Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 
Power
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35)


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July 19, 2010

Reading scripture plops us down into a world of faith, of trust, and a miracle-working God. Can some of that faith rub off on us? Hope so.


In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. Psalm 22:4-5

When David was a boy, the testing of Abraham's faith on Mount Moriah was probably a bedtime staple. You can almost hear him asking his mom to tell of the people of God "trapped" at the Red Sea, with Pharaoh on one side, and a body of water on the other. We know how that story turned out.

Or take Abraham. Surely David loved hearing that story. After years of waiting, Abraham had his son as promised, only to be told that he must offer up his boy as a sacrifice! What did Abraham do?

He believed.

Hebrews 11 tells us that as he raised the knife to slay his son, the thought was going through his mind, "This seems crazy (or words to that effect) but God can raise the dead, so..."

Embedded in these two verses above from Psalm 22 is a truth that resounds in every generation - simply that when up against difficulties, our part is to trust, and God's part is to deliver.

Remember Eutychus, with early church believers gathered in a third story room, listening to Paul talking "on and on?" Getting drowsy as midnight came and went,  Eutychus apparently sat on a window sill to keep from falling dozing off. It didn't work, and tragically he fell to his death three stories below!

Paul, no doubt feeling somewhat responsible, went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him (remember Elisha and the dead Shunammite's son? 2 Kings 4:34?). "Don't be alarmed," Paul shouted to the worried faces peering down from above, "he's alive!" Acts 20:7-12

Acting like nothing out of the ordinary had happened, Paul climbed back up the three flights, suggested that they all have some more food, and then with a "now where was I?" he resumed his discourse until daylight, and then left.

Jesus wondered, if when he returns, faith would be in short supply. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!!

 






Choiring The Proper Praise

February 18, 2009

Who has not been wowed by the majesty of a mountain, or a hummingbird flapping his wings two feet away? There is no end to earthly delights, in all shapes and sizes. And they all point us to our Creator, and praise, whether we like it or not.


Since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20

Dr. Tim Keller says that "behind everything there is an ultimate mystery, there's an inpentatrable divine realm, behind all of nature there's super-nature, behind the temporal there is the eternal."

Anne Dillard, in her book PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK, in page after page struggles beautifully to describe what she has witnessed in observing our world. She stops short of ascribing her observations to a creating, all-powerful God, but she comes oh, so close.

One day, as she stood on the shore of the Florida coast, some sharks decided to show off.

"There is a way a wave rises above the ocean horizon, a triangular wedge against the sky.

If you stand where the ocean breaks on a shallow beach, you see the raised water in a wave is translucent, shot with lights. One late afternoon at low tide a hundred big sharks passed the beach near the mouth of a tidal river in a feeding frenzy.

As each green wave rose from the churning water, it illuminated within itself the six-or-eight-foot-long bodies of twisting sharks. The sharks disappeared as each wave rolled toward me; then a new wave would swell above the horizon, containing in it, like scorpions in amber, sharks that roiled and heaved. The sight held awesome wonders: power and beauty, grace tangled in a rapture with violence.

We don't know what's going on here. If these tremendous events are random combinations of matter run amok, the yield of  millions of monkeys at millions of typewriters, then what is it in us, hammered out of those same typewriters, that they ignite?

We don't know. Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle, curved tunnels of a leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what's going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.


Speaking of choiring proper praise, here is how the Psalmist articulated his wonder at a crashing wave.

The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea - the Lord on high is mighty. Psalm 93:3-4







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