Psalm 95:1

Within these verses, the psalmist tells us how we should praise the Lord as well as why we should praise Him. He gives us some careful instructions to keep in mind as we gather for corporate worship. We are to come before Him with singing. Joyful shouts of praise must be on our lips. Our praise must be enthusiastic and totally focused on the Lord. We praise Him because He is exalted! As the psalmist invites us to worship, notice that songs give way to silence. We are to sing and shout, but it leads to worship and bowing down and listening to God’s voice.

Praise means looking up, but worship means bowing down. It is sad that some people who enjoy lifting their hands and shouting do not enjoy bowing their knees and submitting. True worship goes much deeper than verbal praise, for worship involves realizing the awesome majesty of God and experiencing the fear of the Lord and a deeper love for Him. It is very important that we praise the Lord through singing and expressing our emotion, but it must always lead to spiritual enrichment in His presence. The psalmist says that there comes a point when our singing must give way to silence as we bow in surrender before Him. Jubilation has its place only if it becomes adoration and we submit ourselves to Him.

When it comes to praise and worship, we don’t need to be the ones who do all the talking. God must speak from His Word, and our hearts and lives must be opened up to Him. The Word of God is the most important part of worship. It is vital that we keep this central, especially in an age when inventing new worship forms is a common practice and novelty is replacing theology. Hearing and heeding God’s Word must be central if our worship is to be truly Christian. Worship must always be Scripture-fed and Spirit-led. It isn’t enough for God to hear my voice–I must hear His voice as the Word is read, preached, and taught. The way we treat the Word of God is the way we treat the God of the Word.

For more, read Psalm 95:1-11; Psalm 100:1-5