Worship Manual

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of Israel his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones! He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance.” When you were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!” Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!” Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Say also: “Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!” Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD.

There is no question that King David was a man who gave himself over easily to the worship of his God. The sheer number of the Psalms which bear his name give testimony to that – let alone an account like this one in 1 Chronicles 16. It was sung at the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. It was a profoundly joyous time, and we are told here that David appointed this song – which he appears to have composed – to Asaph and his brothers to be sung on that occasion. And in it, we see a number of elements which are fitting for the saints in all ages to offer up proper worship before the Lord. Let’s catalog them briefly.

  1. Right worship of God begins with thanksgiving: (8) “Give thanks to the Lord.”
  2. Worshiping God aright requires that we trust Him with our needs: (8) Call upon His name. God is not worshiped, if His character and power are not trusted.
  3. The things He has done are to be celebrated: (8) Make known His deeds among the peoples.
  4. “Sing praises to Him” (9) It is interesting to note that in modern American Evangelicalism, many think this is the sum of worship altogether. It is not. Music is not the “worship” part of the service. It is but one element. If it is not preceded by a thankful heart, trusting Him with our needs, and making His goodness toward us known – we haven’t paved the way to sing yet.
  5. “Glory in His holy name”: (10) Marvel that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. This may require a time of contemplation.
  6. 6. Rejoice (10): The worship of the living God is both solemn and joyous. If is is dull and lifeless, we’ve not yet connected with the glory of His holy name. That He is august, majestic, grand, transcendent.
  7. “Seek the Lord and His strength” (11) Come needing all. Recognizing our utter dependence upon Him for everything.
  8. “Seek His presence continually” (11) Come, having sought Him outside of gathered worship – and not just in Church.
  9. “Remember” (12) Remind yourself of how He has met you in the past. How He has ordered your life. How He has been actively sovereign in every joy, sorrow, fortune, trial and step along the way.
  10. “Remember His covenant” (15) Go back and recall the covenant under which you live in agreement with Him – the one sealed in the blood of Jesus. The wonder of mercy and grace in saving work of Jesus Christ.
  11. “Ascribe to the Lord the splendor He deserves” (28-29) Stop to be amazed at Him.
  12. “Bring an offering” (29) Do not come empty handed. Come with sacrifice of Jesus fresh in your heart and mind.
  13. “Worship the Lord in holy attire” or, as the ESV – “in the splendor of holiness.” (29) – Not considering your own worthiness, but how you must be clothed with Christ’s own, by faith.
  14. “Tremble before Him” (30) Do not treat Him lightly. He is not your buddy or pal. He is your God. Your Lord. Your Creator.
  15. “Say this prayer: “Deliver us, O God who delivers us!” (35) Delivers us from your wrath. From the power of indwelling sin. From the grave. From the very presence of sin. From this present evil age. Know and acknowledge that you need His constant deliverance.

This, beloved, is a template for true worship. How anemic most of what we call worship today seems in comparison. May He make us those who worship Him in spirit and in truth indeed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s