The Westminster larger catechism states it’s first question and answer as follows:
We are to glorify God. I would like to take a few posts to write on a series I am going to call “It’s All About Him.” In four parts, I want to share with you what our worship should focus on: God. I say I am sharing this with you, but it is just as much for me as it is for you. I am excited to share these with you and to take the time on my own to refocus and reprioritize our thoughts on worship.
In this series It’s All About Him, we will spend our time in Psalm 100.
Part I: The Lord is King (Psalm 100:1-2)
Psalm 100:1-2 states, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!”
I. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
– Make a joyful noise to the Lord is the command. The command to shout out your dependence on the the King. The command to submit to that Kingship. And the command to state your focus of worship: the Lord, Who is the King!
– All the earth is to whom the command to make a joyful noise to the Lord is given. All the earth, whether it wishes to know it or to accept it or not, is a product of the Creator God, and is commanded to give allegiance, reverence, and service to the Lord, who is the Creator God.
“Know ye what God is in Himself, and what He is to you. Know it; consider it and apply it, then you will be more close and constant, more inward and serious, in His worship.” – Matthew Henry
“Never will the world be in its proper condition till with one unanimous shout it adores the only God.” – Charles Spurgeon
II. Serve the Lord with gladness!
John MacArthur says that “we must understand the distinction between legal obedience and gracious obedience. Gracious obedience pertains to God’s desires for us to exhibit a loving and sincere spirit of obedience. Although it is marked by defects, it is still accepted by God and its blemishes are blotted out by the blood of Jesus Christ. The obedience that our Lord is after is not legal obedience qualified by law, but gracious obedience qualified by love. It’s not based on fear; it’s based on friendship.”
“And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says ‘I know Him’ but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in Him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” – 1 John 2:3-6
III. Come into His Presence with Singing!
This third section of Part I: The Lord is King is the easiest part in our mind. We find it easy to come into the sanctuary and mumble the words on the screen, or glance at the notes in the hymnal, or lift our hands and close our eyes when the song leader or band does, but are we offering the singing and praise that He deserves? Just because you look like you are “worshiping” doesn’t mean you are. Singing is a beautiful expression of public worship to God that He has so graciously allowed us to bring to Him.
Once again Spurgeon says, “Singing, as it is a joyful, and at the same time devout, exercise, should be a constant form of approach to God. The measured, harmonious, hearty utterance of praise by a congregation of really devout persons is not merely decorous but delightful, and is a fit anticipation of the worship of heaven, where praise has absorbed prayer, and become the sole mode of adoration.”
I think it is so important for us to pay attention to the order we are given in this excellent outline of worship here in Psalm 100:1-2.
In worship we are to, in this order:
1) Acknowledge Him as King
2) Serve Him with Gladness
3) and then Come into His Presence with singing.
In today’s common church service, at least in the American south, our “worship” consists of the singing. But when our worship begins with the scripture’s instructions of Acknowledging the King and the serving Him as King, then our coming into His presence with singing will take on a totally different nature. Our singing will not be the end but the overflow of our worship!
It’s all about Him!
Soli Deo Gloria!