The first verse, though, long seemed out of place.
“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.The Psalm then continues with promises of godly behavior and associations.
“I will be careful to lead a blameless life—when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart.”
What does singing have to do with that?
I never did make the connection – I can be pretty dense sometimes. But eventually I heard someone define worship in a way I hadn’t encountered before:
Worship is our response to who God is and what He’s done and promised.That makes worship a lot more than singing. If that’s true, and I think it is, Psalm 101 makes perfect sense:
We worship God by singing of His love and justice and by living in light of it. We honor God by telling of the things He has done and by walking with a “blameless heart,” having “nothing to do with evil,” and refusing to associate with those with a “perverse heart.”
If we fail to do these other things, what good is singing? Casting Crowns put it well:
Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight