READ: Psalm 95
THINK: I think that these short 11 verses have a lot to say to us about worship – what it means and what it’s really all about. And I think we need those reminders just as badly as Israel did thousands of years ago.
Lesson 1: Worship is about God. Not about you.
Even though its unintentional, it is sometimes easy for us to slip into this mindset that worship is primarily about us – our personal musical preferences, the warm and fuzzy feelings we get when we sing together with a bunch of our friends, and even the things that God has done for us or that we want him to do for us. But that’s not what it’s about at all! It is about God’s glory, his holiness, and his majesty. Worship is about praising him and giving him glory for his greatness.
Lesson 2: Worship is about submission. Not about supplication
Worship isn’t about what we can get from God. We don’t do it so that he’ll give us what we want or so that we can earn his favor. That’s not how he works, and there’s nothing we could do to earn it. Instead, we do it to give ourselves completely to him. When the Psalmist writes “let us bow in worship” he is writing something that’s radical! The Greeks and Romans refused to ever bow, even in worship, as did many other cultures. They felt it was a sign of weakness. It is! Worship is about coming before God, admitting that we need him completely, and bowing our hearts and our lives before him in humble submission.
Lesson 3: Worship is about encountering God. Not about ritual or repetition.
It is easy, too, for us to get caught up in the ritual of worship. We show up on Sunday morning, stand and sing a few songs, sit and listen to some dude preach, stand and sing a few more songs, and then go home. Why do we do it? Because we’re supposed to. Maybe not even out of obligation but just out of habit. And we don’t mean to have hard hearts towards God, but they happen. Just like they happened to the nation of Israel. It’s easy to let worship become a habit. It’s easy to go through the motions with a hard heart. It’s easy to do that even if we’ve experienced powerful worship in the past. The Israelites saw God do amazing things, but their hearts got hardened over time. We need to be intentional about encountering God.
Lesson 4: Worship is about coming to God. Not coming to church
This one is maybe the simplest lesson of all, but also the easiest one for us to forget. Notice, at the beginning of the Psalm, the Psalmist says “Come, let us sing for joy.” What isn’t said is “Come to church (or the Temple, as it were) and let us sing…” or “Come next Sunday (or Saturday, as it were) and let us sing…” Psalm 95 just says “Come.” Like now. Like wherever you are. Just sing God’s praises. This is huge! We can worship God anywhere and everywhere no matter what. It doesn’t have to be in church, and it doesn’t have to look a certain way. Anything we do to praise God for his greatness and humble ourselves before him and encounter his presence = worship. I don’t know about you, but I find that ridiculously awesome.
PRAY: Worship God today!!!