Sunday, June 2, 2019
Worship in the Psalms
Come Let Us Sing: An Invitation to Worship
ILL: A little boy asked his father what was the highest number he had ever counted. Replying that he didn't know, the father asked his son his highest number. It was 973.
"Why did you stop there?" wondered the father.
"Because church was over."
It is a shame that we can make a worship service a boring exercise
Psalm 95 is a call to worship. Gathering for worship is not a new thing.
It has been done by the Christians for 2000 years. It has been done by the Jewish people many centuries longer than that! The Psalmist was inviting his fellow Jews to true worship. The Psalmist is inviting us to true worship.
If we are going to worship together, we should do it in a way that pleases God. So, the Psalmist invites us to come!
Thesis: We are to come to worship in 5 ways- Psalm 95
1. Come and Worship Joyfully – Vs. 1
Vs. 1 – The Jewish religion was a joyful religion. Christianity is a joyful religion. Yes, there are times of sorrow. Yes, there are times for repentance. Yes, there are times to grieve.
Overall, Christianity is a faith of joy.
It is a joy to know the God of the universe personally.
It is a joy to come before God in the name of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is a joy that God encourages us to come to Him. He’s not standoffish.
It is a joy that our sins are forgiven.
It is a joy that we have eternal life.
It is a joy that He will never leave or forsake us.
We are told to come with singing. We are told to come with shouting, a joyful noise.
Ephesians 5:19 “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.”
Singing is not the only way to give honor and worship to God, but it is a chief and important way. Also, importantly, the exhortation is let us sing – that it should be done with the community of God’s people.
Our outward worship should be an expression of what is going on in our hearts! Worship is a privilege. We should be joyful in that privilege.
God should be honored with a happy, enthusiastic heart. There is a place for a somber, reflective mood in worship, but it should not be the dominant tone. God’s people have much to shout joyfully about.
Notice who we are worshipping! We are worshipping the LORD – the great “I AM” We are worshipping the “rock of our salvation”. A rock cannot be moved.
Our salvation as Christians is “rock solid”! When Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church,” the rock that He was referring to was Himself. Rock of our salvation is a military term suggesting a place of refuge from danger.
ILL: American Gospel singer and songwriter Dottie Rambo sang: “I go to the Rock for my salvation; I go to the stone that the builders rejected; I run to the mountain and the mountain stands by me; When the earth all around me is sinking sand; On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand; When I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to the Rock.”
2. Come and Worship Thankfully – Vs. 2
Vs. 2 – There are people I only hear from if they want something. Do we know people like that?
When does God hear from us? And when God does hear from us, do we come with a thankful heart for all that he’s already done?
Worship should be done with a conscious sense of God’s presence. God’s people don’t sing into empty space; He is in their presence and they are in His presence. There is – or should be – a true connection between God and His people in worship.
Worship should express the simple gratitude and heart of thanksgiving that is appropriate for those whom God has done so much.
ILL: Spurgeon “We are permitted to bring our petitions, and therefore we are in honour bound to bring our thanksgivings.”
3. Come and Worship Knowing Our Object of Worship – Vss. 3-5
The better we know about God, and the better we know God, the more joyful and thankful we will be when we come into his presence.
There are so many ways that God is a great God, But I think that two of the greatest things about our God are His holiness and His omnipotence.
God is great because He is holy. He is totally set apart from all that is evil, wrong, and wicked in this world. This puts God in a league of His own. God is holy, and therefore worthy of our worship.
Psalms 99:3, 5 “Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he!... Exalt the Lord our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!”
Psalms 89:8 God is almighty, omnipotent. “O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you?”
God is in control of the deepest places in the earth, some of which man has never been to. God is also in control of the highest mountain peaks.
In Genesis, the creation account shows us that God made the sea and everything in it. God made the dry land and everything in it. God created us. All of creation is to give glory to the Creator!
4. Come and Worship Reverently – Vss. 6-7
When we worship, we give honor and glory to God.
The word “worship” in Hebrew means to prostrate oneself- to bow and kneel. When we are reverent, we are humbling ourselves before God. Around here we don’t literally kneel when we pray or worship. But we should be kneeling in our hearts, submitting to God. I recommend that we kneel to pray when we can at home.
We should show reverence to God. The Lord is our God. We reverence what we worship. If God is truly our God, we will reverence Him.
Hebrews 12:28 “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”
Reverence means mingled fear and love which constitute the worship of man toward God; the OT places its emphasis on the fear, the NT ... on the love, though there was love in the fear of God's saints then, as there must be fear in their love now.
Also notice that we should reverence God because we are the people in his pasture, and thus, the sheep of his hand, or “under his care”.
Psalms 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.”
5. Come and Worship Repentantly – Vss. 8-11
In spite of this great invitation to come and worship, there is also a warning and an abrupt warning at that. This warning also calls us to repentance.
If we will hear God’s voice calling us to worship Him, (Vs. 7), let’s not harden our hearts.
Something that is hardened is not soft and pliable, not flexible, and not moldable. Stubborn.
Hearing the Word of God, obeying it, and applying it to our lives, will make us constantly be repentant of the sins that God reveals to us. This will make us pliable, moldable in God’s hands.
Failure to obey God’s Word and failure to believe God will lead to harden hearts.
When the children of Israel were recently out of Egypt and headed for the Promised Land they came to a place called Rephidim (Exodus 17). There was no water there. The people complained against Moses and God instead of trusting God. Moses was told by God to strike a rock and water came out of the rock. The place was called Massah and Meribah, or in English, test and quarreled. They tested God’s patience with their unbelief and quarreled with Moses.
This is one example of what went on during the time of Israel’s wilderness wanderings.
They were constantly testing and proving God, although they had constantly seen God’s miracles in Egypt and in the wilderness. Their ultimate unbelief was shown when 12 spies checked out the Promised Land. Ten of them brought a bad report of the Land God wanted them to enter. Two spies, Joshua and Caleb believed that God would give them victory in the land.
The Children of Israel however griped and complained, and even wanted to return to the bondage of Egypt. The end result was 40 years of wandering. All the adults except Caleb and Joshua died in the wilderness because of their unbelief. Their children entered the land.
Israel’s bottom line problem was unbelief.
God was grieved with this generation because erred in their hearts and did not know God’s ways. Should they have believed? Yes! They saw so many miracles.
Should they have known God’s Ways? Yes! Moses was teaching them.
Because of their unbelief these people never entered the rest of the Promised Land.
The Psalmist is telling us not to be like these people!
When it comes to worshipping God, don’t be stubborn. Don’t be hard hearted. Worship God by believing what he says and doing it! Repent of those things that keep us from entering Spiritual rest!