June 18, Psalms 90-97

 

Read today's passage  Listen to today's passage 

Watch Psalms 73-106 video  Watch an overview of Psalms

Yesterday, we said that “proper worship begins with a proper attitude about worship.”  Only when we understand the attitude of worship can we even attempt to explore the actions of worship.  The attitude of worship is far more important than any worship action.  We will never get the actions right if the attitude of our heart is not right.  Having understood that, we see in today’s reading some of the many prescribed actions of worship.

The first action that we think of, I suppose, when we consider worship is singing. Singing—No surprises here!  We see multiple indications of singing as a proper action of worship.  You might draw attention to 92:1-3 and 96:1.  We have no way of knowing what their singing would have sounded like.  A few things we can note:  (1) instruments accompanied singing (2) a variety of styles {new songs (96:1) and shouting (95:1)}.

The idea of a variety of styles of singing is apparent in the New Testament as well.  Paul referred to Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in Ephesians 5:19. Were their hymns like our hymns?  Were their spiritual songs like our praise choruses?  We will never know this answer.  We can assume, however, that different styles of music had their proper place in worship.

Some other actions of worship that we see are bowing (95:6), kneeling (95:6), and giving an offering (96:8).  What other activities of worship do you see in these Psalms?

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

Posted by Steve Horn with

June 17, Psalms 84-89

 

Read today's passage  Listen to today's passage 

Watch Psalms 73-106 video  Watch an overview of Psalms

Proper worship begins with a proper attitude about worship.  Whether worship is important to you will be determined by attitudes that you have about God. One of the attitudes that we must have is a pure yearning for God.

We examined already the Psalmist’s yearning or longing for God.  Psalm 63 comes to mind again, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you.”  We see this same yearning in Psalm 84.  Notice especially verse 10, which has become the text of a beautiful new song.  “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”  The Psalmist is describing his desire to be with God—his desire to worship God.  Our attitude must be like the Psalmist in that we desire God more than any other person, thing, or activity in our lives.  One day with God should be better than a thousand playing golf.  One day with God should be better than a thousand at the mall.  One day with God should be better than a thousand new accounts for my business.  You get the idea.  Is that your heart? If not, chances are worship is more self-seeking than God-centered.  I also want to point out that real worship is worship toward God.  The Psalmist’s yearning was for God not worship.  Sometimes we can be guilty of worshipping music rather than God.  Sometimes we can be tempted to worship the message or the messenger rather than the God whom the message is about. Think about it—authentic worship worships God.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

Posted by Steve Horn with

June 16, Psalms 78-83

 

Read today's passage  Listen to today's passage 

Watch Psalms 73-106 video  Watch an overview of Psalms

I am intrigued by God’s invitation to us to “Open our mouth wide and He will fill it.”  That was God’s invitation to Israel and is His invitation to us in Psalm 81. Verses 1-5 of Psalm 81 are a song of praise to God for His blessing.  Verses 6-16 are God’s words.

First, God reveals the plan for our lives.  God’s plan for your life is for Him to bless you.  The Psalmist would have been familiar with the covenant promises to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and David.  If Israel would obey they would have a life of blessing.  They would not necessarily be free from problem, but the overall sum of their life would be blessing.  God desires to do that in our lives. He wants to bless us.  He wants us to depend totally on Him.  The imagery in verse 10 makes us kind of squirm, but it really is a beautiful analogy.  We have all heard that some birds feed their young by spitting into their mouths.  The baby bird must open their mouths in order to be fed.  So it is in our relationship with God.  The only way to be blessed is to open our mouth.  The analogy seems to indicate that the more we open ourselves to God, the more He will bless us.

The only way to experience fully the plan of God for your life is to give yourself completely to Him.  Let nothing hinder your dependence or submission to Him.

Verse 11 is a sad commentary on Israel.  Verse 11 also describes many Christians today.  They might say they have a relationship with Christ, but they do not listen to Him or obey Him.  Notice God’s words in verse 11.  Notice that he identifies them as “my people.”  We might assume that unbelievers would not listen to God.  However, it grieves God when His people do not obey Him. In what ways has the church of Jesus Christ today not listened to God?  In what ways have you, perhaps, been guilty of knowing what God says to do, but doing something else?  Repent of that sin today, because not only are you sinning against a holy God, but you are blocking God’s blessing from your life.

Verse 11 is a sad verse, but verse 12 is a scary verse.  The scary implication of this verse is that there is a point in our lives where God might give us over to a particular sin area.

Right after God says that He is through with Israel, His love compels Him to offer a plea of repentance.  God deals with us in the same kind of way.  He cannot give up on us.  Sometimes we deserve punishment, but God continually holds out His love.  Here is what grace is all about.  God longs to have a relationship with each of us.  He wants to be our Lord.  He wants to fight for us and subdue our enemies.

The invitation is rather simple as outlined in verse 15 and 16.  If we choose to disobey the Lord we can expect punishment.  If we choose to obey the Lord we can anticipate blessing. 

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

Posted by Steve Horn with

June 15, Psalms 73-77

 

Read today's passage  Listen to today's passage 

Watch Psalms 73-106 video  Watch an overview of Psalms

Many will appreciate Psalm 73 because of the Psalmist’s struggle with why the wicked seem to avoid God’s punishment.  The Psalmist summarized his feelings this way, “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.” (73:13)  Don’t miss the Psalmist’s self assurance though, “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” (73:16)Have you ever done the right thing and it seemed as if no one noticed? Have you ever seen someone else do the wrong thing and it seemed like no one but you noticed?  It doesn’t seem right, does it?

At one time or other, we have all made the mistake of envying the wicked.  In those moments of temptation let us remember that the end of the wicked is destruction.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

Posted by Steve Horn with

June 14

 

Watch Psalms 73-106 video  Watch an overview of Psalms

Go back and read Psalm 53 and Psalm 14.  Do you see any similarities?  Of course you do!  With the exception of verse 6 as it appears in Psalm 14 missing in Psalm 53, the two Psalms are almost identical.  There is probably very little significance to this duplication.  One commentator indicated that the duplication probably means that both renderings were used in the worship of the day.

Nevertheless, the irony of the duplication stands out because of the first line. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”  That is something worth repeating.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

Posted by Steve Horn with

Previous12345678910 ... 3334