Prepare to Listen. Light all 4 colored candles. Let this prayer prepare you to listen: Save us, O God of our salvation, that we may give thanks to your holy name.
Prayerfully Read 1 Chronicles 16:28-36
28Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
29Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come before him.
Worship the LORD in holy splendour;
30tremble before him, all the earth.
The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
31Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, ‘The LORD is king!’
32Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it.
33Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
34O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures for ever.
‘Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and rescue us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
and glory in your praise.
36Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.’
Then all the people said ‘Amen!’ and praised the LORD.
As a child I often attended a church that had a large sign across the front of the sanctuary that read: Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. I read it often and those words shaped my concept of worship. They taught me that worship wasn’t to be taken lightly, or used to make me feel good. Worship is a holy act because we worship a holy God, one before whom we should tremble, not in fear but in love-struck awe. Holy worship begins with the recognition of whom we worship—the King of all the earth who “comes to judge the earth.”
We worship God for many reasons, including God comes as Judge. I grew up with a very negative image of God as Judge and so never praised him for that. God, I presumed, would judge me for my sins, and if I didn’t ‘ask Jesus into my heart’ I’d be punished and sent to hell when I died. God the Judge was to be feared, avoided, placated, but not worshipped and praised. I didn’t know that Jesus’ coming into the world was to execute judgment, one that would right all wrongs, restore righteousness and justice, bring all people under the love and Rule of God. And this is worthy of praise and worship.
We worship God in the beauty of holiness for many things, including because God comes to judge the earth.
What caught your attention or challenged you in this psalm of praise? Ponder that today.
Respond in Prayer
Lord, keep reminding me of your awesome greatness so that my worship is offered in the beauty of holiness. Amen.
Live Obediently. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Reading my Bible has been central in my life since I received my first Bible at 8 years of age. My decades of reading, studying and teaching the Bible gives my devotions a unique and enriching perspective. Reflecting on Jesus' family tree enriched my understanding of Jesus and the salvation he offers.