Let God Be Praised!
Rubel Shelly   -  



Text for This Study: Psalm 150

1. This final video began with the claim that worship is the first business of believers. Why is that true? What does worship affirm about God and our relationship to God (The Trinity)? What does worship teach us about ourselves?

2. What is idolatry? In what ways do people practice idolatry in our own time? What are some of the idols people worship today?

3. Psalm 150 roots the praise of God in two things: (a) his acts of power and (b) his surpassing greatness. The former involves divine creation and rule over the universe, while the latter points to the personal qualities of justice, faithfulness, love, and covenant loyalty to his people. Which of the two is more impressive to you?

4. If you were to write your own psalm of praise to “My Worthy God,” what event(s) would you highlight as the reason for urging its readers/hearers to “Let God Be Praised”?

5. What dimensions of praise, lament, or longing for God have you discovered (or reinforced) by means of this nine-part study of the Book of Psalms? What can you take from the study that will enhance your role as a worshipper?

The Danish philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard described worship as a drama. On his view, congregants were the actors, ministers and musicians were prompters, and God the audience. Some now take an impoverished opposite view that puts the congregation as audience, the ministers and musicians as performers, and God as prompter.

If we could recapture Kierkegaard’s more biblical view, we would cease judging a preacher’s “performance” or the prayer-leader’s “creativity” or the musicians’ “quality.” On his view, teaching, praying, and singing are not entertainment but worship. They are the whole church’s reverent acts of bowing low before the Loving Father, Redeeming Lord, and Quickening Spirit.

But we must go further to understand that true worship is not confined to church buildings. It is rooted in the lives of people who love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and physical powers. It is expressed in obedient, reverent lives offered as living sacrifices every day.

Indeed, if our experience of public worship is anything other than the corporate expression of our personal worshipping lives, such events are unacceptable to the Lord. People who talk the talk of worship on Sunday without walking the walk of authentic discipleship are spoken of this way in Scripture: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Isa 29:13).