|Posted on November 12, 2013 at 9:15 PM|
Who should worship?
“Servants of the LORD” includes all of God’s people, for those who have trusted Him surely would want to live for Him. If you don’t want to worship Him maybe you are not His servant.
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD!
2 Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the LORD is to be praised!
4 The LORD is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
5 Who is like the LORD our God,
who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9 He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the LORD!
If you look at these verses closely you will note that the first six verses (1-6) present God as the One who is infinitely high, the last three as the One who is intimately nigh.
Our God is infinitely high. As such He is worthy to be praised.
By all His servants v. (1).
By blessing His name, which means by thanking Him for all that He is v. (2a).
Continually—now and forevermore v. (2b).
Everywhere—from lands of sunrise to lands of sunset v. (3a).
For His Greatness. He is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens v. (4).
For His matchlessness. No one can be compared to Him, seated on His throne on high v. (5).
For His limitless vision. There is nothing in heaven or earth that He does not see v. (6). The text suggests that He has to humble Himself even to behold the things in heaven!
But, praise His name, the One who is infinitely high is also intimately nigh.113:7–9 The poor can know this! He lifts them from the dust.
The needy can know this! He elevates them from their low estate and seats them with princes, with the excellent of the earth.
The barren woman can know this! He grants her a home and makes her like a joyful mother of children. Barrenness was a fearsome reproach among Jewish women. To be delivered from this curse was the occasion of the most extravagant joy, according to the Prayer Book Commentary.
I was poor, but through faith in Christ I have become fantastically wealthy in spiritual things.
I was needy, but the Lord Jesus took this beggar from the dunghill and gave him wonderful Christian brothers and sisters, a fellowship that beats anything the world has to offer.
I was barren, with no fruit in my life for God. But He has delivered me from empty, wasteful existence to meaningful, productive life.
No wonder I sing with the psalmist: Praise the LORD!
He fills the throne, the throne above,
He fills it without wrong;
The object of His Father’s love,
Theme of the ransomed’s song.
Though high, yet He accepts the praise
His people offer here;
The faintest, feeblest cry they raise
Will reach the Savior’s ear.
Worship Is Demanded by God
“You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matt. 4:10; see also Deut. 6:13; 10:20). Worship is not optional, it is obligatory. Our Lord backed this imperative with all the force of divine authority. For any of us to seek worship would be presumption of the highest order, but when the Father seeks worshipers (John 4:23), He is requiring only what is His due. Moreover, if we expect to join the heavenly host of angelic worshipers, we should be practicing here!
1 Chronicles 16:29 . . . Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come to worship him. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
Revelation 4:9-11 . . . Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one who lives forever and ever. And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.”
Worship is personal. You must worship God yourself. No one else can do it in your place. The choir cannot worship for you, nor can the ministers. It is correct that worship is also corporate. We do it with others, and it is for the entire people of God, but each one must worship God personally, old and young, fathers and mothers, even children. If you are a Christian, worship is for you, whoever you may be.
Having called the congregation to worship in the first word of the psalm, the author of Psalm 146 immediately declares his determination to worship God himself, saying,
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live (v. 2).
The anthropologists and the biologists said that human beings have an extraordinary capability of verbal communication, which is one of the distinctive things that differentiates humans from the animal kingdom. It is said that turkeys have such precise eyesight they see a person blink from a hundred yards, so it’s rare for someone to walk up close enough to a turkey to shoot it. Therefore, a person must entice the turkey to come closer. To that end, those who are dedicated turkey hunters practice for hours to learn how to call a turkey to their hiding place. We heard that the best turkey callers have been able to identify eight or nine distinct turkey calls. But compare that to human beings. When a child begins learning to speak, he learns more than nine words or expressions a day. That gives you an idea of how many words as adults we know.
We can change the sound of our words, the intonation of our voices, and instead of speaking, we sing.
When God created His people, He created them not only with the ability to speak, but also the ability to sing. Knowing that we are to use every ability we have for God’s glory and honor, we must use our voices in the service of praise and in the expression of worship that we offer to God. God has given us songs and He wants us to sing for Him.
Luther, the old Wittenberg monk, was right when he said:
Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music.
Why does the author of Psalms 146 choose to praise The Lord and not man? Because God is
worthy of our full, confiding trust. It isn’t long before most of us learn not to trust in man—not
even in princes who are supposed to be superior. The best of men are men at best. They cannot
save themselves, let alone others. When man’s heart stops beating, he dies, is buried, and his
body returns to dust. All his grandiose plans perish. So we might say of man that he is
unreliable, impotent, mortal, and fleeting.
Why is this warning? We value others more than we value God. Isn’t the main reason we fail to worship God the fact that we value human beings more than we value God? Fans of professional football are probably not even aware that their behavior could be described as worship. Or consider the way thousands of young people scream and throw themselves at the stage where their rock-star idols are performing. Human beings were created to worship. To worship is to ascribe ultimate value to an object, person, or God-and then to revere, adore, pay homage to, and obey by ordering the priorities of our lives around that which we worship. The Bible teaches that God alone is worthy of our worship. Deuteronomy 11:16 . . . Do not let your heart turn away from the Lord to worship other gods.
We value ourselves more than we value God. We think we can handle our troubles by ourselves and surmount all emergencies by our wisdom. We do not think we need God and therefore do not take time to worship him.
The only being in the universe that you can depend on unconditionally is God. So worship God!
It is an imperative for the servants of the Almighty God to worship Him.
True worship does not obliterate the human subject but elevates that person to the status of a son or daught¬er of God. As Irenaeus put it, “The glory of God is humanity fully alive” Those who worship the true God are not cast down into depression, for they are sustained in the knowledge that their sins are forgiven and hat they have received power from God’s Holy Spirit. The worship of the living God brings dividends: peace, faith, hope, love, wisdom, humility, fortitude. Yet our worship is done not to achieve these blessings but only to glorify God and magnify the name of Jesus Christ. Such blessings are a consequence and fruit of our worship, not its motivation and focus. We do not worship in order to realize the potentialities of the self, but self-realization will invariably accompany worship that is done in spirit and truth.
The motivation for worship should be joy for what God has done for us in Christ, faith that his Spirit will see us through every trial, hope that his promises will be realized in our lives. Proper self concern is not excluded from the worship experience, but it is always subordi¬nated to the glory of God and the wonder of his love. We worship not in order to make ourselves holy but to give thanks to God for his holi¬ness revealed to us in Jesus Christ and assured to us through the out¬pouring of the Spirit at Pentecost.