This was my devotional Psalm tonight:
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘they are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath, in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'”
Sometimes the Psalms perplex me. Tonight, I dialed up YouTube to a couple of my newer favorite worship Songs – The Desert Song
– to sing to as I finished up the dishes. I went from those songs and I rolled right into this Psalm.
And, I felt like, yeah – sometimes it’s just time to bow down in worship and kneel before the LORD. Sometimes it’s just time to sing and dance and make music in thanksgiving.
But, the Psalm ends with this wierd. I dunno. Threat? Kindof downer verse. God getting so mad at the Isrealites who were delivered from Egypt that He swore an oath they would not see the promised land. It seemed weird.
But then, it struck me, the pivotal warning there in verse 7-8 “Today , if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts …” Part of the reason we worship is to help us truly see God for who He is: the Creator, Ruler, Owner of the universe. Our response to all this should be awe and reverence and joy. We should be moved to move, in our own ways, to give credit and worship where it’s due: unto Him.
And one of the purposes of this movement – singing, shouting, dancing to the LORD – this worship that flows from realizing just Who God is, should help build and bolster my faith. So that, when I hear His voice and He’s asking something difficult, I will not harden my heart. So that I will take the steps I need when He speaks. Because, if I do harden my heart and continue to do so, He will have to declare things on oath in my life that will not be pleasant – I will leave him no choice.
My faith is not great. There are so many things in my everyday life and actions that I’m sure show how paltry and American my faith in God is. This Psalm has really encouraged me to (after my semi-charismatic youth) engage more in acts of worship, to attune my heart to the actions He might be setting before me. I’m still too scared to ask the Lord to speak, for fear of what He might ask – just keepin’ it real.
Lord, give me grace.
So – how ’bout you? What season of worship are you in, in your life right now? Have you been able to step out in faith when the Lord speaks, or have you had a harder time acting on His prompting?