Worship and Mission
Creator, Sovereign Lord, how great You truly are. I wait before You to receive from You now.
Read Psalm 96:1-13
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…” (Col. 1:16).
When David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, he composed this psalm. At last the ark would be in a central shrine and Israel was at peace from the nations around. When Solomon later built the Temple, similar thoughts of the relationship of the God of Israel with other nations would be expressed in his prayer (1 Kings 8:41-43). When another new song is sung in the book of Revelation, they rejoice that in Christ Jesus people from every tribe, language, people and nation are worshiping before the throne of the one God (Rev. 5:9-10).
The words of this psalm proclaim an exclusivity that stands at the heart of Christianity but is very unpopular today. The psalm proclaims that there is one God, to be worshiped by all nations. This is a lesson that Israel needed to learn throughout the long history recounted in the Old Testament. God is the creator and judge of all. His holiness and the idolatry of the nations set a barrier to their worship, but Jesus defines himself as the way, the truth and the life for all to come to know Father God (John 14:6). The path of all nations coming into the family of the God of Israel is through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Worship of the supremacy of God is not to be in words only. When the church at Antioch was worshiping (and perhaps using a psalm like this) they were told to separate Saul and Barnabas as gospel ministers to the nations. Our use of this psalm in worship on Sunday should flow out into worship each day as we proclaim to the world the gospel message. We, like Paul, desire that all the nations might become “an offering acceptable to God” (Rom 15:16).
In what ways can you affirm and help expand the international composition of the Body of Christ? Pray to uphold Christ’s uniqueness in a pluralistic society.
Lord Jesus, may my life be consistent with my worship, as I seek to proclaim Your uniqueness to all peoples everywhere.
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