With Christmas fast approaching, take a moment to enjoy the new material on the Sophia site this month:
Sometimes we don’t want to worship God. We explain it in many ways with
an ‘off’ day or a bad mood, or maybe something more serious in our
daily circumstances that takes over our thoughts or makes us angry or
resistant towards God. Whatever the reason, there are times when
worship is hard going.
In times like these, the first few lines of Psalm 33 can be hard to read, let alone obey! ‘Sing joyfully to the LORD…praise the LORD…make music…shout for joy’. Verses 1-3 are a description of worship, urging us to bring a ‘new song’ or fresh expression of worship to the Lord, so that we press on in discovering more of God and how to worship him. This outburst of joyful praise may not be ‘where we’re at’ but as this little gem of a psalm unfolds, it brings a sense of perspective and context to our worship that lifts our eyes from ourselves to our amazing God.
Starting with verses 4-5, the Psalmist talks first of God’s character: the reliable truth we read in his Word, the faithfulness of his actions, and his love of justice and his creation. He sets the foundation of our worship: God’s worth.
Open your eyes in verses 6-11 as the Psalmist takes us on a tour of the earth, the heavens, the stars and the great seas. Have you ever looked up at the sky on a clear, dark night and marvelled at the stars? Or stood on the beach and looked far out to sea, as far as you can see? If you have, how did it make you feel? Small?! Looking at the vastness and power (think of the strength of the waves crashing on the beach) of creation ultimately points us to our even more awesome Creator God. Verse 8 and 9 says, ‘let all the people of the world revere him. For [because] he spoke, and it came to be.’ We worship him because he created everything. The Psalmist reminds us in verse 10 that God’s awesome power to create can also destroy nations, ruining their plans if he chooses to.