Life to the Power of God
Just another WordPress.com weblog

Psalm 100 – Crazy Praise

Psalm 100

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
    2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
      Come before him, singing with joy.
 3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
      He made us, and we are his.
      We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
      go into his courts with praise.
      Give thanks to him and praise his name.
 5 For the Lord is good.
      His unfailing love continues forever,
      and his faithfulness continues to each generation. [NLT]

 Verse one starts with a statement that is foreign and almost weird to many Christians it says:

 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! [NLT]

We are told to shout with joy! Many people have grown up in the church and have come conditioned to the cotton woolled safe praise and worship – and they have been taught whether through teaching or through how other people do things that we need to do church in an ordered way – in a way that is quite – prim and proper – after all you don’t want to rock the boat to much they say. But this Psalm starts with the call for us to be willing to step out of our religious boats out onto the waters of crazy praise! The place where our mouths cannot be silenced by the system and the lukewarm people around us – a place where no matter what anyone else says or thinks – we are going to praise our God! This is the kind of praise that David – the man after God’s own heart understood – and although it doesn’t speak of shouting it does speak of the same heart attitude:

 2 Samuel 6:16, 20-23 ‘But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him. [NLT]

  20 When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!” [NLT]

 21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!23 So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life. [NLT]

David unashamedly leaped and danced as the Ark of God – which is symbolic of God’s presence – came into Jerusalem – in verse 21 David gives the reason for this extravagant expression of praise – he is thankful that God had chosen Him to be the leader of the people – he said that this caused him to celebrate with all his might. I love what he says in verse 22 – he says that He is willing to look even more foolish than he already did – he could not hold back the joy that God had placed in his heart!

You need to realise this morning that just like David you also have been called and set apart – look at what 1 Peter 1:9-10 says:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. [NIV]

That is why just like David our heart should also be filled with joy and overflowing praise – Jesus has through the Holy Spirit called us out of the darkness and into His glorious light and washed through His precious blood and has declared us pure and righteous in the sight of God the Father – and has called us His own – he has set us apart for His own purposes – called us His children – and the thing is that way don’t deserve even a crumb from His table – yet He did it all for us! Wow that is why the verse says – that we should declare His praises – nothing should stop us – it shouldn’t be dependant on the songs we sing or the people around us – the fact that Jesus has done all of this should result in overflowing unceasing praise!

The thing is David’s extravagant praise offended his wife – she rebuked him and said that it is not the way that kings should behave! You see when you start to express your praise – when you realise the awesomeness of God and that overflows into crazy, extravagant praise – the religious folk around you are going to take offence – this is not how you should behave in the house of God they say!

The question is are you willing to say as David – I am willing to lay aside my image – I don’t really care what you say to me – I don’t care if you going to avoid me at the tea table afterwards – I don’t care if I will land on your prayer list asking God that you would calm me down – you see I am willing to be shamed for God – the joy that God has placed in me just spills over I just can’t keep quiet anymore – I just gotta shout and declare the awesomeness of my God!   

Worship the Lord with gladness.
      Come before him, singing with joy. [NLT]

The next verse say that our worship should be rooted in gladness – out of the sense of joy because of what God has done for us. Sadly more many people the time of worship has become the thing that comes before the message – it has become religious – singing words off a screen with no heart behind the words! The worship is merely going through the motions. Jesus spoke about this worship in Mark 7:6-7:

These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God [NLT]

In the verses around verse 6 and 7 Jesus explained why their expressions of worship were a farce, he said:

In verse 2 it was ritualistic, in verse 3 is was something that they did that was simply based on ancient traditions, in verse 4 he said they simply clung to these traditions (in other words they went through the motions), in verse 5 and verse 13 it was ‘theirs’ not God’s age old traditions.

You see that simply did things because their forefathers had done it – because it was the way that they had always done it – they looked like they were genuinely worshipping but their hearts were far from God. The sought the praise of men as apposed the praise of God!

So what about your worship – are you simply going through the motions – worshipping with your lips but your heart is far from God? Or this morning is your worship an expression of thanksgiving for what God has done in your heart? You see it doesn’t really matter whether you lift your hands or not – whether you stand or sit during worship – what matters is your motive. True worship flows out of knowing God and being known by Him – it is worship that is wasteful – that doesn’t make sense to those who don’t know God – it is like the women who’s life had been transformed by Jesus and in Matthew 26 she pours out a jar of expensive perfume over the head of Jesus – it is worship that costs you something – but again worship where the costs seems insignificant in relation to what has already been done for you. It is worship that seeks to pour out all of our lives and give Jesus all the glory. This worship flows from the joy and thankfulness of being loved and known by God!

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
      He made us, and we are his.
      We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. [NLT]

Part of praise and worship in the acknowledgment that the God that we serve alone is God. This goes right against the grain of modern day culture that says that all roads lead to God – that you can worship God however you want – and that all religions in principle worshipping God.

