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Due to the pandemic and social distancing orders, we are not meeting at least through April. 

March 16, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: Joshua 19-21
Audio: Joshua 19-21

Psalm 96 (ESV)

Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
    tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
    tremble before him, all the earth!

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
    Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
    he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
    let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12     let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13     before the Lord, for he comes,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
    and the peoples in his faithfulness.

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 97

Back: Psalm 95

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
        tremble before him, all the earth! (Psalm 96:9)

    The Splendor of Holiness

    In our modern times, worship has taken on a life of its own – quite literally. In an effort to get away from traditional church services, old hymns with sound doctrine and God-centered themes are out in many places of worship.

    While I love some of the new songs written today, there is often either a lack of sound doctrine or there is outright false teaching (or a wrong focus) which do not meet the requirements set by our Lord when He spoke to the woman at the well about true worshippers. 

    Jesus said to her, "the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24).

    Worshipping in "spirit" for many comes at the expense of truth as the experience of worship itself is often more of a focus than God Himself. 

    But as we read in Psalm 96:9, when we worship the Lord, we should do so in the splendor (beauty) of holiness. This is not saying we worship the Lord in the splendor of OUR holiness – but to "worship the Lord because of the splendor of His holiness."

    To help us understand Psalm 96:9 better, let's consider Isaiah 6:1-7, "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

    'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
    the whole earth is full of his glory!'

    4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: 'Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!'

    6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: 'Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.'"

    When we worship God, it most certainly can be emotional. We should experience joy unspeakable in every aspect of our relationship with God. But emotionalism should never be in the driver seat of any aspect of our lives – especially worship.

    If we are focused on how we feel when we are worshipping instead of focusing on God, we are not worshipping God but may in fact be worshipping the experience. 

    When we worship God, we are loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Our adoration for who He and all that He has done should be our focus – not the music, aesthetics, or anything else which can distract us from the beauty and splendor of God's holiness.

    And worship is not just singing songs about God or to God. Tithing is worship. Preaching is worship. Prayer is worship. Just as a preacher should not allow his emotions to be the focus of preaching but on declaring the truth of God's Word, we should not allow our emotions to be the focus of our worship without remembering and reflecting on who God is and what He has done for us in Christ Jesus.

    If we worship in spirit and truth, we will tremble before Him – not out of fear but because of the overwhelming splendor and beauty of His holiness. 

    ~ Puritan Prayers ~

    "I Lay Myself At your Feet" by John Howe

    "Lord, I am under no bonds that ought to bind me, or that justly can, against your sovereign right. Other bonds took a place in my heart and the affections of my soul—but they were bonds of sin, which I regret I ever made.

    I thought I was my own, and I lived to myself. I only pleased and served myself, as if I were created for no other reason. And while I pleased myself with imagined liberty and self-dominion, no idol was too despicable for me to worship. 

    My soul bowed down to a clod of clay. My thoughts and desires, hopes and joys, all stooped to trifles: wealth, ease, pleasure, fame.

    And while I thought I was free, I was a servant to corruption. What have I done, Lord? I have lived to myself, and not to you. I have been a stranger to you. I will through your grace be so no longer."

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans)

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