THEME: Worship in the Old Testament, 16th in the series
Volume 8, No. 2 (February 2013)
12. Job 1:20-12
Worship in the face of profound suffering:
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
One professor of mine suggested this passage as perhaps the most profound act of worship in the Old Testament. Job has just lost his sons and daughters, his flocks and his servants. He turns to God in his anguish, with a heart of submission and worship.
13. Psalm 2:11
The balance of worship:
“Rejoice with trembling.”
I worship we should come with fulness of joy and confidence unto our glorious and gracious Redeemer, but also with awe and wonder before Him who is the holy King of the universe. This is a wondrous paradox! In my article entitled “Rejoice with Trembling,” I comment:
“We live in a day when in many churches, not to mention in society as a whole, people have sought to throw off what they consider to be outmoded and stifling formality, and have opted for more relaxed, informal forms, practices, dress, etc. The worship and music likewise reflect a more relational age, and the immanence of God is valued and invoked.
In many ways this is a healthy departure from a lifeless traditionalism where God is admired from afar but kept at a distance. God has come near in Jesus Christ; we are His children, Christ is our brother. And He does look on the heart, not on the outward appearance.
But . . . let us not forget in our worship that our God who has come close is still the transcendent Lord of glory. The fact is, if Jesus were to appear in our service, He would not be in blue jeans, and we would not put our arm around His shoulder. Rather He would appear in dazzling splendor (as He does in Revelation 1), and we would fall at His feet.
The fact is, the Lord Jesus Christ is present in our services—He is close, but He is also glorified and holy. He is our friend, but He is also our Lord. We must come with confidence and joy, yet with reverence and awe. Let us boldly approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), but bow our knee to Him who sits upon it.”
14. Psalm 63:3
Better than Life:
Because Your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise You.
Probably written by David during the most desperate period in his life, when he was on the run from his rebellious and treasonous son Absalom, this Psalm nonetheless contains only praise, no petitions (Perowne comments on this). 2:11 (See Worship Notes 7.7 for a fuller treatment of this remarkable Psalm.) The great confidence of David’s life is God’s “steadfast love”—in Hebrew hesed, this massively important Old Testament theme (see Worship Notes 6.9) that is repeated in refrain throughout Psalm 136 as well.
David’s life is in danger, yet he rests in the fact that’s God’s hesed is better than life!
15. Psalm 115:1a
First Things First:
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory.
We must take our proper place in God’s created order, and give Him His! (See Worship Notes 3.1)
16. Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 42:6
There Is No One like Our God:
Our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases!
I am the LORD, that is my Name; I will not give my glory to another.
Two profound statements about God’s absolute sovereignty and holiness.
17. Psalm 150:6a
Creation’s Chief End:
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
An exclamation point to the entire Psalter, and indeed to the entire Bible.