An exposition of Psalm 150:1-6. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, October 17, 2010.
It is Sunday morning and so we are gathered for worship. We’ve had some Scripture. We’ve welcomed one another. We’ve prayed, we’ve sung, we’ve listened to the choir, we’ve given an offering and now it is time for the sermon. But have we worshiped? We’ve followed ritual. We’ve done what we normally do, but is that all there is to worship? Is that all that must happen for worship to take place? What about the release of emotion? Surely you haven’t worshiped if your heart has not been stirred. Surely it is not worship if your spirit is not moved. Then again does an emotional buzz constitute worship? Can you worship without engaging the mind? Is it possible to worship without a conscious decision of the will? Must there be a sermon? What about music? What kind of music? Instruments or no instruments? Only certain instruments?
“Worship Wars” are not a new phenomenon. Christians for ages have “cussed” and discussed these issues. What is worship? Can we define it? Worship is the response of all that I am to all that God is, says, and does. At times that worship is quiet and reflective. Sometimes it is loud and jubilant. At times our worship is sorrowful, solemn, heart-rending and puzzling. Then there are those times of joyous celebration.
This is why we must be careful in seeking to control worship. Now, I’m not advocating a “free for all.” But I am suggesting that worship must not be dictated according to personal tastes. There is a time to “be still and know that God is God.” But there are also those times to “cut loose” and worship.
Consider 2 Samuel 6:14-15 – “And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. 14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might…” – David must have been a Pentecostal?
Or Nehemiah 12:43 “And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.” – they must have been “shout’n Baptist.”
C.S. Lewis described the worship of Israel in terms of their “appetite” for God.
Appetite refers to an “inherent craving.”
Israel’s worship was far from sedate.
Our text this morning sounds the final note in the Psalter and is an appropriate climax.
Text: Psalm 150:1-6
By anyone’s standard Psalm 150 describes a loud worship service.
And one that some of us would not like.
Thus the danger in allowing personal preference to govern.
James Boice in his commentary on this Psalm tells the story of his daughter’s coming to him and asking, “Dad, do you think my music is loud and repetitive?” Knowing that she was setting him up based on something he had said, he looked for a way out. Finding none, he reluctantly responded, “Yes, I find it loud and repetitive.” To which she replied, “Maybe you can explain to me the Hallelujah Chorus?”
It’s always frustrating when you shoot yourself in the foot! We are certainly not going to put an end to the controversies surrounding music and its use in worship. Controversies that have reigned throughout the history of the church but I think we can see a profound truth in our text.
Thesis: The worship of God cannot be contained within the narrow confines of sedate religion.
I want to point out 4 truths as we work our way through this brief psalm.
- The worship of God summons both heaven and earth. (150:1)
- The worship of God centers on His person and work. (150:2)
- The worship of God exhausts all available resources. (150:3-5)
- The worship of God demands your participation. (150:6)
The worship of God:
- Summons heaven and earth
- Centers on God’s person and work
- Exhausts the available resources
- Demands your participation