WORTHY OF WORSHIP
Psalm 95:1-7a (NLT)
"Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. 3 For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods. 4 He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. 5 The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. 6 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, 7 for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. . . .”
Please notice, first of all, that this psalm invites God's people to come. It instructs them to gather in order to sing, shout, and give thanks to the Lord. It also instructs them to worship and to bow down and kneel before Him. So this psalm teaches us that true and godly worship is both joyous and humbling. It also teaches us that worship is an activity that centers on the true and living God and not upon us. Sing to the Lord . . . shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation . . . come to him with thanksgiving . . . sing praise to him . . . kneel before the Lord. This is very important because a person only worships what he honors above everything else. It is why God says: “Have no other God’s before me.” For us to prefer or esteem anything or anyone above God is contrary to His will and purpose. A worshiper of Christ must live for Christ alone; to do otherwise is idolatry.
Idolatry strikes me as an impossible alien concept. Pagans worship idols. Primitive cultures honor the creation rather than the Creator. Yet even in America there are those who bow the knee to wealth or power or fame. Even here there are those who devote their lives to the desires of the flesh . . . that is what they honor above everything else; it is their god!
But when we look to the Scripture rather than the culture we can find some good examples of worship. In Matt. 2:2 we read about the wise men: “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." In Rev. 11:16 we read that: “The twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God.” In Ps. 29:2 the psamist instructs: “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” And in vs. 7 of the text from Ps. 95 we read: “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” In order for the church to follow the biblical rather than the cultural example:
• We must come to Jesus as the Magi did – by bowing before Him and to honoring Him with the best we have.
• We must come before God as the twenty-four elders did – by humbling ourselves before Him and casting our crowns at His feet.
• We must come before Him, awed by the splendor of His holiness.
• We must recognize and admit that “He is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”
So, as the writer of Hebrews encourages us, "Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe." -- Heb. 12:28 (NLT).
--- Pastor Keith Andrews