“Shout for joy in the Lord O you righteous! Praise befits the upright…For the word of the Lord is upright and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield…For our heart is glad in him because we trust his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us even as we hope in you.” (Excerpts from Ps 33:1; 4-6; 20-22)
I notice that the Psalmist seems to be “assembly focused”; that is, I might say he is “preaching to the choir.” From my own experience (focusing on myself) there is plenty of functional unbelief to preach to the face in the mirror…
During the past few years I have been thinking, analyzing, and imagining the purpose and function of Worship—not for any reason other than pursuing God and the health of the local church. Maybe this sounds uppity but it is the way I am wired—and the Holy Spirit has been faithful in these meditations.
So far I have categorized Worship in 4 ways:
- To God in praise and inquiry;
- To my heart in exhortation and remembering;
- To my brothers and sisters in encouragement to remember, and finally;
- To unbelievers in declaring the majesty and glory of God.
These feel unfinished but…I will see how God fleshes them out for me in the future.
In Psalms 33 it appears that the Psalmist is making a strong point concerning the Word of the Lord and then what the consequences are, both calling for a personal response and a corporate response. There is also an active response for me (“Shout for joy) and a passive response (“Our soul waits for the Lord”). Both perhaps should be considered active I suppose, but…
And that is where I am contemplating this morning: Praise befits the upright; Let your love be upon (me) as (I) hope in you. How can I integrate these two into my life? Active praise… Hoping…
Two words come to mind: Remembering and Practice. Remember the Gospel and all of the things that God has done with His works and His ways to bring the fact of the Gospel to us. Practice remembering, contemplation, meditation, STUDY, fellowship, worship. Let these things be in the forefront of my mind always.
How? I have to figure that out but my guess it involves a nose and a grindstone…
Lord, as the prophet Micah has written, I want to walk humbly before You. I don’t want to be pharisaical in my heart and attitude. Please keep me from arrogance; make me walk humbly before You and to love Your word. AMEN.