What is Worship? – Psalm 18 (Weekly Word)

I preach 3-4 times per year at my church and have just been speaking with my pastor about the next sermon series I will be a part of.  The topic it is looking like I am going to be speaking on is worship.  With this topic, I am beginning to think about what I might say.

How do you describe worship? What is worship?

This was on my mind when I read Psalm 18 (go ahead and read it).  Psalm 18 begins with a heading, telling us David composed it after God rescued him from Saul.  This Psalm is full of praise and worship.  One thing we can note here, and throughout the Bible, is that God is praised for both Character and Action.

Character – Worshiping God for who he is – Rock, Strength, Creator.

Action – Worship God for what he has done – saved, rescued.

Its a long Psalm (maybe the longest we’ve read so far) and is just overflowing with worship.  The worship is a long narrative about what God has done, which flows out of who God is.  There is so much that comes into my mind as I read this Psalm.  One question that comes to mind, which I know I ask often, is Who/What is God?  Here we read that smoke comes from God’s nostrils and fire from his mouth (v. 8).  But does God really have a mouth and a nose?

We can’t help but bring images to mind when we think of God.  Humans are visual creatures and we picture things.  Let’s not forget then that Psalms is poetry and poetry is filled with imagery.  The point being made in these pictures of God is not to tell us about what God literally looks like as if we can now determine that God has a nose and mouth.  The poetry is meant to point away from the pictures to something difficult to describe in words:

God is powerful.  God is big. God is infinite.

Such a God that we cannot put into words is the God worthy of worship.

So again, who is God and what is worship?  What do you think?

**I recently began sending the students in CSF a brief reflection on a Psalm each Friday.  My hope is that it will provide them with some motivation to read scripture.  I have enjoyed meditating on the Psalms, and I look forward to taking the next few years to get through them all!  I decided it might be worthwhile to post the weekly devos here, so if you happen to read this, I pray it is helpful.  Enjoy.

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