A Greater Worship
psalm 103 | Ian Thomas
January 6th, 2019
Here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships... And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never feel like you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already... The trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness… The insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they are evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see & how you measure value without ever being fully aware that’s what you’re doing. - David Foster Wallace
Main Idea: We are called to worship with our all because of who God is and what God has done.
I. What is Worship? (103:1-2)
This Psalm opens in a strange way for 2 reasons:
1. The Psalmist is talking to himself.
2. The Psalmist is asking us to “bless” the Lord instead of the other way around.
Worship is ascribing ultimate value to an object and engaging your mind, your heart, and your will- your whole being, as you do it. It is using your entire person to ascribe ultimate value to some object - Tim Keller
When we consider all who God is and all he has done, it is an invitation for all that I am to respond. Worship engages our entire being: our head, heart, and hands.
The first act of worship is to “forget not” (to remember). We are a people prone to forget and are in constant need to remember the Lord (cf. 2 Peter 1:3-9)
Application: Do we have this proactive posture toward worship? Do we recognize that worship is a battle?
II. Why Should We Worship God? (103:3-18)
The Psalmist gives three overarching categories here:
1. We remember the works of the Lord (103:3-5)
He forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, satisfies, and renews us. We find all of these benefits and works supremely in Jesus Christ.
2. We remember the character and nature of the Lord (103:6-13)
The Lord is a righteous and gracious Father toward his children.
David is remembering the scene at Mount Sinai after the Exodus from Egypt, where the Lord “made known his ways to Moses” (v. 7), but also where the Israelites sin in creating & worshipping a golden calf.
Despite our sin, the Lord in his steadfast love removes our transgressions as “far as the east is from the west,” separating them infinitely far from one another.
3. We remember who we are in light of who the Lord is (103:14-18)
Pride and an elevated view of the self will wage war against a proper worship of God.
We are merely dust, grass, and flowers when compared to God, which should produce the “fear of the Lord” within us.
Application: Habits, rhythms, and remembering.
Meditation is listening to your heart, then arguing with your heart with the truth, and then praying it hot in the presence of God. - Tim Keller
III. Who is Called to Worship? (103:19-22)
The Psalmist moves from his own soul to progressing to a collective “our,” to ending with a vision of all of creation joining in on this worship of God. Since the Lord has established his throne and his kingdom rules over all, nothing short of of the worship of all of creation will suffice.
Application: Are we participating and pointing others to this worship through declaring and displaying the gospel?