FRIDAY, JULY 13
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 33
There is no such thing as a bad Psalm. But this is a particularly good one. At least it is for me at this point in my journey. This morning I feel like I could hang out in the Psalm for two or three days but true to our pattern I will do my best to deal with at least part of it in this one day.
The Psalm opens with a worship experience. But notice this worship is coming only from the righteous and upright. There is an important truth here. Only those who are made righteous by their faith in God can be true worshippers. Those who are not Christ followers can enjoy worship and even participate in the elements of worship but only the saved can be true worshippers.
As you look at the first three verses of this Psalm we will find that the Scripture informs us of what Biblical worship should look like. By omission it also tells us what worship is not. First, true worship might be loud – there is shouting going on – but it is never out of control. Second, true worship is full of adoration of God – there is praising going on – but it is not out of line with the Scripture. Third, true worship can use musical instruments but there is nothing wrong with worshipping just with our voices or worshipping in the still and quite of a moment. Fourth, true worship demands our best – there is skillful playing going on – but we must never become the object of our worship or allow quality music to become the object of our worship. Fifth, true worship is always fresh – there is a new song – but we must never reject the older hymns of our faith simply because they are not new. Sixth, true worship is often congregational – the verbs in the Hebrew language in these first few verses are all plural – but there is often a need for private worship. Seventh, true worship is always orderly. God is not the source of chaos, confusion, or the conflict that comes out of that. Any time the “way we want to worship” creates confusion in the congregation we are out of line in that congregation. Our responsibility to those around us should always trump our freedom to do “what we want”, even in church. Particularly in church.
Much of the rest of the Psalm tells us why we should worship God. We are reminded in verses 6-7 that He is Creator. He made the heavens and all of the stars and planets. He made the earth and set boundaries for the seas so they couldn’t overtake the land and locked up the waters beneath the surface so they can’t flood the planet again.
In verses 13-15 we are reminded that He made all men. And He sees all men. No one is hidden from His sight. From His throne in heaven, God sees everyone. But He doesn’t just see them physically. He knows their hearts. God who fashioned our hearts sees our hearts. He knows about our attitudes and our actions.
In verses 16-17 we are reminded to be careful about where we put our trust. Sometimes it easy to trust in what we can see. Kings might trust in great armies. Armies might trust in quality equipment. Nations might trust in their own wisdom and subsequent action plans (v.10).
But people of faith should always put their faith in God. As verse 20 says He is our help and our shield. We can trust Him. We can trust His holy name in verse 21. We can trust His mercy in verse 22. We can trust His deliverance in verse 19. We can trust Him!