Scriptural Praise and Worship in Psalms

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  • 8/8/2019 Scriptural Praise and Worship in Psalms


    A Note of Introduction


    Im thrilled that youre interested in studying Gods Word with me! Before

    you jump into this study, allow me to introduce myself and explainwhat this study is about.

    I am a full time wife and mom who loves to teach Gods Word through ourlocal church and through blogging. These studies spring from my

    training in the Bible department at Cedarville University, alongside

    my own study of the Scriptures and time teaching Bible studies basedon the Old Testament books.

    What you will find in this e-book is a continued big picture overview of

    Gods unfolding story of redemption. I trust that what I have writtenhere will be useful and helpful for you, butin no way is this intendedto be read in lieu of your own Bible study. In fact, as you progress

    through these studies I assume that you are reading and studying onyour own as we go. These are my words, not Gods. While I strive to

    be accurate in my explanations and applications, and while I have

    found these things to be true in my study of the Scriptures, nothingcan take the place of your own time reading the Bible itself.

    I pray that as you open your Bible that God will challenge and excite youthrough the study of His Word. I also pray that through looking at thebig picture of what God is doing in history that you will gain a

    deeper understanding of your own need for Jesus Christ and grow in

    your daily walk with Him.

    May God bless you!


    So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him,

    rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,

    and overflowing with thankfulness.

    Colossians 2:6-7

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  • 8/8/2019 Scriptural Praise and Worship in Psalms


    Everything that has breath

    Well, I have arrived at the end of the Psalms in my personal study. I'd like to spend a few

    days looking at some overall takeaway lessons from the Psalms. Last week we looked atthe theme of those who aretruly blessed. Today, let's take some time to start looking at


    In his message "The Evangelical Crisis," Alistair Begg discussed the difference between

    entertainment and worship.

    "...the underlying issue is the failure to begin with God and His glory, and instead we

    begin with man and his need. So our considerations become aesthetic. We start by askingwhat people would find nice, what they would find enjoyable, what they would find

    soothing. And as we endeavor to do this, we lose sight of certain basic foundational

    issues. Namely, that Christ Himself is the sanctuary of his New Covenant people... thatthe true aesthetic beauty is the holiness of the Lord, and that Christ alone is the onlyordained worship leader of His people... so that many of our preoccupations, which have

    to do with the packaging, are nothing more than a capitulation to the spirit of the age..."

    Begg goes on to look at Jesus' conversation with the woman at the well in John 4; ourworship must be full of truth andfull of enthusiasm! One without the other is no good,

    and in my opinion, the majority of churches I have been in fall on one end of the

    spectrum or the other. We either sing hymns that are brimming with truth in such a way

    that makes you want to lay down and sleep on the pew, or we sing songs full ofmeaningless words with a fervor that makes tears come to people's eyes or perhaps makes

    them jump up and down as though they are at a rock concert! Both are appalling!

    I like the way Begg (who never minces words!) describes both ends of the spectrum - on

    the one hand, "We dare not baptize our cliche-ridden phraseology and our hackneyed

    hymnody into orthodoxy." Just because it's one of the "old hymns" doesn't make itorthodox. Have you ever heard one of those Christian radio stations that will only play

    recordings so old that you can hear the record crackling on the turntable?Just becauseit's old doesn't mean it's more true!

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    To the other end of the spectrum, Begg says, "A praise song... is one word, two notes,

    and three hours." This is hilarious to me because it is so true! On the other end of the"praise spectrum," some more modern songs seem content to pick a nice, appealing

    phrase and sing it over and over and over again. Tearing up as you repeat a stirring phrase

    like a mantra does not equal worship, either! It's often simply an artificially inducedemotional response. And you know what? I personally don't like to jump up and down

    and "clap to God." I find it irreverent, it's not how I respond to God, and to create and

    environment that presses people to do so against their natural bent creates an artificial andfake "worship experience." I don't have a single thing against others raising their hands,

    but don't make it a requirement, either.

    If you'd like to hear a little more of my soapbox opinions about praise, I have big issueswith how we teach children to sing to the Lord. Pick up most children's "praise" cd's, and

    you'll find a whole bunch of nonsense songs. Ie: "father Abraham," "arky arky," "deep

    and wide," "kum-ba-ya," etc. Someone please tell me what theological value these songs

    have? I have absolutely no problem with singing silly songs (I sing "big booty/ tinyheiny" and the SNL "sloppy joes" song to my children quite often) - but please do not

    somehow make these ridiculous songs "spiritual." We're ingraining in our kids that a fun,exciting song sung in church = praise, even if it has absolutely no truth in it whatsoever.

    I've also heard far too many church kids' songs that teach them to yell out the names of

    our God in such an irreverent way that it makes me cringe - basically, we're just all

    swearing in unison! Do we understand that? We're taking God's name in vain when weuse His holy name in such a flippant manner!

    I will step off of the soapbox now.

    Considering that the entire book of Psalms is a book ofpraise songs, what do the Psalms

    teach us about true praise?

    Well, I'm going to keep you hanging because this post would be too long. You'll have to

    wait until tomorrow. :) In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you... what's on your mind?

    p.s. After a comment I received on facebook about this post ("...who are we to dictate

    what is pleasing to God?"), I thought I would add this additional note.

    WE do not dictate what is pleasing to God, but His Word has a lotto say about what

    correct worship is. Evaluating worship according to the Word is not judgmental, it is

    necessary. John 4:24 tells us to worship in Spirit andin Truth! The Psalms are an entirebook of inspired praise songs. We're not just taking a stab in the dark about what is

    pleasing to the Lord - we need to know Him and His Word well enough to know that we

    are not only worshipping the correct God, but that we are worshipping the correct Godcorrectly!

    Evaluating worship in the light of the Word does not in any way limit God - He always

    acts in accordance with His nature, and His nature is most accurately expressed to us

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    through His Word.

    I addresed this topic more in light of thestory of Jephthahin the book of Judges.

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    Everything that has breath - Part 2

    Yesterday, we started thinking about true praise. I know some people were standing upon my soapbox with me, agreeing wholeheartedly, and some... not so much! That is just

    fine with me - I don't expect everyone to agree with my ramblings about matters ofpersonal opinion, but I do want to get us thinking. The Bible has a lot to say about praiseand worship, so let's keep looking at it, shall we?

    As we have already established, the psalms are an entire book of praise and worship.

    We're looking into the only inspired hymnbook, so what the psalms contain is central toany discussion of praise and worship! In Wilkinson and Boa's book Talk Thru the Bible,

    this is how they describe the theme and purpose of the book of Psalms:

    "There are several kinds of psalms, and they express different feelings and

    circumstances. But the common theme is worship - God is worthy of