1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the LORD is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
5 The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
What is our appropriate bodily attitude when we worship the Lord our God? As the Psalms show us, it has a lot to do with one’s emotional and spiritual attitudes toward God. Those who are celebrating the Lord’s goodness and mercy might “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD.” (Psalms 63:4) Those overwhelmed with the joy of the Lord might “Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints.” (Psalms 149:1b) It is entirely appropriate to “Shout joyfully to the LORD.” (Psalms 98:4a) And some might even be so bold as to “Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes.” (Psalms 150:4) With all this singing and shouting and dancing and music going on, it seems to me like worship would be quite a rowdy time!
But there are times when we will want to take a step back from the joyous worship and reflect upon God’s majesty and might. We should meditate upon His holiness and our own depravity, and contemplate the statutes and guidance He has given us in His Holy Bible. We will look upon the Cross and be humbled by God’s mercy. We will remember the miry pits from which He has raised us, and we will see the height and depth and breadth of His love. At times like these, we will join David in his attitude:
But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
In fear, awe, and reverence, reflecting upon the manifold mercies of the Almighty God, we will worship God with calmness and sobriety. As stated in today’s verses, in those times when we are overwhelmed with God’s power and holiness, it is appropriate that we bow down and even kneel before out Maker. We will humble ourselves before God and simply allow His Spirit and His grace to rain down upon us. We will celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death by submitting to God’s authority and wisdom. We will drop to the floor in awe of the fearful majesty of the Creator of the universe.
Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
What is our appropriate bodily attitude when we worship the Lord our God? Standing or kneeling, silent or singing, standing still or dancing in the aisles, hands raised high or clutched before us – in whatever attitude is appropriate for our attitude before God, we must not hesitate to do it all for Him. While we must respect order in our assemblies, we should not be afraid to do whatever is right before the Lord. Nor should we constrain others to do less than what God’s Word so plainly tells us we should do. So, the next time you worship, feel free to shout, sing, dance, kneel, raise your hands, or prostrate yourself. And when someone asks why you’re doing those things, just point to your Bible and say, “It’s in the Book!”
Lord God in heaven, what a joy it is to enter into Your presence, what a privilege to be able to speak to You, to worship You, even to sing to You. When we reflect on what You have done for our salvation, and meditate on Your unending love, how can we keep from singing and shouting? And when we see Your majesty reflected in the heavens above, how can we keep from bowing down before You? Humble my heart, O Lord, and teach me to focus only on You when I worship and praise Your holy name. Amen.