The Psalmist rejoices to be summoned to the Lord’s house for worship, because he recognizes that the joys of living as God’s people in Jerusalem flow from the temple. God’s house is the place to go to give thanks for all God’s blessings, and it is where prayers are offered for the continued peace and safety of God’s people. What happens in worship affects the rest of life, and so David gladly goes to God’s house to seek the good of his brothers. As you come to worship today, prepare your heart to give thanks to God for the church’s life together, and to seek her good through worship and prayer.
David responds to the unsearchable greatness of God with daily praise. He promises to bless the name of the Lord forever, because of His mighty acts. David is especially moved to praise by the fact that our majestic and righteous God is near to all who call on Him, so that He hears our cries and saves us. Since silence is an inadequate response to such kindness, David opens his mouth to speak praises, and calls on us to do the same, which is why we are assembled here this morning. So come, people of God, and bless the name of Lord forever and ever!
This section of Psalm 119 overflows in praise of God’s righteousness. God Himself is righteous, His rules are righteous, and that righteousness is an everlasting righteousness. This righteousness is what makes God’s testimonies and promises lasting and trustworthy, and so the Psalmist responds to God’s rules with love, zeal, and delight. Even in the face of opposition and neglect, the Psalmist does not forget the Lord’s precepts, and turns to God’s Word to receive life. As you come to hear the voice of God speaking through His Word today, delight yourself in the thought that these are righteous words from a righteous God.
The Psalmist declares his love for God’s law, and demonstrates that love by meditation and obedience. The blessings of such devotion pour in as he becomes wise and gains understanding. God’s precepts protect him from his enemies, and although a teacher has knowledge and an old man has experience, the Psalmist’s love of God’s word gives him more understanding than either of these. Keeping God’s precepts keeps him from evil, and in this way, the living word loves the Psalmist back, and is sweeter than honey to his mouth. As you come to worship today, come prepared to meditate on and obey God’s word, and taste and see how sweet it is.
Lamentations calls for hope in the middle of affliction. With the taste of wormwood and gall still on his tongue, the writer calls to mind the steadfast love of the Lord, His new mercies, and His great faithfulness. When circumstances are miserable, hope is found in the character of God. When these truths about God are forgotten, hope dies. But when they are called to mind, the bitterness of affliction is replaced by the sweetness of a hope that trusts in the goodness of the Lord. So as you come to worship today, whatever affliction you may face, trust God, wait patiently for God, and seek God, for it is good that you wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Psalm 96 is an exhortation to evangelistic singing. The Psalmist calls on God’s people to declare His glory among the nations by rejoicing in His marvelous works. Other gods can’t create the world or save people like the true God, and no other god dwells in such splendor and majesty as the Lord! When the nations hear God’s people exulting in the glory and strength of their God, they are being summoned to leave their worthless idols and tremble before the Lord who brings justice to the world and salvation to all who call on His name. And so as you come to worship today, come as musical missionaries by singing to the Lord!
In Psalm 110, the Lord God speaks to David’s Lord, instructing Him to take His seat in the place of authority at God’s right hand. This king’s rule is empowered by God. His enemies cannot overthrow Him. His own people willingly serve Him. On top of this, God swears to make Him a priest forever like the priest-king Melchizedek, who received honor from Abraham, the first Hebrew “king”. David then praises God for what He empowers the king to do: this kingly priest will execute God’s judgment all over the earth, and put an end to the world’s rebellion. As we celebrate Ascension Sunday, we proclaim that Jesus Christ is the one who sits enthroned at God’s right hand, and we rejoice that by the sword of His Spirit, He is causing knees to bow all over the earth in worship.