When you think of worship, what do you think of? Outdated songs? Overly dramatic prayers? Irrelevant sermons? In some cases, that might be true.
But it still doesn’t answer our question: What is worship?
In Psalm 96, we find the essence of worship is this: giving God the honor he deserves and learning to applaud his greatness!
Psalm is the longest book in the Bible. It’s found in what we call the Old Testament and is often referred to as the hymnbook of the early church. Many of the individual psalms were written by King David. His writings reveal a deeply personal relationship with God. In fact, he is referred to as a “man after God’s own heart.”
It’s one reason why when I want to be reminded about the true place of worship, I often find myself returning to the psalms.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. 10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. 12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. 13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness. — Psalm 96
What does worship do?
Worship magnifies our vision of God. Our worship doesn’t change the size of God, but our perception of him changes. As we draw nearer, God seems larger.
When you think about it, isn’t that what we need? A big view of God?
How many of you are facing big problems or have big worries? Does anyone have any big questions? Of course we do. So, we need a big view of God. We don’t want or need a small God when we’re facing big issues.
Worship offers us that big view of God. Psalm 96 is filled with snapshots of God’s greatness. Here are just a few things about God that David praises …
- His salvation
- His glory
- His marvelous deeds
- His creative powers
- His splendor and majesty
- His strength and glory
- His holiness
- His reign
These are not the characteristics of a small God. One of the reasons I love to be in worship is that it reminds that my God is so much larger, so much bigger, than any situation I might be facing.