6 An evil man is snared by his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad.
Doesn’t that sound refreshing? “Sing & Be Glad!” Well, God, you’ve got my attention – “I want that!”
It’s not that I’m not happy, don’t get me wrong. But, there seems to be something more in this verse that is tugging at my heavy heart. I sing to the Lord, but for the most part it is in total praise and reverance to Him. I’m so thankful for how He takes care of me each step of the way. I love Him and want to sing my heart out in gratitude and worship. When I lead worship or when I’m just worshiping Him in my home, I’m totally “in the zone” and something happens when I worship Him in spirit and truth.
But, that phrase “Sing & Be Glad” has captivated me. It reminds me of a child who is just singing and skipping along without a care in the world, no doubts, no debts, no dangers. Singing for this child is just a result of a happy heart – not a purpose, not an audience, not a hidden agenda, just singing for joy.
When is the last time you did that?
I was promted to look closer at how we can (or who can) sing and be glad. First, it’s clear that an evil man can’t – instead evil men will be snared by their own sin. Therefore, sin in our lives will prevent us from our reward. So – the first thing is to confess our sins to the Lord. He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cast them as far as the East is from the West. He will remove that heaviness that is caused by unconfessed sin.
Next, it mentions a “righteous man.” What is righteousness? On dictionary.com I see the word defined as “Morally upright; without guilt or sin.” Mirriam-Webster online defines righteousness as “acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin.” This makes sense based on what we said about confessing our sin to God and Him removing that sin – free from guilt or sin. That takes faith, doesn’t it?
What is a righteous man? I did a search for “righteous man” and here’s what I found:
“…for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.” Proverbs 24:16
So, a righteous man has edurance. He does not give up. He stays in the race, no matter if he falls – he gets right back up and runs on toward the prize.
Reminds me of Philippians 3:
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Here’s another from Proverbs:
“The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.” Proverbs 20:7
Hmmm – “leads a blameless life”, huh? Sounds kind of impossible. I think of Romans 3:23 where it says everyone has sinned and fallen short. So how can I be righteous and, therefore, sing and be glad?
It’s very clear that we need the Lord. He is our strength. He is our source of righteousness. If we think there’s anything we can do to be righteous on our own, we are deceived and will never understand “sing and be glad.” We are made righteous only by trusting in Him, not ourselves, it is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). That’s why we see people spending money on “stuff” like cars and houses and women and song, and that sometimes brings temporary gladness, but in the end, one is left in the same lonely, broken condition – only with less money.
The bottom line: even when we don’t feel like it, we have to pick ourselves up and keep praising God, trusting that He cares about us and loves us enough to not leave us to our own devices. By suffering, we are built stronger with His help. We must keep praising Him.
I’ll close with the words of one my favorite MercyMe songs:
Keep Singing by Mercy Me
Another rainy day
I can’t recall having sunshine on my face
All I feel is pain
All I wanna do is walk out of this place
But when I am stuck and I can’t move
When I don’t know what I should do
When I wonder if I’ll ever make it through
I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name
You’re the one that’s keeping my heart beating
I gotta keep singing
gotta keep praising Your name
That’s the only way that I’ll find healing
Can I climb up in Your lap
I don’t wanna leave
Jesus sing over me
I gotta keep singing
Oh You’re everything I need
And I gotta keep singing
Lord, can I climb up in your lap today and sing?