Volume 10, No. 4 (April 2015)
“I want to stress what I think that we (or at least I) need more [than instruction they about sacrifice]; the joy and delight in God which meet us in the Psalms. . . . These poets knew far less reason than we for loving God. They did not know that He offered them eternal joy; still less that He would die to win it for them. Yet they express a longing for Him, for His mere presence, which comes only to the best Christians or to Christians in their best moments. They long to live all their days in the Temple so that they may constantly see ‘the fair beauty of the Lord’ (Psalm 27:4). Their longing to go up to Jerusalem and ‘appear before the presence of God’ is like a physical thirst (42:1-2). From Jerusalem His presence flashes out ‘in perfect beauty’ (50:2). Lacking that encounter with Him, their souls are parched like a waterless countryside (63:1). They crave to be ‘satisfied with the pleasures’ of His house (65:4). Only there can they be at ease, like a bird in the nest (84:3; 84:1-2). One day of those ‘pleasures’ is better than a lifetime spent elsewhere 84:10, 11, 12). I have rather—though the expression may seem harsh to some—call this the ‘appetite for God’ than the ‘love of God. . . .’ It has all the cheerful spontaneity of a natural, even a physical, desire. (C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, pp. 50-51)
Along with David (who wrote about half the Psalms), these songsmiths knew how to worship God. In pleasant and in hard times, they knew that they needed was God.
WORSHIP IS . . .
(Psalm 121) . . . a supreme confidence in our supreme Protector.
(Psalm 122) . . . gathered thanksgiving offered to the Lord.
(Psalm 123) . . . a humble bowing before the Lord of mercy.
(Psalm 124) . . . a grateful dependence on the Lord of creation.
(Psalm 125) . . . a restful trust in the Lord’s protection.
(Psalm 126) . . . a joyful proclamation of the Lord’s blessings.
(Psalm 127) . . . submitting our security and our family wellbeing to the Lord.
(Psalm 128) . . . fearing the Lord as the pathway to blessing.
(Psalm 129) . . . trusting the Lord for vindication in the time of trouble.
(Psalm 130) . . . looking away from our sin and towards our faithful Redeemer.
(Psalm 131) . . . a quiet confidence and hope in the Lord.
(Psalm 132) . . . a devotion centered on the Lord’s honor.
(Psalm 133) . . . a defining and unifying activity for the people of God.
(Psalm 134) . . . blessing God in response to Him blessing us.
(Psalm 135) . . . rejoicing in the faithful God of creation and history.
(Psalm 136) . . . thanking the Lord for His everlasting faithfulness and love.
(Psalm 137) . . . longing to be walking with God.
(Psalm 138) . . . an enduring confidence in God’s Person, Word and ways.
(Psalm 139) . . . a humble and marveling response to the One who knows me intimately.
(Psalm 140) . . . entrusting my embattled soul to the One who alone can rescue me.
(Psalm 141) . . . the offering of spiritual sacrifices to God (1-2)
(Psalm 142) . . . taking confident refuge in the Lord.
(Psalm 143) . . . drawing future hope out of past blessing.
(Psalm 144) . . . blessing the Lord for all His protections and providences.
(Psalm 145) . . . declaring God’s greatness and goodness forever.
(Psalm 146) . . . praising the Lord our King, in whom is our hope and help.
(Psalm 147) . . . a fitting response to the God who preserves, rescues and strengthens us.
(Psalm 148) . . . the appropriate response of all creation and all people to the God who made them all.
(Psalm 149) . . . the enthusiastic public and private exulting in the God of salvation.
(Psalm 150) . . . heaping on God praise, with all of our resources, for His mighty acts and His excellent greatness.