05/12/W – Sincerity in Worship

Song of Songs 1:1-2:17; 2 Corinthians 8:16-20; Psalms 50:7-23; Proverbs 15:4

Psalms: ““Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel. I am God, your God. I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or for your burnt offerings, which are continually before me. I will not take a bull from your household or male goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills… Offer a thanksgiving sacrifice to God, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call on me in a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor me.” But God says to the wicked: “What right do you have to recite my statutes and to take my covenant on your lips? You hate instruction and fling my words behind you… You unleash your mouth for evil and harness your tongue for deceit. You sit, maligning your brother, slandering your mother’s son. You have done these things, and I kept silent; you thought I was just like you. But I will rebuke you and lay out the case before you. Understand this, you who forget God, or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to rescue you. Whoever offers a thanksgiving sacrifice honors me, and whoever orders his conduct, I will show him the salvation of God.”” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭50:7-10, 14-17, 19-23‬ ‭CSB)

This psalm is attributed to Asaph, who was a Levite and one of the worship leaders in King David’s court. This psalm began with a summons from Almighty God to the people of His covenant, for them to appear before Him. This psalm is similar to the beginning of the book of Revelation, where Jesus, the Lord of the Church, had a message to the seven churches in Asia. God Almighty had something against the people of Israel that He wanted to address. Through Asaph, God brought a charge against the heartless worshipper and the hypocritical worshipper. Then he finished with a call for all to become true worshippers.

God spoke to the heartless worshippers first. He reminded them that He was not just a god, He was their God – personally, relationally and covenantally. This group of people was faithful to their religious rituals, and for that, God did not find fault. The issue that God had with them was the value they put on their rituals. For them, their religious ritual of offering daily sacrifices was everything… it was their sacrifices that brought them salvation… it was their strict adherence to the law and the law alone that brought them security. God reminded them that He didn’t need their sacrifices. The bulls and goats, rams and lambs that they offered had no value to God. He owned the cattle on a thousand hills. What God desired in worship was a surrendered and thankful heart that relied on Him completely and honored Him fully.

God then spoke to the hypocritical worshippers. They claimed to honor God and would quote His word when it suited them, but their hearts were evil and full of rebellion. They quoted God’s law in one breath, but would then turn around and deceive, malign and slander. Because they “got away” with their hypocrisy, they believed that God didn’t know or didn’t disapprove of their actions – but all the while God was building a case against them. To those people, God gave a stern warning: if they didn’t fully acknowledge God, they would be brought to ruin and no one would be there to rescue them.

Finally, God called all to true and sincere worship. True and sincere worship involves both love and respect, devotion and submission. True worship involves a heart of sincere thanksgiving that acknowledges God’s goodness and mercy in everything. A life offered in thanksgiving truly honors and pleases the Lord. True worship also involves wholehearted respect and submission to all of God’s word, will and ways. God the Father is searching for true worshippers that offer their lives to Him in true worship.

Prayer: Lord, I want to be the type of worshipper that You are seeking. Help me, buy your Spirit, to not get drawn in to worshipping worship, but to always worship You as my Lord, my Savior and my God. Help me to also have a deep conviction and commitment to Your word, Your will and Your ways and to live my life accordingly by Your grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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