Psalm 29:2. "Give unto the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the
beauty of holiness."
If there is any doubt as to the subject of my message, the subject is Worship.
Worshipping God should be something we want to do, not something that we feel we have to do.
Churches are sometimes thought of as houses of worship and that should be our primary thought,
but sometimes I'm guilty of losing sight of that at least for a time.
When I started to study the subject of worship I found it an inexhaustible subject.
Psalm 95:6. "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."
Philippians 2:10-11. "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11: And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Revelation 11: 16. "And they fell upon their faces, and worshipped God."
Psalm 29:2. "Give unto the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the
beauty of holiness."
The Psalmist had this to say: Psalm 76:10. "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee:" Here are some scriptures that bear this out, that man can't keep from praising God, even when he doesn't intend to:
1. In John 7:46, when the Pharisees sent men to get Jesus so they could question Him, they said, "Never a man spake like this man."Worship is the key word in Scripture. In a time yet to come when all things are conformed to God's will and sin is imprisoned forever, He'll be fully worshipped by all His universe. The whole universe isn't yet filled with His glory, but when it is, everything in all creation will worship Him spontaneously.
2. A demon possessed man called Him the "Son of God Most High." Luke 8:28.
3. Pilate said, "I find no fault in this man." Luke 23:14.
4. Pilate's wife referred to Him as "that just man." Matthew 27:19.
5. The thief on the cross admitted "This Man hath done nothing amiss." Luke 23:41.
6. Even Judas, who betrayed Him, said "I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood." Matthew 27:4.
7. The centurion who crucified Him said this. "Truly this was the Son of God." Matthew 27:54.
These were His enemies and their wrath did praise Him. As that Psalm said, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Him."
God has rights. The heart of all true worship is the recognition of the rights of God. Every living being owes it's origin to God as the Creator, and should give Him undivided and unreserved worship. That is our duty as created beings. All things are the Lord’s and there is no one nor no thing worthy of worship except the One who created all things.
Lucifer, also known as Satan, was called the son of the morning, and no doubt he was the brightest and most intelligent of all created beings. In the pride of his heart he said, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14: 13-14. He gathered a company of the angels and intended to draw worship away from God and direct it to himself.
Satan and sin came to earth because man gave in to temptation in the Garden of Eden. Under Satan's dominance, man is refusing God the right of his worship and has turned to obeying Satan. Man transferred his worship from one to the other so now the world has two systems of worship.
Satan is antagonistic about God receiving worship from man. Wherever the rights of God are recognized and worship is given, that worship is challenged. Satan's main work is to prevent man from worshipping God.
1. Abel was murdered when he recognized God’s rights and erected an altar and worshipped God by placing a blood sacrifice on it. That sacrifice was a picture of the coming sacrifice of God's Son.In the book of Esther we have the story of Haman. In the days of King Ahasuerus of Syria, Haman exalted himself and demanded that Mordecai the Jew bow down to him. Haman had lifted himself up, just like Satan did.
2. Noah stepped out of the ark and onto the cleansed earth after the flood and built an altar to worship God. Satan set a trap and for him and Noah got drunk and did a shameful thing. Genesis 9:20-23.
3. When Abraham offered a sacrifice to God, the vultures tried to steal it. Genesis 15:9-11.
4. When Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem as a place for the people to worship, Satan tried to destroy his testimony. 1 Kings 11:9, "And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel." Solomon married some foreign women and had taken up their idol worship.
5. When Elijah stood for true worship and killed the 400 prophets of Baal, Jezebel tried to kill him. 1 Kings 19:2.
6. Satan's opposition to the worship of God really intensified when the Lord of Glory became humanity. As soon as Jesus became the Son of Man, Herod ordered the death of all the male children of Bethlehem under the age of two in hope that Jesus would be one of them.
Matthew 2:16. As soon as the Lord began His public ministry, Satan was there with an offer: “All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:9. Satan’s offer of the world kingdoms wasn't a fraud, he did possess them. Three times Jesus called him “the prince of this world.” The power of Satan’s temptation was the reality of the offer. Satan offered to abdicate his power over the world if the Son of God would worship him. But if Christ had worshipped him, it would prove Christ the servant of Satan. The Lord Jesus is the one man who would not recognize Satan’s rights. All the rest of us have sinned and in so doing have unwittingly recognized Satan's rights.
