Week 42 – Worship: God is Revealed

God inhabits the praises of His people.

Psalm 22:3

As worship begins in holy expectancy, it ends in holy obedience. Holy obedience saves worship from becoming an opiate, an escape from the pressing needs of modern life.

Richard Foster

What can I give back to God for the blessings He’s poured out on me? I’ll lift high the cup of salvation – a toast to God! I’ll pray the name of God: I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it together with his people.

Bono

Worship

The Call to Worship

Before leaving His disciples, Jesus promised He would come by the presence of the Holy Spirit to those who gathered in His Name (Matthew 18:20). Scripture, likewise, makes it clear that God the Father is seeking out those who will be His true worshipers.

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)

The early church passionately worshipped the Lord, both privately and collectively (Acts 2:43, 47). God responded to this worship with His refreshing presence and the salvation of the lost. Personal and corporate worship changes hearts and brings God’s presence into every situation.

The Necessity of Praise

Acts 2:47 speaks of the church “praising God.” Typically, praises toward God are vocal. Most church services also use musical instruments as part of their worship service. The Psalms exhort us to worship:

  • In the congregation (Psalm 22:22)
  • To usher in God’s presence (Psalm 22:3)
  • To focus on God (Psalm 84:4-7)
  • To release joy and gladness for us and others (Psalm 95:1-2)

The Necessity of Worship

Worship is a broader response than just praise. It is expressive but can be quiet, reflective, or can be expressed in many different ways, including kneeling, or lying prostrate as one would in approaching a king. Worship glorifies God by honoring Him as well as humbling ourselves. We owe Him our very existence, thus we worship Him. Through worship, we are transformed.

“Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” (Psalm 95:6)

“…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:19)

Biblical Forms of Praise and Worship

A public gathering time for God’s people should be a celebration in light of Jesus’s resurrection. The following expressions of praise and worship were regular components of Old Testament worship as commanded by God. These expressions were carried over into New Testament worship; they were never done away with but are still practiced to this day.

  • Singing (Psalm 30:4, Psalm 95:1; Ephesians 5:19; James 5:13)
  • Shouting (Psalm 35:2, Psalm 47:1)
  • Clapping (Psalm 47:1, Psalm 98:8)
  • Musical Instruments (2 Samuel 6:5; Psalm 33:1-3, Psalm 150)
  • Dancing (Exodus 15:20; 1 Samuel 18:6; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 149:3; Luke 15:25)
  • Kneeling (Psalm 95:6; Luke 22:41; Acts 20:36)
  • Lifting of Hands (Psalm 134, Psalm 141:2; 1 Timothy 2:8)

The Glory of God in Worship

The Hebrew word for glory, “kabowd,” describes something that is heavy or weighty. This is a word that expresses honor and majesty. This concept is used in the New Testament as well.

“in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, ‘He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,’ then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

One among countless benefits of praise is the perspective it gives us. It reminds us that God is great, which helps minimize anxiety about trials we may be facing.

Get Perspective: Magnify the Lord!
When we neglect to worship the Lord, our trials overwhelm us. When we magnify the Lord, our problems gain perspective.

Problems

Lord

Lord Problems

Recommended Reading

The Message Bible, Book of Psalms, Eugene Peterson

Glory: A Jerusalem Experience, Ruth Ward Heflin

The Power of His Presence, Graham Truscott

Review

  1. Why does the Bible call us to worship God? What are some Biblical forms of worship?
  2. Why is praise necessary?