future glory because
there was a Lamb without blemish, the
Only Begotten Son, Who was forsaken on our behalf! He cried out Psalm 22:1 and
2 on the cross so that we could cry out verses three through five!
For more reasons than we can
recount, leading our churches and our own hearts in songs like these is right
and good and true and, like everything else, points to our Savior! May we join
in on this song:
enthroned upon the praises of
the slain and risen King
our voice with heaven