He had a lot of honors and possessions and he was great in the kingdom of Persia and highly exalted, yet he couldn't be happy as long as this Jew refused to worship him. He's quoted as saying, “All this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.” Esther 5:13.
The man who wouldn't recognize him was the very man God used to bring him down and he was hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Esther 7:10.
Haman’s insistence on worship from Mordecai is a picture of Satan’s demand from Jesus when He was about to begin His earthly ministry. “All these things I will give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.” But the Lord turned him back with the words, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:8-10. Satan has no right to worship from any man, much less Christ.
Man's problem is this: when Satan influences or controls our lives, we want what Satan wants, and that's to exalt ourselves. Man withholds his worship from God and, in it's place, we tend to actually worship ourselves and put our worship of God in a secondary place. Self-interest, self-glory, self preservation and self recognition is hidden deep in us. As Satan gains more and more control of this world, exaltation of self is coming more and more into the open.
There's more to the cross than the sacrifice for our sins and the putting away of the “old man” of our corrupt nature. The cross of the Lord Jesus Christ had to be a part of our human history because of the enemy within us who challenges the very throne of God.
This was the enemy the Lord met on the basis of the cross, and Colossians 2:15 tells us, “having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” This victory over Satan and all those beings who serve him has assured the rights of God. The victory of the cross is our guarantee that in a coming day God will be worshipped by the whole universe and His glory will fill the whole universe.
Universal worship of God hasn't come yet. God has to work out His victory over Satan in His chosen people, the Jews. They'll be gathered out of the world system that Satan rules now. The cross of Christ is the only thing that can remove those things which have caused men to withhold worship from God. Only the cross can eliminate Satan's influence in us so we can recognize the rights of God and worship Him only. 1 Chronicles 16:29. "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name: bring an offering, and come before Him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."
The more God reveals Himself to man, the more man can see that God is worthy of His worship. God has revealed Himself in stages from Genesis to Revelation and in a progressively fuller way as the scriptures progress. Genesis started with one man and one woman to worship God and Revelation ends with the worship of God by "10,000 times 10,000 and thousands of thousands." Revelation 5:11. God's revelations were all to the end that man might progressively reach a fuller worship of God.
He is our Creator and we owe Him our worship. I quoted Psalm 95:6 earlier. “0 come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker." This rules out any worship of the Virgin Mary, or saints, or angels, much less graven images, or pictures, or crucifixes. None of these were our Maker. There is no god but the living and true God who created us, and we bow the head and bend the knee in worship to Him only.
If we are going to worship God, we need to know God as our Maker. The hands of God Himself fashioned the first man out of the dust of the earth, and we are "fearfully and wonderfully made."
Our flesh is clay or earth, but since “God... breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” Genesis 2: 7, this made man capable of knowing and worshipping the God who had made him out of dirt. [Lest we forget!]
If Adam hadn't sinned, it would have been simple knowledge for all his offspring to have known God as the Father of all beings and worship Him as such. When Adam fell, we fell, and we need the cross of the Lord Jesus to reconcile us to God. Man has to recognize that it's “God that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” Psalm 100: 3. He provides everything for us by His power. He puts the very food in our mouth by His goodness.
God is ever present and cares for us but we sometimes question our circumstances and fail to acknowledge the thousands of times that we experience His protection, both seen and unseen.
We can't ignore the reality of suffering in this world, but the Creator genuinely shelters his own. Click on Psalm 91. Psalm 91:1-3. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.”
Sometimes we see visible evidence of God’s protection, but how many times has He spared us from unknown dangers? I don't know that statistic but it reminded me of a radio comment that 2 million people had a certain disease and 3 million more had it and didn't know it. My question is this; how did the statistician know the figures if those involved weren't aware of their own ailment? So much for statistics. One of my favorite sayings is that 47 per cent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
How many times have you gotten ready to go somewhere and had an annoying delay, only to realize that, if it wasn't for that delay, you would have been in a tragic accident? Maybe it was a good thing that you had to take Junior to the bathroom after everybody was in the car and belted in and ready to go.
