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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Of Psalms and Worship

[Throughout this past summer, I've been contemplating worshipping God as I read through Psalms. Never before had I realized how much this book says about worship. As I've fallen more and more in love with my Savior and come to know Him better, I've taken more and more pleasure in worshipping Him.]
How do you worship?
The Psalms have much to say about how to worship the Lord. Singing is what often comes to mind when someone says the word 'worship.' (At Christian gatherings we have a time of 'worship,' in the car we might listen to a 'worship CD,' and most recognizable, at church we have the 'worship service.') Throughout many passages, we read about this form of praise. "Praise the Lord!" says Psalm 149:1, "Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the assembly of the saints."
But there are more ways than simply singing to worship--many of which can be done at the same time as singing. [talk about multi-tasking! yes!] Taken straight from God's own word, the sons of Korah in Psalm 47 write, "Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!" And in Psalm 143:2 we are told to, "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the Lord." Continuing to Psalm 143:9, "Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp." So, according to these verses, we are to clap, shout, lift up our hands, dance, and praise Him with instruments as a part of our worship.
Aside from singing and actions showing joyfulness, we also are told in Psalms other ways to glorify God--ways you wouldn't necessarily do while singing. "Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord." (Ps. 114:7) We are to meditate silently on Him as is written in Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
Each of these forms of praise are important [else they wouldn't be included in God's word. (see 2 Tim. 3:16-17)], therefore each should be regularly put into practice.
Why do we need to worship God?
Simply because, as God Himself says in Psalm 50:23, "Whoever offers praise glorifies Me." We must glorify God since, as John Piper point out, glorifying God is our goal in life. "God created me--and you--to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion--namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life." (Don't Waste Your Life) Also, He is deserving of this honor. "Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven." (Ps. 148:13) In his book, The Dangerous Duty of Delight, John Piper states, "Worship is the highest moral act a human can perform." Worshipping the Lord is definitely a must. [If you're not convinced of this, read more of the Psalms. A few references to check out: Psalm 113:1-4; 145:1-3; 146:2; 147:1; 149:1 Also, Wayne Grudem has excellent thoughts on worship in his Systematic Theology.]

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