Worship is, “loving” God! – Psalm 18:1-3; Psalm 8:1, 3-4; Psalm 144:3-4
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 24, 2013 AM
How often do you tell the person you care about most in life that you love them? There’s an old joke where on their 50th wedding anniversary a farmer’s wife said she was leaving him. He asked her,
“Why?” She replied, “Because you don’t love me.” He responded, “Why in the world would you say that?” She said, “Because you never say that you love me!” He immediately replied, “I told you that I love you on our wedding day; if I ever change my mind, I’ll let you know!” Sadly, for some this is exactly how they treat their relationship with God! Our worship is, “loving” God!
Perhaps some of us have forgotten what our worship is to be. The Bible reminds us over and over that His people are to “love” Him. Jesus related that the greatest thing we can do as God’s children is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” In fact, worship is, “loving” God! Let’s take a closer look at Scripture and discover what this truly means.
READ: Psalm 18:1-3; Psalm 8:1, 3-4; Psalm 144:3-4
When is the last time you told God you loved Him for who He is instead of what He has done or is doing in your life? How would that fly with someone you cared for? You only say you love them for the things they do for you or have done for you. We are reminded that…
I. Worship is loving God, when we tell Him so! (Psalms 18:1-3 NIV)
I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalms 18:1-3 NIV)
1. The intro to this Psalm states, “For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” David is praising God for his deliverance and for the peace, he was finally experiencing as King of Israel. King David understood what some in power do not, namely that God is the one who is the rock, and He brings stability and security, in which we can take “refuge”! God tells us that He does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. David loved God for the constant refuge He provided, the shield and stronghold He was in life. In his vow to praise God, David piled military metaphor after military metaphor to describe all that the Lord was and had been to him. Why would a military King care one hoot how he felt about God let alone express his feeling to the Lord? I believe that David expressed his love for the Lord who had shown mercy to him throughout his many struggles. Even when he had been wrongly accused by Saul, had to wage a long drawn out campaign to bring his nation under control, family infighting, and his own sinful condition! David could call on the Lord who loved him, and love Him in return, because the Lord had defended and delivered David from all his enemies, He was worthy of David’s praise. David was not ashamed to let God know how much he loved Him! In our lives, especially as we approach Thanksgiving, we should also remind ourselves just what God has done for us and express our love for Him. Like David, we need to realize that worship is loving God, when we tell Him so!
EXAMPLE: David shared during a time of great distress that God is, “enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.” (Psalms 22:3 NIV) Literally, God “inhabits” the praise of the Israelite people! God does indeed inhabit the praise or worship of His people. We often forget that our worship is never about us, it is always to be focused on God alone or it is not worship! I can love my wife, but if I never tell her so, my feelings mean nothing. This is why we are told to “confess” with our mouths and “believe” in our hearts. It is also, why Scripture reminds us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 NIV) And remember, according to the Word of God, our words are always to be in conjunction with actions! Like David, we need to realize that worship is loving God, when we tell Him so!
It truly baffles me is when folks go through life without ever noticing that everything they enjoy was created by God. Paul writes, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NIV) We are reminded that…
II. Worship is loving God, when we remember His creation! (Psalms 8:1-4 NIV)
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants, you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? (Psalms 8:1-4 NIV)
1. Notice how David begins this psalm by relating, “O Lord, our Lord.” It is a personal reference for David that relates just how much David viewed his relationship with God. He believed God was his Lord always. And, isn’t that great to know during this time of thanksgiving? David was addressing God by His personal name Yahweh (“Lord”), David then identified Him as “our Lord” (’ăḏōnay), his Sovereign or Master. “Lord” stresses David’s recognition of God’s authority over His Creation. So majestic is God’s nature for David that he cries, “You have set your glory above the heavens!” God alone can do this. While pagan cultures worship the created things rather than the Creator, David acknowledges the magnificent nature of God! It is a direct slam to the manmade deities that others worshiped. In fact, David realized that even the innocent knew who God truly was, for, “From the lips of children and infants, you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Isn’t it interesting, children never have a problem believing there is a God. Adults are the ones that instill distrust and doubt into young minds. Why is that? I believe it is because of the embarrassment and consciousness of sin. David knew that when one just looks up into the night sky, there was no doubt God existed! Instead of worshipping the planets or stars as pagans did, David worships the One who made them! “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” Compared to the majesty of God and the awesome panoply of the universe spread out in the night sky, how could a mere tiny man match up to that? David teaches us that worship is loving God, when we remember His creation!
EXAMPLE: Did you know that 80 percent of all life on Earth is found in the oceans of the world? That staggering number can be difficult to process, largely because most of that life is out of sight. Knowing this should remind you of how much greater God’s creation is than we typically appreciate. While we can easily have our breath taken away by a majestic mountain range or a panoramic sunset, we sometimes fail to see His extraordinary work in the details that require more careful study and examination. Not only is much of God’s creation hidden by the oceans but also other parts are too small for our eyes to see! From the microscopically small to the unsearched reaches of the universe, it is all the work of our Creator. In these magnificent structures, seen and unseen, God’s creative glory is revealed! However, compared to all the magnificence of the inner or outer universe, God’s majesty is greater because He is Creator! David teaches us that worship is loving God, when we remember His creation!
Paul warned that when the creature demands worship that is due the Creator, we are in serious trouble, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man… They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:22-23, 25 NIV) We are reminded that…
III. Worship is loving God, when we remember who we are! (Psalms 144:3-4 NIV)
O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. (Psalms 144:3-4 NIV)
1. We find David acknowledging God for His power and protection, but then he reminds himself, “O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?” These are questions every human being has asked. Why would a great God care for a sinful person? As the theologist Gill would ponder, “Man, that is at most and best but a creature, made of the dust of the earth, is but dust and ashes; yes, a sinful creature, that drinks up iniquity like water!” David would cry, “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight… Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalms 51:2-5 NIV) David held no illusions to what he really was and what he was guilty of doing. Most folks know and yet are afraid to admit it to the One who can cleanse us completely! Gill continues, “Yet the Lord not only knows him, as he is the omniscient God, but takes notice of him in a way of providence, and in a way of grace!” Perhaps, like David, during this season of thanksgiving we need to remind ourselves not only of what we are, sinful, but that “Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” Life is short, a mere breath, as compared to an eternal God! What impact will your short-lived life have? Man lives either for himself or for the Lord. David wrote, “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath!” (Psalms 39:4-6 NIV) Shouldn’t we be thankful for an everlasting God who imparts eternal life to sinful mortal man when we confess His Son as Savior and Lord? David teaches us that worship is loving God, when we remember who we are!
EXAMPLE: James would admonish us to, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10 NIV) and then he would inquire, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (v. 14) this is why Jesus’ words speak to the eternal nature of our lives when we trust in Him, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV) Paul would confess, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:15-16 NIV) David teaches us that worship is loving God, when we remember who we are!
Like David, we need to realize that worship is loving God, when we tell Him so!
David teaches us that worship is loving God, when we remember His creation!
David teaches us that worship is loving God, when we remember who we are!
This article is copyrighted © 2013 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.