Sunday, February 12, 2012

Worship - Where and Why

Worship – Let God Teach Us

Intro.: Our mission statement as we meet each Sunday is “to provide a place to worship when we cannot get to our home churches.

  1. One Bible Dictionary defines “worship” as “The praise, adoration and reverence of God, both in public and private. It is a celebration of the worthiness of God, by which honour is given to his name.”

  2. The Psalms are one place where we can begin to learn about worship.

  3. I want to look at two verses of one Psalms that will help us to better understand this thing called worship.

Read: Psalm 150:1-2


Trans: This sermon has its roots in my devotions.

  1. When traveled to Nashville last month, Sandra purchased a gift – a journal. I like to journal – both on my computer and in writing.

  2. This journal had verses at the bottom of each page – that is what I decided to do. Meditate on each verse in the book – one per day.

  3. One of the first ones included this verse – and here is what I learned as I studied it.

T.S. The Psalmist answers two questions about worship.

  1. First, the Psalmist addresses the question of where should we worship God.

    1. As we read these first two verse, it become evident that we are to praise God.

    2. It may seem obvious, but we it is easy in the midst of our lives to forget. We clean, we visit – either on the phone or in person, we travel – to the store, or to the doctors, or to family. You see we get busy – and we forget.

    3. So before anything else, the Psalmist says PRAISE the Lord. The word that is used here is YH – an abbreviation of Yahweh – God's very personal name.

(Ill.) God's name was so personal, that the Israelites would not even pronounce it as they read scripture. Instead they would use substitute the name Adonai – meaning “the God who rules”. They took the consonants of God's name YHWH, and inserted the vowels from Adonai – giving the name Jehovah, a name which was never use in Hebrew. One translation, actually uses Jehovah in this text, “Praise Jehovah”. Another word in our English Bibles that has a similar derivation is “Hallelujah” - and one translation uses that word for the first phrase of verse 1 – “Hallelujah, Praise God in His Sanctuary.

    1. The focus of verses 1 and 2, in fact of the whole Psalm, is praising God.

    2. But verse 1 has a specific focus – it focuses on where will we be worshiping God:

Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty heavens.

    1. Simple enough – but let me suggest four ways we might apply this verse – each view of the verse explores a different part of it.

      1. Verse one will teach us that we are to worship God both in church and out of church.

        1. Of course we are to worship God in church – that is why we come here or attend our home churches – the sanctuary.

        2. But we are also reminded that it does not take a sanctuary to have a place of worship.

(Appl.) Where are some of the places you might find to worship – as you pull up to Walmart, when you make out your shopping list, before sitting down to dinner. It doesn't take a sanctuary to have a place of worship – it only takes the presence of God.

      1. Verse one also will remind us that we need can worship when God is close and when he seems far away.

        1. Of course the first is easy – after getting a compliment, feeling very satisfied after a good meal, you know those times – when God seems like He has in some way touched you in some special way.

        2. But then comes those days, whatever we do, God seems distant. It seems like He doesn't care, it may even seem that he is not there. When God seems far away, the Psalmist still calls us to worship.

      2. Verse one has more to say – it calls us to worship God as he sits on throne in heaven. That is how I usually picture Him – I am sitting in prayer or in worship at His feet – God sitting on the Throne of Grace.

        1. When we are called to worship in “His might heavens” the Psalmist is using the same word that Moses used in Genesis 1 as he described God's creation: And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

(Ill.) We understand how storms are created. We map solar systems and transplant hearts. We measure the depths of the oceans and send signals to distant planets. We … have studied the system that define our world and are learning how it works.

And, for some, the loss of mystery has led to the loss of majesty. The more we know, the less we believe. Strange, don’t you think? Knowledge of the workings shouldn’t negate wonder. Knowledge should stir wonder. Who has more reason to worship than the astronomer who has seen the stars? …

Ironically, the more we know, the less we worship. We are more impressed with our discovery of the light switch than with the one who invented electricity.… Rather than worship the Creator, we worship the creation. Creation should bring us to the creator, creation should lead us to worship.1

      1. Finally, when the Psalmist writes, “Praise God in His sanctury; Praise Him in His might heavens”, he is affirming that we can worship Him where we might expect Him to be, but we can also worship Him wherever we are.

        1. Wherever you may be, this week, the next, or whenever, God calls us to worship.

        2. Take time to worship him this week.

  1. The Psalmist also addresses the question of why we should worship God.

  2. Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!

      1. First, we are called to worship because of what God has done – his mighty deeds.

      2. Whether it be for us, for our family, for others, for out nation – God had done great things.

    (Ill.) In just a few minutes we will end our worship by singing:

              To God be the glory, great things he hath done! So loved he the world that he gave us his Son, who yielded his life an atonement for sin, and opened the lifegate that all may go in.

              It reminds us that God has done great things – and we can worship Him.

      1. The Psalmist also calls us to worship God for who He is: Praise Him According to His excellent greatness.

      2. A few weeks ago we discussed God's omniscience, omnipotence, and His omnipresence. This is not all of God's character, but it is part of it. At the very least, we can worship Him for these very reasons – and add more as we get to know Him better.

    Conclusion: The bottom line – we are called to worship God – and the question we have to answer is – are we doing so, am I doing so, are you doing so?


1Lucado, M., & Gibbs, T. A. (2000). Grace for the moment : Inspirational thoughts for each day of the year (338). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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