#607: O Worship the King
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Reflections by the Pond
June 10, 2013
Why do we worship God? Why are we to worship Him?
Let us, for the moment, set aside obedience and love, two fundamental reasons that are inevitably energized by each other. We obey God because we love Him; our love for Him increases as we obey Him. These are essential. God, through His word, commands His people to worship Him.
Exalt the Lord our God
And worship at His footstool;
Holy is He.
And our love for God (because He first loved us) compels us to fall down before Him.
How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
But let us consider a third reason for our worship: perspective.
O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.
No matter where we are, no matter who we are around, our current circumstances inevitably become to us the standard for normal. Given time, we grow accustomed to everything and everybody around us. Concomitantly, given time, that which we are not regularly around becomes abnormal, foreign.
So when, day after day, year after year, our immediate environs consist of the people and things of this temporal world, the things of God—and God Himself—will inevitably become foreign to us. Our standard of goodness becomes the good of this world. Our standard of generosity becomes the generous of this world. Our standard of beauty becomes the beautiful of this world.
Because even believers remain flesh, and thus tied to the things of flesh, it is necessary for us to nurture with purposeful intent the things outside flesh: things of spirit.
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
° ° °
Because God is spirit, and thus dwells outside our immediate environs, we must periodically and regularly do whatever is necessary to keep Him as familiar and normal as those things within our physical sight. Meeting Him on His level—spirit—we must regularly attend God, and worship is the most appropriate and efficient way to do this.
In authentic, specific worship we proclaim and celebrate God's unique attributes, those qualities that define His deity. God is goodness that cannot be found on earth. He is a generosity found nowhere else. He is beautiful like no other. God is not these things to a degree higher than what is known to flesh. His attributes lie in the realm of the other-worldly. God is not a superior man. God is not better than us by degree.
We cannot grasp the true meaning of holiness by thinking of someone or something very pure and then raising the concept to the highest degree we are capable of. God's holiness is not simply the best we know infinitely bettered. We know nothing like the divine holiness. It stands apart, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible and unattainable. Holy is the way God is. To be holy He does not conform to a standard. He is that standard. He is absolutely holy with an infinite, incomprehensible fullness of purity that is incapable of being other than it is. Because He is holy, His attributes are holy; that is, whatever we think of as belonging to God must be thought of as holy.
A. W. Tozer
Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light,
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
° ° °
So when we worship God by ascribing to Him His unique attributes we gain perspective on not just who He is, but on who we are, as well as those familiar things and people in our immediate sight. Our old car seems just fine, until we compare it to one that is brand new. The things of earth seem just fine, until we compare them to the incomparable beauty of holy God. Compared to Him, we are but dust.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender! how firm to the end!
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.
° ° °
Time spent in worship of God realigns our thinking. It gives us a superior perspective.