Ready to Worship Season 5, Episode 2 for Friday, February 3, 2017
Recently, in reading through the book of Psalms again, I was impressed with how often the psalmist emphasizes corporate worship (Psalms 22:22, 25; 35:18( 40:9; 107:32; 111:1; 149:1). Clearly, the psalmist understood the importance of God’s people coming together for worship. In a day and age when many are lessening the importance of assembling together for worship, it is important for us to be reminded of the importance and the beauty of corporate worship.
We know that the Bible commands corporate worship. We are commanded to assemble with the saints. In the book of Hebrews, we read, ” And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” ( Heb. 10:25).
Long before the Hebrew writer penned these words by inspiration, we find these same instructions in the Old Testament. God wanted Old Testament Israel to assemble together for worship. Recently, in reading through the book of Psalms again, I was impressed with how often the psalmist makes this very point. Consider a few of these verses with me:
Psalms 22:22 – I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Psalms 22:25 – My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
Psalms 35:18 – I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
Psalms 40:9 – I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest.
Psalms 107:32 – Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
Psalms 111:1 – Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.
Psalms 149:1 – Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.
Did you catch all the references to praising God in the congregation or assembly? Clearly, the psalmist understood the concept of corporate worship or praise. Could the psalmist have praised God in his home? Absolutely, he could have; and, I would argue, should have. However, that would not have relieved his responsibility to do the same in the midst of the congregation. God wanted him to assemble.
God knows that it is not good for us to be alone. This is true in physical things like marriage (Gen. 2:18), but it is also true in spiritual things like worship. We need the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Corporate worship gives us the opportunity to teach and to admonish one another (Eph. 5:19). Assembling also facilitates the command to restore one another (Gal. 6:1-2). Corporate worship often reveals when a brother or sister has fallen away. Those who have fallen away usually reveal this by their absence from the church assemblies. Without corporate assemblies, it would be far easier for a brother or sister to fall away without anyone knowing it.
In a day and age when many are lessening the importance of assembling together for worship, it is important for us to be reminded of the importance and beauty of corporate worship. As we get ready to worship this week, we need to be thankful for the opportunity to gather together to worship.
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