# 143 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 36 The heart of worship

John Piper in his book “Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions”, suggests that, “The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.”

He continues, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.

It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever… Missions begins and ends in worship…When the flame of worship burns with the heat of God’s true worth, the light of missions will shine to the darkest [places] on earth.”  (John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions Baker Academic 1993, 2005)

In the first 4 verses of this psalm that we considered in my last Post, we discover the Hindrance to Worship, i.e. our sin, and more specifically deceiving ourselves that our sin doesn’t matter.

In verses 5-9 we see the contrast to these things and we discover the Heart of Worship.

Listen to David’s heart as “the flame of worship burns with the heat of God’s true worth”:

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.

Concerning these words Blaiklock says:

“This passage is Hebrew religious poetry at its best. The riot of the imagery is mystically satisfying…The poet is reaching high and low to picture the mercy, the righteousness, the justice of God…Man seems small in [his] presence…all human endeavour, human worth, is as nothing.” He adds, “Indeed, the vision might have been too daunting, had not the Almighty God made Himself known in Christ.” (# 37)

Our God is the God of priceless unfailing love that reaches to the infinite universe; of faithfulness that reaches higher than the sky; of righteousness higher than Mt. Everest, and of justice deeper than the Pacific Ocean. In him we can take refuge; with him we may feast on his abundance and drink from his river of delights; in him is life and light for all eternity. He is worthy of our praise, adoration and worship.

In the words of Matt Redman, where ever we are in our relationship with God, may we all come “back to the heart of worship.”  He sings:

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart

I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath!                      (Matt Redman Thankyou Music 1999)

Father, you and you alone are worthy of praise and worship. Cleanse us from all that hinders us from worshiping you with all our hearts and mind and spirit. All we have is yours. May we be faithful servants of yours where ever we may be. For the glory of your Holy Name. Amen.


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