Psummer in the Psalms: Psalm 111
Everyone worships something…the question is what or who are you worshipping?
In churches across America, there are few topics more divisive and stir the passions than “worship.” But are these debates founded on a true, Biblical understanding of worship or rather an outflow of self-centeredness and personal preferences? In his message Psummer in the Psalms: Worship, Pastor Richard addresses the topic of Biblical worship through a detailed look at Psalm 111.
What is Biblical Worship???
The first glimpse we see of Biblical worship occurs in Genesis 22:5 where Abraham builds an altar and offers sacrifices to God. From this early account on, the Biblical narrative is very clear: worship is about God. But why? Why should we worship God? Pastor Richard offers three compelling reasons:
#1. Because God deserves our worship—simply put, we are to worship our Creator because of who He is and what He has done. Psalm 111 begins with a resounding declaration of God and his works.
Praise the Lord! I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. (Psalm 111:1-2)
#2 Because God expects our worship—Worship is about Him and for Him. It’s only as we truly understand who He is that worshipping God becomes a natural response of praise from our lives. And yet the challenge is that the enemy of our soul, Lucifer, is out to rob God of this worship. When we succumb to the tempter, we take away from the worship that God is due.
#3. Because God has enabled us to worship—Worship is only possible because God allows it. He created us with the innate desire to worship Him and revealed the nature of this worship through Old Testament scripture and through the person of Jesus Christ.
Simply put, worship is first and foremost for God…not us. So many times people say “I really enjoyed worship today.” The question is, though, did God enjoy it? Did we worship Him or our personal preferences?
Pastor Richard then went on to unpack the three key expressions of worship found throughout scripture. These are:
Submission: The most common Hebrew word for worship is “hawah.” This word simply means to bow down, pay homage to and worship. Beyond the act of showing respect to another person, this word carries the implication of ‘submission’ to authority.
Service: The phrase “serve the Lord” is used 56 times in reference to worshipping God. Another NT word that connotes worship through serving are “Latreuo” (used 21 times) which means both to serve/ worship and to minister. By digging into the original language, we conclude that worship is also about our service to God…not just in group gatherings but in everyday life.
Reverence/ Awe: The word ‘reverence’ involves the dimension of awe…the recognition and celebration of God’s greatness, majesty and holiness. A.W. Tozer is quoted as saying: “many Christians are not comfortable with the holy attributes of God and are forced to wonder about the quality of worship they offer Him.”
Worship is to be offered to God on His terms, in accordance with His instructions and in the context of a life fully submitted to Him. Can you imagine what a movement of God we would see if we adjusted our worship to be for God and less about us?
Take a moment to examine your own heart. How would you characterize your own worship? On Sunday mornings? Throughout the week? Let’s begin praying for a revival of true worship in our own lives and in our church!