All of us are worshippers. The question is not whether we worship, it is rather, who or what we worship. The objects of our worship can be diverse and various. Sport, friends, fashion shopping, computer games and so many other things can all be objects of worship. But the One we should worship is God. In fact, we are fully demonstrating our humanity when we worship Him. As we consider what true worship is, we must remember that Satan hates true worship and wants to drive everyone from the true worship of God. So don’t be surprised if you have to battle to engage in the true worship of God. Let us then look at Psalm 111 to consider the true worship of God. Why not get your Bible open as we study this psalm?
A. Exhortation to Worship (v1a) We are to make the LORD shine; to put Him on display so he is seen to be distinctly beautiful. We need to be exhorted to worship; it does not automatically happen.
B. Commitment to worship (v1b) The psalmist does not just exhort others; he commits himself to worship God. It is from the heart; it is not just an outward act. To truly worship God, our heart must be in it. With his heart prepared in private, the psalmist joins his godly friends. But then he also goes into the congregation; where there is a great mixture of people. Here some may look down on his fervour for God, but he still gives himself to praise of the Lord.
C. Content of Worship (vv 2-9) Houses, up until recent times, were generally heated by fires in the fireplace. No warmth ever came by just looking at the fireplace; you had to place first the newspaper to get the fire going, then the kindling sticks to makes sure the fire takes hold and then the coal which gives the enduring heat. True worship is like such a fire. For the worship to be ongoingly aflame, there has to be the kindling and the coal. In vv3-9 we have the two fires.
The first fire (vv2-6)
The kindling (vv. 2-4) If you have an interest in something you tend to want to find out more; you want to study your interest. The Christian should have great interest in God’s Works. So he/she studies creation and studies the Word to find out more of the works of God. V3 tells us of the perfect works undertaken by our perfect God.
Not only should there be study, but also remembrance. And as we remember, we know of a God who is kindly disposed to us. So we go to His cross and we ponder of the great work of redemption and we marvel at how kind this God is. So worship is kindled in our heart to our God, but then the coal comes which brings enduring worship. It comes through the awareness of God’s grace.
The coal (vv.5-6). His actions are not out there in the abstract; they are towards us. So He provides food for the body and most importantly for the soul of God-fearing people. God is a gracious giving God and the the new covenant of his grace shows his commitment to his people. We remember at the Lords’ Supper His covenant love in Christ shown most profoundly in Jesus shedding His blood for us at Calvary. And as we remember so does He.
We call to mind His mighty power in His creatorial works, but all surpassed by the exceedingly great power which brought Jesus from the dead.
He is a God who is luxuriant in His giving. In him we possess all things. So we come with worshipful hearts and the coal glows. But if you leave the fire overnight then the fire fades so you need to re-ignite the fire.
The second fire. (vv7-9)
The kindling (v7-8). Once again, we look upon God’s great works and find all of them to be true and just (v7a). Then we marvel at His Word, abidingly true in all its statements, and when adhered to it brings benefit to His people.
The coal (v9). And once again we come to the coal. This magnificent God is a God who gives so abundantly and meaningfully to His people. And here is His biggest gift. He has given redemption to his people (v9a). All those bound in sin and unable to buy themselves out, have been purchased for God by the precious blood of Jesus. And therein the coal of worship burns. And this covenant, the commitment to us is forever. We can never be taken out of these nail-pieced, gracious hands and we ascend to the throne and worship the God who is holy and full of awe.
The third fire……….Go get the kindling and coal again and worship!
D. The oxygen of worship (v10a) Without oxygen there can be no fire. Reverence and Obedience provide the gaseous input so that the flames of worship grow with vigour.
E. The eternity of worship (v10b) All other worship will fade, but the worship of the true God goes on and on forever.
The Christmas-time let us bring the kindling and coal and worship our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as we consider the wonder of Emmanuel; God manifest in the flesh. Consider for example, in Isaiah 9:6 that not only is a Son given and child born to kindle our worship, but such a One is “unto us.” Oh bring the coal and marvel at His grace to us
Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter December 2013