“Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the Earth.” -Psalm 96:9
In college, I volunteered as an usher at the old RCA football stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Go Colts! When the Colts would score a touchdown, the sound from the crowd was absolutely deafening. If the stadium wasn’t enclosed, I bet the roar could be heard for miles. Also, I thought it was incredible to see how devoted football fans were to this sport. They would wear their favorite player’s jersey, dye their hair crazy colors, fight with opposing fans, and chant endlessly to boost team morale.
Imagine how much louder heaven will be when believers enter the Lord’s “stadium” with praise and thanksgiving? The center of focus won’t be on a temporary game played with a ball made out of cowhide. The worship experience will not be a momentary thrill like a catch in the end-zone to win a game against mere mortals. Rather, this worship experience will be an endless shout from many believers to an Eternal King who created the entire cosmos by the word of His mouth. This worship will not be a fleeting pleasure, but an eternal satisfaction that will only grow with the unveiling revelation of the Lord’s goodness and infinite love.
There are many sports or hobbies that we enjoy in life. There is nothing wrong with this type of entertainment as long as it stays in the realm of hobby and not in the realm of “worship”. What is worship? Worship is derived from the Old English word woerthship. It means to give worth or value to an object or person. In Psalm 96:9, King David is praising God as he brings the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem. It is clear the Israelites are giving their devotion and allegiance to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For this God is the only one who is worthy of worship since He is the Creator of all things.
This passage also conveys God’s infinite power and holiness. Consequently, our reaction in worship should be one of awe and reverential fear. The Hebrew word חִ֥ילוּ (hiylu) means “tremble” and only occurs elsewhere in 1 Chronicles 16:30. The author is indicating to the reader that God is uniquely distinct from his creation. Because of his distinctness and holiness, the proper response should be humility. For instance, have you ever felt intimidated when you have a meeting with your supervisor? Think about the intimidation factor when you stand before the King of Kings, the Holy One who reigns superior over all? Ironically, while it is natural to fear God because of His power and holiness, He is also the one who comforts us when we are scared. And while it is proper to tremble before His majesty, it’s also proper to soak in the presence of His all-consuming love and compassion. Are you looking forward to that day? I know I am!
Steps for Spiritual Growth
1. Write down three reasons why you should worship God.
2. Look up the term holiness and express it in your own words.
3. Tell a family member or a friend that God loves them.
Dear Heavenly Father, you are the only being in the universe who is worthy of worship. For you spoke the universe into existence by your power and brilliance. As your creation, we tremble before your majesty. While we tremble, we thank you for your abundant mercy. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus Christ to die on our behalf. Thank you for pardoning all our sins. May we continue serving you on the Earth as your ambassadors. Holy Spirit, guide us into your truth. Give us wisdom and strength to share the good news throughout the world that God saves sinners. Amen.