16th February 2023

Praising our God

Part One of two studies on Psalm 95

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Psalm 95:1 (NRSVA)

Psalm 95 is a call to public worship: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.’ (v.6-7, emphasis mine).  Worshiping God is principally an action in community because I do not worship my God, but our God; God is my God only insofar as he is the God of God’s people. Our worship takes place supremely in relationship with one another.

This does not deny the value of private worship as we need time alone with God, praising him, pondering scripture, and taking time for self-examination. But assembling together is not an optional extra, something which we can drop in and out of as the fancy takes us. Our culture often relegates religion to a mostly private matter, to be practiced in solitude rather than in public. But God is enthroned on the praise of his people (Psalm 22:3) and so we are to give ourselves to the public praise of God.  

How are we to set about this task? 

First, worship involves an urgent turning to God. It is a movement in a very definite direction: ‘O come’ (Psalm 95:1). We are invited so ‘Let us come into his presence’ (v.2). We come into worship by making a specific movement away from other distractions and turning to the presence of God himself. The Hebrew for come here conveys ‘haste’ and ‘urgency’. This coming to God is not a gentle stroll. It has the connotation of speeding to attend to the most serious business. This is not to say other concerns are of no value. We do not choose between worship and other aspects of life. But if we don’t move in this direction toward God in worship then the other activities of life will lack coherence.   

Secondly, worship involves a measure of intensity: ‘let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise…let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!’ (v.2, 6). If this reflects the kind of worship which took place in the temple, then it was exuberant, cheerfully noisy and exhilarating. But this is only one kind of intensity. Worship can also be intense when it is quiet, restrained, and formal. Both can engage us in the movement of worship. 

The crucial aspect is that worship flows from the deep joy we have in God, for who he is, and what he has done for us in Jesus Christ. He is the one who draws us toward himself in this movement of worship, and he is the one who evokes an intensity of worship. 

So come, now is the time to worship, our God is waiting.   

Father, may we collectively come and worship you with all our heart, mind and soul, in Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.

Study by Barry Robinson


Aout the writer:
Barry Robinson is a minister in Grace Communion International and Regional Pastor for Southern England.

Local congregation:
Grace Communion International Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove
London SE5 7HN

Local congregational contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: camberwell@gracecom.church 

Word of Life contact: