Usually when I hear worship leaders talk about Psalm 33 they highlight the play skillfully part. I think the article below does a good job of reminding us why we should play skillfully. From Junjie Huang:



If you want to end a conversation amongst church musicians, ask them “What’s the Scriptural reason for wanting music skill?” More often than not you will get blank stares.

Of course, having music skill is a practical consideration. We want musically skilled people playing for the Lord in worship. But it’s interesting to hear what reasons many in the worship ministry give for music skill.

The most common one is derived from Malachi 1, the idea of not offering God a blemished sacrifice. Though I agree with the idea that our musical offerings to the Lord are part of our sacrifices of praise to him, if we take upon ourselves the burden of keeping our sacrifices unblemished, that means ONE mistake renders our offering unacceptable.
Is that a burden you’d like to carry? I’ll pass, thanks!
It’s interesting that in the entire Bible there is only ONE reason given for music skill. Check it out:
Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song;  play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:1-5, NIV)
It’s not about the offerings and sacrifices we offer to God. It’s about His Word, His faithfulness, His righteousness, justice and unfailing love. When that becomes your motivation for pursuing music skill, you find that there’s a greater freedom and joy in your worship life and ministry. Which is how it is supposed to be.
My working definition of ‘worship’ is ‘ascribing worthiness’, which implies paying attention to the object of worship. And I’ve seen so many worship ministers become so focused on perfecting their offerings, so obsessed with making sure their sacrifices are unblemished, that they end up paying more attention to their ‘worship’ than the God they are supposed to worship.
It’s a dead end road, devoid of joy. People can end up bitter with God and burned out when they go that way. I don’t want that to happen to you!
But if your focus is on the wonders of his Word (Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws – Psalm 119:164, NIV), faithfulness, righteousness, justice and unfailing love, there is a strength and joy that rises within you as you play skilfully unto the Lord. You start to be filled with the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10, and you will also find courage to face the challenges of life.
Take this week to meditate daily on Psalm 33:1-5 (memorize it if you can) and let the Word of God change your heart and breathe fresh life unto your praises and offerings to Him!
If you like Junjie thoughts on worship you can get more of them at