Welcome back to this month’s discussion on worship centered around the Old Testament. If you haven't already done so, please click the links below to catch up with our series introduction and other discussions within this series.
Psalms is commonly known as the “heart” of the Bible, and for obvious reasons. Being heavily enriched with “instruction, inspiration, motivation, and consolation,” the Psalms are easily one of the most read, quoted, and sung books of the Bible. It is safe to say that a huge percentage of Christian songs today are rooted from the book of Psalms.
A Little Background
While various writers composed the book of Psalms, King David is responsible for a large portion of the book - seventy-three psalms to be exact. Throughout the course of his writings, it is evident that honoring and glorifying God was at the heart of David’s life, leadership, and ministry. In reading of King David’s gains and riches, as well as his trials, it is not hard to notice the heart within this man. David unashamedly and publicly displayed his love for the Lord.
What are the Psalms?
The Psalms are a collection of spiritual poems, hymns, prayers, and songs focused on, and intended for the worship of God. They display the various seasons of a worshiper's life. In addition, the Psalms indicate the importance of both private and corporate worship.
Worship, as seen in the psalms, focuses one's attention on the Lord in a way that stimulates both intellectually and emotionally. It encourages worshipers to remember, reflect, ponder, and meditate on the character and works of the Lord in ways that make it difficult to forget the images through which the principles were taught. Such worship glorifies God, elevating His reputation and impacting believers so that the principles are not forgotten when the benediction is pronounced.
The Heart of Worship
By this point, I've stated multiple times that Psalms is about the heart of worship... But what exactly does that mean? It means to live a life that is fully devoted to worshiping God in the highs and in the lows. The heart of worship is rooted in being real and honest in relationship with God.
Take King David for example... Through the highs and lows of life, he was actually REAL when he approached God in worship. Note how he would often start out a Psalm from a low, and even unstable, place. As he went on expressing his heart and thoughts to God, David's perspective would begin to lift, and the Psalm would take a turn. He arrived at conclusions of peace and hope in God through this messy, real journey.
Just like the rest of us, David had his moments of disobedience and intense discouragement. Still, his main desire was to worship and obey his God in everything he did. God welcomes us to be real and honest in our worship.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips. - Psalm 65: 1-5
My challenge for you is to study the book of Psalms, to allow your daily worship to be inspired and motivated by the underlying heart of worship displayed throughout this book. I also challenge you to watch this short video (click here) in which Professor David Murray explains what the books of Psalms is all about.
Recommended Track of the Week: "Simple Pursuit" by Passion