NO TRUE BELIEVER, PARTICULARLY AT THIS time of the year, can read this Psalm without being confronted with the reality of Christ's crucifixion. It inspires sorrow, adoration--and a desire to understand this astonishing text.
The music for this Psalm has long since disappeared, but its original Hebrew title "Aijeleth Hashahar" is translated as "The Deer of the Dawn"--perhaps a metaphor for Christ Himself. It would be consistent with Scripture to conclude that the music was chosen to magnify and strengthen this hallowed text. Surely, it was solemn, yet filled with the glory of the suffering Servant.
Like 54 other Psalms, the title for this Psalm includes the words "to the Chief Musician" or "to the Choirmaster." Most scholars conclude that it was meant to be sung by the Temple choir, that group of singers chosen for a lifetime of musical service. Their selection, by the way, did not depend on their availability on "rehearsal night" or their love of music. They sang because God placed them in His Temple--the dwelling place of His "Shekinah glory."
Today, all believers make up the "Temple Choir" as singing is not optional for God's saints. The Holy Spirit of God dwells in His blood-bought ones. They are his temple! And like that ancient choir, singing holy songs of praise demands the best of our ability--and effort! The Temple singers were the "best of the best"--no half-hearted effort was tolerated. And for God's songsters today, no less is expected. We may not be THE best, but we must always give OUR best!
In Psalm 22:3, these words: God is enthroned in (or inhabits) the praises of Israel.
These powerful words become an instructive metaphor and lead us to the focus of our thoughts today: Our music must provide a throne for God--not a platform for ourselves. When Christians sing, every aspect of their song must draw attention and glory to our high and holy God.
Nineteen verses later (Verse 22), Jesus declares that
I will declare Your name to My brethren;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
Not only does our holy God indwell the Christian's song, Christ promises to lead the Church in glorious praise to the Father. With Christ as the Conductor of His sacred choir, the songs of praise are filled with His Spirit and must bear the mark of the Master Musician.
Right now, sing a great hymn! Your holy calling demands no less. And even if you cannot sing aloud, let your mind frame the music in praise to the Father!