King David had his faults. He was not a perfect man as there were plenty of things he did wrong. But understanding worship is not one of those things. David knew how to worship. The fact an imperfect man understands worship should be encouraging to all of us as Biblical worship does not require perfection from the worshipers.
This Psalm might be the go-to place within Scripture to heighten our understanding of worship. Interestingly, the word “worship” does not appear within its’ 21 verses, but it is treasure for us about understanding worship. This simple Psalm can be broken down into four sections, each identifying a specific characteristic of worship.
Our Worship Is Evidenced By Our Attitude
David begins by displaying his attitude. Remember, this is the King of Israel, the most powerful person of ancient Israel. No doubt being told on a daily basis how great he is by those serving him, it would be easy to assume a magnified sense of self-worth. Yet here is the King, understanding his position relative to God’s.
I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. – Psalm 145:1-3 (NKJV)
There are a number of attitudes David displays in these verses but the first one is his Humility. The King is referring to God as his King. Rather than listing out his accomplishments or service to God, he begins by centering his worship on God alone. He is completely submitted to God and humble before Him.
I am afraid part of the carnage in the Worship Wars over music styles the past few decades has been the concept of worship being one’s preferred style of music. We’ve even developed a specific genre of music labeled “Praise and Worship” as if the style of music defines worship. Worship has moved into an entertainment realm where how the music makes me feel is of highest importance.
David expresses nothing about himself in these verses. He is completely humble before God. I am convinced humility must be the main ingredient in worship. It is the basic flour upon which the bread of worship is created.
Humility is also evidenced by the last phrase of verse 3. “His greatness is unsearchable” is a hard phrase to translate from Hebrew into English. The word basically means, “beyond my ability to understand.” David’s claim is God’s greatness is beyond his limited knowledge. In spite of David’s inability to fully understand God, he still trusts Him and acknowledged the LORD is worthy of praise.
If King David didn’t have God all figured out, how can we conclude we do? How many times have you gone to Him with a list or suggestions about how He should run things? Or get upset because He didn’t take your advice and things didn’t work out as you wished. Humility trusts Him, even when you don’t understand.
There is another attitude displayed by David in these verses. Notice his use of the words “I will” and “everyday.” Determination or Persistence are on display as David is so committed to worship he makes the declaration, “I will” four times in these few verses. David will not be knocked off course as he is determined or committed to praising God. Further, he is not limiting his time with God to just a Sabbath Day or once-a-week event. This is something we will engage in “every day.”
This is harder to do than most of us think on first consideration of the idea. Making Him our first priority every day is not a simple task. Try this little experiment; make your first conscience thought in the morning worship. Before your feet hit the floor and before your mind begins to mull over all the tasks you plan on accomplishing, take just a few seconds and worship Him. You made it through another night – worship Him. Make it the FIRST thing you think about. You will find out after just a few days how hard this is to do. We are so wired to think of us first and what we need to do and where we need to go. Use David’s determination and persistence and say “I will” worship you.
Our worship is evidenced by our humility.