Deuteronomy 4:39 says

So remember this and keep it firmly in your mind: The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other [NLT] 

As Christian this is the most basic foundational belief that you should have – that Yahweh – the God that we serve is God alone. Look at what Jesus says in John 14:6-7

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” [NLT] 

No comes to God but through Jesus – in other words if someone claim to be coming and worshipping God through any other channel than Jesus – they are not worshipping the God that we serve! You can’t approach a holy God but through the shed blood of Jesus!

Many churches and believers have sought to accommodate other religions all in the name of tolerance – but one of the things that the enemy fears is the day that the church stands up in and age of religious tolerance and compromise – and boldly declares with faith and certainty that our God alone is God!

The verse also says that God made us and we are the sheep of His pasture! You want another reason to praise and worship God – well it’s the great love that He has for us. What does it mean that we are the sheep of His pasture?

Psalm 23 gives us this answer:

1. Psalm 23:1 He supplies all our needs with no lack or want – note not greed’s but needs

2. Psalm 23:2 He gives us peace and rest – not as world gives but that deep down peace that the world just doesn’t understand

3. Psalm 23:3 He guides us on right paths – in ways that glorify His name

4. Psalm 23:4 He will never leave us even when we go through trials and the valleys of life

5. Psalm 23:4 He protects us and disciplines us in love

6. Psalm 23:5 He allows us to feast at His table

And John 10:11-15 – We are told that The Good Shepherd that we serve would even lay down His life for us – which He did for us 2000 years ago on a lonely hill outside Jerusalem!

The God that we serve is the true and living God – there is no other – He loves us so much – and He deserves all the praise and worship that we have – even if every word that came out of our mouth were praise – it would never be enough to pay back the great debt that we owe!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
      go into his courts with praise.
      Give thanks to him and praise his name. [NLT]

Enter His gates with thanksgiving. I am not going to elaborate too much on this point – as Graeme preached on thanksgiving a few weeks ago. But the thing that we need to realise is that thanksgiving is a choice that we need to make. It is the choice to look for the goodness of God in life and look to tank Him for it. It is sad that so many Christians arrive at church on Sunday and walk through the door looking like they have just eaten a box of lemons! You see although thanksgiving is a choice – it’s also a command!         1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 gives us a key to God’s will in our lives – you want to walk in God’s will – then listen up:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. [NLT]

What is God’s will? That you be thankful in all circumstances, you can’t choose your circumstances but you can choose your attitude – and as Christians our attitude should always be an attitude of thanksgiving! Why not take a moment right now for 30 seconds or so to think of one thing that has happened this week that you can be thankful for…

I really believe that one of the keys to experiencing the reality and the presence of God in church on Sunday – is the attitude that you walk through the door with! 

For the Lord is good.
      His unfailing love continues forever,
      and his faithfulness continues to each generation. [NLT]

Psalm 100 finishes with the final declaration as to why God deserves our praise – we serve a good God who loves us!

The thing is as evil and wicked as the world around us seems to be – the truth is even as morals change and standards drop – we serve a God who is the same yesterday today and tomorrow – He is a good God – He is a God never changes!

He showed this 2000 years ago – a world had rejected and turned their backs on Him – they had lost the fear of God – yet in spite of all of this the goodness and love of God prevailed – while we were yet sinners Christ died for us – in spite of the wickedness and lovelessness of mankind and a world darkened with sin and rebellion – God came to town – clothed in the skin of mortal man – He walked a sinless walk – showing a higher way – the way of love – the acceptance of God for sinful man – and at the end of His life – He died the most atrocious and violent death – so that mankind separated could become a people accepted by God – so that mankind wicked could become new creations living for the glory of His name.

God is good – and his goodness triumphed over evil – that is why we sit here this morning – that is why we can serve and worship God – because of His goodness and His kindness – it has nothing to do with us – that is why at the end of this Psalm we can declare with David – YOU deserve all the praise!

One Response to “Psalm 100 – Crazy Praise”

  1. Hey Adam,

    When we read the very popular “No one comes to God but through me” we really need to challenge ourselves to strip off some later theology and assumptions. Jesus does not necessarily mean what we call “Christianity” or even his own blood and death in this text. At a bare minimum it means everyone will be judged by Christ. Like “no one comes to Germany except through the border police”.

    It is from Paul that we learn more about this and that through “the blood” all are reconciled to Christ. This is clear from:
    Rom 5:18 “…the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.”
    Col 1.20 “through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood”

    I know it’s not popular in Christian circles but God’s purpose is to rescue everything in creation (Rom 8:22) and “to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Eph 1:10). God loves the whole world (John 3:16) desires everyone’s salvation (1 Tim 2:4-6) and works all things according to his will (Eph 1:11). For this Jesus died, for all people’s sins (1 John 2:2), to accomplish God’s will. It is later theology (Luther) which said these benefits or merits are only received by believers.

    The reason this universal aspect is unpopular in Churches is not because it’s unbiblical (it’s not), nor because it denies punishment for sin (it doesn’t) but because it’s not traditional and it forces the question: Why am I a Christian?

    Peace

    Marc


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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: