Do me a favor and please read Psalm 149.
It’s always interesting to me what things get picked up when people, yours truly included, read scripture. Sometimes it’s a word that hits our heart, sometimes it’s an idea or image that grabs us and other times it’s just a peace that falls upon us. The Holy Spirit hits us with where we are and when we need it. He’s pretty cool that way. For me, in this psalm, I’m struck by the second half of verse 5: and sing for joy on their beds.
The bed has always been a comforting and important place – at least for me. I think it would be safe to say that when we think of our bed we think of the place where we sleep at night – but our beds are so much more than that! As I think about my 41 years of existence and all the memories I can think of (in regards to the bed) so much comes flooding in. The bed was where I was sent when I was being disciplined (is it weird that this is the first thing I think of?). The bed was where I memorized homework as I waited for sleep to drift upon me (state capitals, Spanish words, sign language, etc). The bed was where I thought about a lot of things, talked with whomever my girlfriend was, had conversations with God, cried, got angry, snuggled with my parents, hung out when I was sick, and now snuggle with my wife or my kids – or all 3 (and of course, our dog). Our beds have such a long history in our lives that, when we think about it, we realize the important places it has been and the places we’ve gone with it.
For the psalmist their mentioning of singing “for joy on their beds” brings this idea that they will go from mourning, as the bed was a common place for that (see Psalm 6:6 for a good understanding), to hope and joy. But if the psalmist is anything like me then I don’t simply see this as straight-up singing for joy…this is jumping on the bed, moving around, dancing, yelling, singing at the tops of your lungs – you’re-gonna-get-in-trouble-from-your-parents type of action!
And why? Because a NEW song has been sung (1). Not one with sorrow and fear and dread – but a new one that is full of joy, praise and happiness for God, their Maker (2), the King of kings (8), and Lord of lords, has crowned his humble people (4) with victory over their enemies (4). HIS enemies. Because God takes delight in his people (4). Because God crowns them with victory and the people rejoice in this honor. Because God’s sentence will be carried out against the enemies of this world. So why not dance and sing and shout and bounce on the bed!?
The other thing that struck me is the fact that the “praising” and singing “hallelujah” to God happens in the corporate space (the assembly of the people: church) (1) where music and dancing happens, but also in the comforts of one’s own home (5). Now this is clearly done by millions of Christians around the world to this day but it reminds me of a few things:
- There is no space in this world where the worship of God should NOT be done.
- You cannot get away from God’s presence…so acknowledge it and worship him!
- Wherever you are…worship God.
- Our future with God is going to be AMAZING!
If your excitement about the future is based off of an all-encompassing space of worship – then awesome. If your excitement about the future is about some good ol’ fashioned dancing and singing – then awesome. But if you’re excited to sing and dance and jump on the bed and shout to the heavens and not only NOT get in trouble for it but, at least it appears, are encouraged to? Well…I’ll be there with ya!
…I think we’re gonna need a bigger bed…
Some Questions to think about:
- What is going on in your life that you mourn? With the promise of Christ – how does that change?
- The psalmist rejoices in verse 3 with “let them praise his name with dancing” – how does one praise God’s name WITH dancing?