12/19/S – The Way of Worship

2 Kings 9:14-37; Acts 17:10-15; Psalms 144:9-15; Proverbs 30:11-14

Psalms: “God, I will sing a new song to you; I will play on a ten-stringed harp for you — the one who gives victory to kings, who frees his servant David from the deadly sword. Set me free and rescue me from foreigners whose mouths speak lies, whose right hands are deceptive. Then our sons will be like plants nurtured in their youth, our daughters, like corner pillars that are carved in the palace style. Our storehouses will be full, supplying all kinds of produce; our flocks will increase by thousands and tens of thousands in our open fields. Our cattle will be well fed. There will be no breach in the walls, no going into captivity, and no cry of lament in our public squares. Happy are the people with such blessings. Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭144:9-15‬ ‭CSB)

Earlier in this psalm, King David said that he would bless (celebrate, praise, thank, adore) the Lord, for it was the Lord who taught him how to go into battle and wage war. The primary way of waging war that the Lord taught David was the way of worship. In the days of David, the battle lines were very clear… there was the nation of Israel who believed in the one true God, and then there were the surrounding nations that worshipped a smorgasbord of gods and idols. If a nation was victorious in battle, it signified that their god (or gods) were more powerful. Several times you see in the scriptures that invading kings would ridicule the nation of Israel or Judah for only having one God. But worshipping the One True and Living God was all that David needed. Worship, at its essence, isn’t singing songs or playing music. Worship, at its essence, involves bowing down in submission, in surrender, in complete trust, in utter dependence to someone or some thing. By saying, “Blessed be the Lord.” David was saying that he bowed down to adore the Lord God… and in bringing himself low, he lifted up God (not himself) and celebrated His greatness and boasted on His goodness. It was out of that posture of worship that songs would flow – and not just songs of old written by long-since-passed patriarchs of the faith. David said, I will sing a new song to You… a completely fresh, never-before-heard song that springs from my living and vibrant relationship of worship with You. David’s relationship wasn’t just based on stagnant stories from the past. His relationship was alive, and he was ever learning more and more about this God that he loved and served… and he expressed that through new songs. And in Psalm 33:3, he encouraged that same living, worshipful relationship to his people. It was primarily through the singular worship of God and the rejection of all other gods and idols, that victory in battle came. By being victorious in battle, the people could live in peace, and by maintaining that posture of worship before the Lord, the people would thrive and be blessed. Sadly, Israel and Judah eventually turned away from worshipping God and gave themselves over to worshipping the idols and gods of the surrounding lands. Because of that, the promise at the end of this psalm ceased to be sustained: the walls of Jerusalem were breached and the people were carried into captivity because they forsook the way of worship. Victory in the battles we face begins with a living and vibrant relationship of worship to the One true God through a living and vibrant faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

%d bloggers like this: