|All the Right Elements, but…|
The Story: God had appointed for Israel certain forms and elements to use in approaching Him in worship. These included prayer, sacrifices, washings, singing, hearing the Word of God read and proclaimed, and so forth. These external elements and forms were not given because God requires them. He needs nothing from us whatsoever (Acts 17:25). Each element of worship is intended for worshippers, to allow them to express their relationship and commitment to God in ways appropriate to who they are and Who He is. It appears that the people of Israel in Asaph’s day were doing quite well with the external forms of worship; God had not come to rebuke them because of these. But He had, indeed, come to rebuke them (vv. 7, 8). Their worship was comprised of all the right outward elements, but still God had issues with His people.
The Structure: In churches today, how do we determine which forms and elements to incorporate into our gatherings for worship? What criteria guide our decisions about songs, worship style, order of activities, and which activities to include? Are we primarily interested in doing things that will please the people who assemble for worship? Does God still have expectations of us as He did of His people in Asaph’s day? Forms of worship He intends us to keep? If we have not addressed these questions in the worship we offer the Lord, perhaps it’s time we do. The real issue in worship is not “Am I getting anything out of this?” but “Is what I’m offering in worship all that God requires, and is it pleasing to Him?” For many churches, careful consideration of such questions as these will reveal just how much the spirit of our man-centered age has affected the way we approach worshiping God – and much else besides.
Who prepares the worship service in your church? What criteria guide the thinking and planning of worship leaders? Why not contact one of them and see what you can find out?
Learn to pray the psalms. Order a copy of Eugene Peterson’s, Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer, from our online store.
The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.