1 Chronicles 16:8–35
People worship. They do! Just look at the way we naturally worship celebrities such as actors, musicians, and athletes in our culture.
Psychologists have looked into the connection between faith and celebrity worship. They found that “as faith practices increase, the tendency to ‘worship’ celebrities decreases.”
Worshipping God and worshipping celebrities are mutually exclusive—they are different “faiths.” But, they found some people who did both, they thought they could worship God and worship the celebrities of our pop culture. They concluded, “Many people of faith apparently ignore the teaching that ‘Thou shalt worship no other gods,’ or fail to connect it to their ‘worship’ of celebrities.”
We are wired for worship! There’s something in us that is made to worship something greater than ourselves. But what is worship? Is it singing? Is it a worship service? Is it rituals? Listen to 1 Chronicles 16:8-35.
What is Worship? (28-30)
O nations of the world, recognize the Lord,
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
29 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his presence.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
30 Let all the earth tremble before him.
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
Let’s start by defining what worship is in verses 28 through to the end. We think worship is a certain feeling, like a quiver in your liver. Worship is doing certain things on the outside. But it’s not, let me give you The Connection Church, well the Biblical definition of worship:
“Worship is our response to all that God is and all God had done with all that we are!”Cole Phillips
Worship comes from the word “worth-ship.” It’s not just what’s happening outside of us externally. But what is really going on in our hearts and minds? In other words, you can sit through a worship service and even feel good, but it’s not worship until you have recognized how great God is, and how much you need God in your life.
Ways to Worship (8-12)
Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
9 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
10 Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
11 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
12 Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
How do we worship? Well, in these verses, we see lots of ways we worship God. We give thanks to God, thankfulness for all that God has done in our lives. We pray, which is both talking with God and listening to God. We tell our story of His glory. We sing to God and about God, and we talk about what God has done, We trust in Him, we remember what Jesus did on the cross, we give financially, we hear and learn God’s word and then ultimately, we put it into practice. It’s not just what happens in a one-hour service once a week on Sunday. Worship is a lifestyle. It’s 24-7-365, every moment of every day living in the awareness of God’s presence and doing what He wants us to do with our lives!
Who do we Worship? (14–22)
He is the Lord our God.
His justice is seen throughout the land.
15 Remember his covenant forever—
the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
16 This is the covenant he made with Abraham
and the oath he swore to Isaac.
17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
18 “I will give you the land of Canaan
as your special possession.”
19 He said this when you were few in number,
a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.
20 They wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
21 Yet he did not let anyone oppress them.
He warned kings on their behalf:
22 “Do not touch my chosen people,
and do not hurt my prophets.”
This passage says: that the God that we worship is alive, that God is powerful (creation), that God is personal, and that He is not remote, not far away, but He is actively involved in the details of the world and your life!
He is working out His judgments in the earth, He always keeps his promises, He is faithful, and He is protecting His people. That’s you and me! Right now, God is working things out for your good and for His glory!
The Weight of Worship (23–27)
Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
25 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
26 The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens!
27 Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling.
When worship goes up, it’s like the weight of his Glory comes down. Worship is something that happens internally, inwardly, but we express it on the outside. We express it by singing. Some of you are like, well, I love our band, but I don’t sing. You can sing in here. No one will be able to hear you! God is not looking at you like Simon Cowell, “Absolutely horrible,” No! He gave you a voice and the best use of your voice is in praise to God and to tell other people about Jesus. We worship with our life. Every time you do something God wants you to do, that’s worship. Every time you refuse temptation, that’s worship.
Worship should happen when we get together. But what happens when we get together is really a celebration of what God is doing out there. When the lost are being found in here, it’s because we’ve gone out there to reach them. If you’re not worshipping out there, then your worship in here is just an empty show, going through the motions. Worship is a total lifestyle that points to God and points the people around you to God!
In some ways, even with the modern worship movement, we are in danger of missing true worship.
If worship is anything, then worship should change everything.Cole Phillips
Worship changes how we live. It changes our attitudes and elevates our thoughts. It lives it out in the details, in the weeds, even when it hurts. Even when it’s hard.