Psalm 91 goes on to describe the wonderful security that the believer experiences in the face of dangers, both known and unknown: Verse 4. "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and buckler.”
Probably all of us have experienced God’s deliverance from potentially tragic circumstances.. a near miss of a car accident... a flat tire at night on a deserted stretch of highway... getting lost in the wrong part of town. The psalmist recognized the reality of such nightmares, but he also sensed the security of God’s presence:
Verses 5-6. “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the
stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday”
Verses 11-12. "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12: They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."
From time to time I wonder about “the things that go ‘bump’ in the night.” It’s probably good that I don’t know the dangers that do surround me. If God showed us a video of all these things, it would probably make the worst horror movie seem like a picnic. According to the psalmist, we should worship the Lord for His protection from both seen and unseen dangers. Every one of us can probably recall some event from our own past where we can praise God for deliverance. As we run into more and more of these things we'll find that we're developing a sixth sense which is an awareness of God’s protection.
The psalmist continues, Verses 14-15. “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I
deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15: He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him."
God is saying; ‘Because the believer loves me,’ ‘I will deliver him, for he acknowledges My name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.'
He's worthy in every aspect of our worship because He is our Lord. I'm going to quote from Psalms, Jeremiah, and Proverbs. They all concern His infinite authority or Lordship:
1. Psalm 45:11. “He is thy Lord; and worship thou Him.”
2. Jeremiah 10:6.“ Forasmuch as there is none like unto Thee.”
3. Proverbs 16:4. “The LORD hath made all things for Himself."
4. Psalm 103:19.“ The LORD hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all.”
He is Lord of all. He has absolute right to give any decree, and power to execute it. All His virtues testify to His Lordship. This is stamped on every man's conscience.
God is sovereign, so all His works are sovereign. Creation is one of those works. God created all things because it was His pleasure to do so. Redemption is also a work He desired and provided. We're redeemed because God willed it so. No act of God can be challenged by man. Ecclesiastes 8:4 says; "Who may say unto Him, What doest Thou?” It's utterly absurd for any creature to challenge what God does. Man sometimes says "surely a loving God wouldn't send people to hell," but the nature and character of God is altogether perfect and not in any way unjust.
This perfection is inspiration for us to worship Him! “He is thy Lord,” therefore, “worship thou Him.” Psalm 45:11
He's especially worthy of our worship because He came to earth to die for our sins and become our Savior. Matthew 2:11. “And when the wise men were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him.” These were wise men with worldly wisdom but they also had a wisdom from above. That wisdom told them to worship the child, not the mother. That was heavenly wisdom. Earthly wisdom would have paid respect to the mother first.
In John 1, Jesus was “The Word was with God,” and “was God,” “was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” This is referring to the Second Person of the Triune God, God the Son. God the Father sent the Son. The Spirit was active in the conception and did not become man. The Son became man so He might suffer and die in the place of sinful man. This was the fulfillment of the incarnation spoken of in Isaiah 9:6. “Unto us” -and for us -“a child is born, a son is given. Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.”
The redeeming work began at Bethlehem when the eternal Word became man. Redemption could only be finished at the cross. But the wise men who sought Him knew who the child was and why He had come. “They saw the young child.., and fell down, and worshipped Him." From our enlightened position given us by the New Testament, should we do any less?
Over the many centuries that the Old Testament covers, God gave man many "press releases" about the coming of His Son as the Messiah. He promised, He scolded, He threatened, all by means of direct conversations with some and also through the writings of the prophets. He warned the people of things to come, but man by and large chose to disregard His messages.
Galatians 4:4. "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made
of a woman, made under the law,
5: To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
Unlike the press releases we get from man, God has fulfilled all His "press releases" of the promised Savior. He also promised that those who don't accept by faith that His Son died on the cross for their sins will spend eternity in hell.
He will also fulfill the "press release" given in the New Covenant, that through faith in Him you will spend eternity with Him in heaven.
If you're not sure that Jesus is your Savior, just confess to Him that you are a sinner and need His salvation and you will be saved right now and eternally. Then you can worship Him in truth and sincerity.