The Book of Psalms is 150 mostly shorter poems that instruct and inspire God’s people in authentic worship. This ancient book of praise reveals a rich and complex variety of attitudes and actions when God’s people encounter God’s Presence.
So extensive and varied is the picture of worship in the Psalms that one lifetime could not possibly be sufficient to fully explore and experience all the subtle nuances of praising God. Approaching the Presence of God is an ever-unfolding experience that pulls worshipers upward to greater heights of rejoicing and onward to deeper places of faith.
An important part of worship is remembering God’s mighty works. God’s people remember that he spoke the universe into existence and so his beauty and power are reflected in nature. God sustains and supervises the entire cosmos, from electrons and protons to spiral galaxies and black holes; from sun, soil, and water for a blade of grass to security, love, and purpose for each of his people.
God’s people also remember God’s great works in salvation when they worship. The psalmists recall and celebrate God’s deliverance of Israel from cruel bondage in Egypt. Inspired by God’s Spirit, they also heard the voice of prophecy in their worship, looking forward to the day when Christ would fulfill the promise, being the one and only Savior sent from God.
Not only is the vast array of God’s attributes and acts on display in the Psalms, but the encounters between God and his people include the full range of human emotion. Worshipers at times approach the Lord from the depths of despair. They come asking God for his protection, for his forgiveness, for his answers to difficult questions, and much more.
At other times worshipers approach the Lord with a melody in their hearts and a song on their lips, praising the Maker of heaven and earth for his majesty, wisdom, justice, power, love, mercy, or one of God’s other marvelous characteristics. In short, real worship calls God’s people to come with honest hearts.
So if you are feeling down and out on the next Lord’s Day, or if you have a heart full of happiness, make it a point to gather with God’s people for another meeting with God’s Presence. A lifetime of enriching encounters awaits us in worship.
May God’s Spirit always fill us when we gather in his holy Name,