Are you a “sensible sinner”? At times, that accurately describes me. Sadly, it isn’t true of me more.
Just prior to Cadence’s birth, I found myself drawn to one of the Psalms. In particular, Psalm 89:1-18 captivated my attention. I guess I needed a healthy dose of a very practical doctrine–the faithfulness of God. The result of a proper meditation upon this truth is godly sensibility. In other words, the contemplation of the character of God leads the people of God to a rational response. And that rational response is song.
Consider the words of Psalm 89:1-18:
I will sing of the lovingkindness of the Lord forever; To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth. 2 For I have said, “Lovingkindness will be built up forever; In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness.” 3 “I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, 4 I will establish your seed forever And build up your throne to all generations.” [d]Selah. 5 The heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. 6 For who in the skies is comparable to the Lord? Who among the [e]sons of the mighty is like the Lord, 7 A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him? 8 O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty [f]Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. 9 You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them. 10 You Yourself crushed [g]Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with [h]Your mighty arm. 11 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and [i]all it contains, You have founded them. 12 The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at Your name. 13 You have [j]a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and [k]truth go before You. 15 How blessed are the people who know the [l]joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance. 16 In Your name they rejoice all the day, And by Your righteousness they are exalted. 17 For You are the glory of their strength, And by Your favor [m]our horn is exalted. 18 For our shield belongs to the Lord, [n]And our king to the Holy One of Israel.
John Gill is one of my favorite theologians. He has a good grasp on both glory and grace. Take a moment to read his comments on verse fifteen:
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound,…. Of the love, grace, and mercy of God displayed in Christ, of peace and pardon by his blood, of justification by his righteousness, of atonement by his sacrifice, and of complete salvation by his obedience, sufferings, and death; this is the sound of the Gospel, and a joyful one it is to sensible sinners; and is so called in allusion either to a shout made upon a victory gained, and such a sound is the Gospel; it declares victory by Christ over sin, Satan, the world, and death, and every enemy; and that he has made his people more than conquerors over them; or to the jubilee trumpet, which proclaimed liberty and a restoration of inheritances, (Lev. 25:9) and so the Gospel proclaims liberty to the captives, freedom from the dominion of sin, and condemnation by it, from the tyranny of Satan, and the bondage of the law; and gives an account of the inheritance the saints have in Christ, and through his death, to which they are regenerated, and for which they are made meet by the Spirit of God, and of which he is the seal and earnest: or to the silver trumpets, for the use of the congregation of Israel, and blown at their solemn feasts, and other times, and were all of a piece, (Num. 10:1), the trumpet of the Gospel gives a certain sound, an even one, a very musical one; there is no jar nor discord in it; is a soul charming alluring sound, and very loud; it has reached, and will reach again, to the ends of the earth, (Rom. 10:18), it is a blessing to hear it, but it is a greater to “know” it, not merely notionally, but spiritually and experimentally; so as not only to approve of it, and be delighted with it, but so as to distinguish it from all other sounds; and by faith to receive it, and appropriate the things it publishes to a man’s own soul; and such must be “blessed”, or happy persons, for the reasons following in this verse, and in (Ps. 89:16),
they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance: enjoy the gracious presence of God, have the manifestation of himself, the discoveries of his love, communion with him through Christ, and the comforts of the Holy Spirit, and these continued; so that they shall walk in the sunshine of these things, though not always; for sometimes they walk in darkness, and see no light; but it is an unspeakable mercy and blessing to walk herein at any time, for ever so short a season, see Psalm 4:6.
Sensible sinners are sinners who have come to their senses; individuals who have chosen to meditate upon the person and works of God and the to respond appropriately. The evidence of their success is their singing to and about God.
Have you been singing today? Have I? We should be!