Emulating the Model of Worship
God instituted the model of worship found in the Old Testament.
The worship of Israel was formal and liturgical. Solemn rites were central to the experience. The setting of temple worship was anything but casual. The meeting place had an ambiance of the solemn and the holy. The ritual was designed for drama. The literature and music were high and majestic. God inspired the content of songs (the Psalms). The finest craftsmen, who were filled by the Holy Spirit, fashioned the articles of art. God designed the vestments of the priests “for glory and for beauty” (Ex. 28:2).
Everything in Israelite worship, from the music to the building to the liturgy, focused attention on the majesty of God. God, in His holiness and in His redemptive work, was the content of the form. It was solemn, because to enter the presence of God is a solemn matter.
But even God-ordained patterns of worship can be corrupted. Liturgy can degenerate into liturgicalism, or even worse, sacerdotalism, by which the rites and sacraments themselves are seen as the instruments of salvation. The forms of worship can devolve into formalism and the externals into externalism.
In your devotional time today, try some of the forms of praise and worship described in Psalm 150.
Passages for Further Study
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred (where applicable). If no such link exists, simply link to www.ligonier.org.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343