I love to read through Psalms. Because I am a worship leader, I have acquainted myself deeply with these beautiful songs but as a believer, I have found so much comfort in the reading of these words.
1 Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. 2 Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. 3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. 5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. 6 He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations. 7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. 8 They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness. 9 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
At cursory glance of Psalm 111, we see a lot “worship words” that we probably sing every Sunday.
- We tell God He is great and glorious.
- We sing of the holiness and awesomeness of God.
- We praise Him because His deeds are majestic.
If we’re not careful though, these words will become so familiar that we will miss some of their meaning.
In a conversation with a friend who in his own words, “doesn’t do the church thing”, he asked me about worship. He said something to the effect of this.
“So you guys just sing songs to God and tell Him who he is? I smiled and said, “I guess you could say it like that.” He replied, “Is God really that forgetful that you have to tell Him who he is all the time?” That made me laugh out loud but I responded by telling Him this. “God is not forgetful, but sometimes we are. We read and sing these beautiful truths to remind US of who God is.”
Let’s examine a few of these words a little more closely.
We praise The Lord because he is holy!
Revelation 4 tells us that God is so holy that when in His presence, no one can stand up. Everyone falls down and begins to sing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.” The Lord is holy!
We praise the Lord because He is great!
Job 38 reminds us that God laid the foundations of the earth. He tells the waves of the sea how far they can go and he tells the sun when to come up. I don’t know about you but none of those things were on my list of things to do this morning. This reminds me God is God and I am not.
We praise the Lord because He is awesome!
Duet 7 tells us that God will keep His covenant with His people. It goes on to say that he loves His people and He wants to bless his children. He led the children of Israel out of slavery and he would eventually send His Son as a way to get us out of spiritual slavery. He is indeed awesome.
What is often a struggle for me to remember is that the God I pray to, sing to and talk to, is the same God who has done all of these mighty things listed above. We have access to the God of the universe and the maker of the heavens.
When we read these words from Psalm 111 I hope we do not just see normal “worship words”, but rather use them to help us see the God they represent. I’ve often said I wish the English language could provide us with words that could accurately describe what we want to say and sing to God. But as I’m finding out, it’s really not the languages fault. It simply my lack of understanding of the beautiful words used to describe our Lord.
He is great, glorious, majestic, holy, awesome and He is worthy of our praise.