Coming out of the weekend of our Night of Worship at Fellowship of the Parks, I wanted to share a bit about the "why" behind our worship. This passage from Psalms displays it quite beautifully.
Psalm 96: 1-13 - Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing the the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
This psalm, hymn, song, or whatever musical notation you want to give it, sums up the “why” behind our worship. It give us a clear picture of who God is and why he deserves our worship. It also gives some foreshadowing to God’s plan salvation and how we are called to share that Good News through our worship.
In Psalm 96, we see three different commands:
1) SING. We are told to sing and declare the glory and majesty of God, to declare his marvelous works that he has done. All you have to do is look around creation and even your life to see the marvelous works that God has done. His glory and majesty are stamped all over every aspect of his creation! In the line, “sing to the Lord, all the earth!”, the Gentiles (or non-Jews…that’s us) are being invited to sing along and join in the salvation that God offers. There’s foreshadowing into God’s plan to bring salvation to all the world through Jesus.
2) ASCRIBE (OR ACKNOWLEDGE). When we acknowledge how great and powerful God is, it makes it much easier to take on a position of worship. If I think I’m high and mighty, I’m likely not going to be bowing down and submitting my life and will over. Acknowledging God for who he is, helps us acknowledge ourselves for who we are. We are broken, weak, and undisciplined. We need a Savior God who is strong and able to heal our brokenness. Our acknowledgment of who God is, helps us live lives of worship. It allows us to show others around us what and who is most important to us.
3) SAY. This one in a way goes right along with “ascribe”. This however, is the action to that acknowledgement. When we say with our lives, “The LORD reigns!”, we are saying that God is the King of my life. He controls my steps, gives me strength, and I trust Him and have faith in him.
We sing, ascribe, acknowledge. In other words, we worship. We worship because he is worthy of our worship. We are commanded as Christ followers to worship because, just like the Israelites, our worship proclaims to the world the greatness of God. Our lives of worship, the songs in our hearts, tell of the hope of Christ. The good news that there is hope in Jesus and that He is enough.
Big takeaway's: SING. Sing loudly and let the music speak to your heart as your pour out your prayers via music to your God. ASCRIBE. Acknowledge God for the mighty, powerful, and just God that he is. That creates awe and worship. SAY. Live a life of worship and tell others about how God has transformed and changed your life.
I pray that each of us would ask God to examine our hearts and worship him for all that he is!