Read His Words Before Ours!
There’s a difference in reading something to get through it,
and studying it to know and understand it.
Last year I didn’t just read through the Psalms in the Bible.
I studied them.
All 150 of them.
I don’t say this to toot horns here, I share it because, with intentional study,
I am now convicted of this:
One cannot discuss Biblical worship
without observing the Psalms and other songs in Scripture.
Some may not know that the book of Psalms is made up of songs or poems written by multiple authors. One of them being Moses, author of Psalm 90.
“Baby in a basket” Moses.
“Raised Egyptian, but actually a Hebrew” Moses.
“Prince of Egypt” Moses.
“Murderer of an Egyptian” Moses.
“Burning bush” Moses.
“Led God’s people out of Egypt” Moses.
“Crossed the Red Sea on dry ground” Moses.
Whether a Sunday School teacher first introduced you to Moses, or Disney’s Prince of Egypt did, most are familiar with the story. But did you know that following the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, another song was sung by Moses and the Israelites in Exodus 15. It makes perfect sense that an outburst of rejoicing would follow an escape from the chase of an enemy.
Wouldn’t you erupt into song after being literally chased by your adversaries only to witness, with your own eyes, that very enemy being swallowed up by the same sea you had just crossed on dry land?!
Many times in the Psalms, as in Exodus 15, we see a consistent intentionality to worship God for who He is and His mighty deeds.
What I love about Psalm 105 and Psalm 136 is how each of these songs declare the history of God’s people and the LORD’s continual rescue of His people, Israel. In Scripture, worship is often purposefully birthed, not only to rightfully bring glory to God, but also to commemorate historical events, i.e. the Exodus of Israel out of slavery into freedom.
Naturally, the Israelites, along with Moses, would offer a song of thanksgiving unto the Lord following their rescue. Because God had set them free, praise broke out!
Bible scholar, Dr. Bob Utley, notes how Exodus 15 consists of two parts:
verses 1-5 focuses on the acts of the LORD (all caps, meaning YHWH, God’s personal name) and verses 6-17 focusing on YHWH’s character.
Biblical worship should, at its core, remind us what we have been rescued from, and most importantly, who our mighty Rescuer is.
I will forever be convinced that worship is a powerful thing.
No matter the circumstances of our everyday life,
regardless of how dark or how desperate our moments,
we have reason to worship because
we have been rescued from Sin by an eternal Rescuer!
Countless generations before us have carefully preserved and recorded in Scripture
their acts of worship.
Their hymns, their music, their generosity, and the beautiful overflow of their lives as they reflected love back to their Redeemer. Their worship invites us to recall how God has moved mightily in our own lives, remember His faithfulness, and bring Him worship because of His deliverance and His good character!
We are given the beautiful opportunity of coming before the presence of God
thanking Him for His salvation and praising Him for who He is.
Israel sang to the LORD for rescuing them from the hands of their tyrant enemy (Pharaoh).
God was faithful to deliver His people from Egypt and physical bondage, and deserved their worship.
But one day, the same LORD, through the Lord Jesus Christ, would deliver all people from the overwhelming darkness of our tyrant enemies, Sin and Death.
This Jesus is our Eternal Rescuer; He deserves the worship of our everyday lives!
Does that reality not just want to make you echo Israel’s song?
How could it not?!
When God gave everything to rescue us.
When He forgave us.
When He provided for our every need.
When He takes the time to be mindful of us.
When He gives us far more than we deserve.
When He, even still, hasn’t given up on us.
When He loves us more than anyone ever could.
When He never ever broken His promises.
How could we not praise Him?
How could we not open our mouths and sing the Israelites’ song?
Or reach for an instrument as Miriam did?
Or dance in the freedom and joy of the LORD, our great Deliverer!
Let’s be worshippers who open our mouths and declare His goodness!
Worshippers who fall to our knees in gratitude and reverence!
Worshippers who reserve our love, loyalty, and attention for the only One who is truly worthy!
Worshippers who exalt the One true God, YHWH, our Rescuer in the ebb and flow of our everyday!
Let’s be worshippers who continue singing Israel’s song!
We were once lost, enslaved, and living in darkness.
As Peter writes, we were once not a people, but now we are God’s people.
We once did not receive mercy, but now we have received mercy
so that we might
“proclaim the praises of the one who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Let’s sing on!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!