February 20, 2022
SERMON SERIES: INTRODUCTION TO SOME SELECTED PSALMS
Sermon # 8
HOW TO WORSHIP GOD THE RIGHT WAY
Introduction: There’s the story of a young rabbi who found a serious problem in his new congregation. During the service, half the congregation stood for the prayers and half remained seated. Each side shouted at the other, insisting theirs was the true tradition. Nothing the rabbi said or did, moved toward solving the impasse, finally in desperation, the young rabbi sought out the synagogue’s 99-year-old founding rabbi. He visited him in the nursing home and poured out his troubles. “So, tell me, he pleaded, “was it the tradition of the congregation to stand during the prayers?” “No.” answered the old rabbi. “Then it was the tradition to sit during the prayers?” “No.” answered the old rabbi.” “No? Well, what we have is complete chaos! Half the people stand and shout and the other half sit and scream!” “Ay…” said Rabbi, “that was the tradition!”
How are we supposed to worship? Perhaps no question sparks more controversy across America that that question. And what we find is that, the answer is often based on your previous experience, tradition, and your culture and generation.
In Psalm 95, the writer is inviting people to worship their great and awesome God. What is worship? It is acknowledging the “worth ship” of the true Sovereign God Himself. It is declaring His greatness and bowing before his throne. True worship is approaching God, lowering one’s self in His presence, and adoring Him, As, a subject would kneel before his king and kiss his extended hand. God alone is worthy of such worship.
Let’s look at four movements today that will demonstrate to us, HOW TO WORSHIP GOD THE RIGHT WAY!
THE WHAT OF WORSHIP
(The psalmist calls for God’s people to sing and shout to the Lord)
A. Sing Joyfully to Him v. 1a
B. Shout Loudly to Him v. 1b
The entire congregation is called to sing for joy to God, who is worthy to be praised. How celebrated and exuberant the saints should be in worshipping the Lord. The Psalmist is inviting everyone to enter God’s presence: Praise and sing to Him.
C. Show Gratitude to Him v. 2a
D. Shout Joyfully to Him v. 2b
THE WHY OF WORSHIP
(Believers should worship God, who is the great King over all)
A. The Lord is the Great God v. 3a
1. He alone is the LORD
2. He alone is the Great King
3. He alone is the true God
B. The Lord is Above All Gods (He is above all false gods) v. 3b
1. We don’t believe in polytheism
2. We believe in monotheism
C. The Lord is Above All Creation v. 4-5
1. He alone is the Creator
2. He alone is the Sustainer of the earth
a. The depths
b. The mountain peaks
c. The seas & dry land
So, worship God, the Creator and Sustainer
THE WAY OF WORSHIP
(Believers should humble themselves before God in worship)
This Great God should be worshipped in the appropriate manner.
A. Come, Worship the Lord v. 6
1. Bow humbly before Him
2. Kneel lowly before Him
“Bow down” refers to an attitude of the heart, not necessarily a prostrated position. This word describes the total self-humiliation, submission, and adoration to be rendered by those who approach God.
B. Consider Why Worship the Lord v. 7a, b
1. The Lord is our God v. 7a
God’s people should worship Him for He is our God, indicating their personal intimate relationship with Him.
2. The Lord is Our Shepherd v. 7b
He is God, mighty, enthroned, ruling, yet tenderly caring for His own. God’s people are like sheep----dumb, defenseless, and wayward. Thus, all worshippers should lower themselves before God, who gently leads and feeds His own people.
THE WHEN OF WORSHIP
(The psalmist calls for God to be worshipped now---today)
A. Hear God’s Voice Today v. 7c
1. Warn everyone to listen to God’s voice
2. To obey His Word Today
B. Heed God’s Voice Today (v. 8-11
1. Not as when Israel resisted Him v. 8
The provocation refers to the incident at Rephidim where the Israelites complained about having no water. Rebellion against God in the wilderness. Mer’-i-bah and Mas’-sah were the names given to the place where the Israelites sorely tried or tested God’s patience, Ex. 17:7).
Mer’-i-bah means provocation (stimulate or incite) or strife (conflict, discord, rebel)
Mas’-sah means a temptation or test
2. Not as when Israel Tested Him v. 9
3. Not as when Israel strayed from Him v. 10-11
Hebrews 3:15, “Today if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
When we come together for worship, we need to listen to what God says to us through His Word and through His Holy Spirit who lives within us. And as the Lord speaks to us, it is our duty to respond in obedience to Him at once. We should not delay, or walk away intending to think about what God has said. Instead, we are to obey what the Lord is commanding us to do right away. God desires our obedience more that He desires our praise (1 Samuel 15:22-23). In fact, the LORD rejects our sacrifice of praise unless we are also walking in obedience to His Holy Word.
Responsive Reading: Psalm 95:1-11