Psalms 98; 99

He Is Holy.

“Exalt the LORD our God! Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!” ­– Psalm 99:5 NLT

Let’s be honest. Most of us seem to need a good reason to worship God. And it usually has more to do with us than with Him. We’ll worship Him if He has been good to us. We’ll worship Him if He has met our expectations and fulfilled all our desires. We’ll worship Him if our life is going the way we expected it to go. But let one thing go wrong and all bets are off. We find it hard to worship God in the midst of difficulties. It’s difficult to sing His praises when we’re busy singing the blues. But the Psalmist reminds us that our praise of God has little or nothing to do with what He has done for us lately. It has everything to do with who He is. He is God and He is holy. So we should exalt or lift up and extol His name, simply because of who He is. Our praise should be motivated by His character and essence, not His ability to meet our laundry list of needs or wants. The Psalmist reminds us, “The LORD is king! Let the nations tremble! He sits on his throne between the cherubim. Let the whole earth quake!” (Psalms 99:1 NLT). Listen to how The Message paraphrases that verse: “God rules. On your toes, everybody! He rules from his angel throne – take notice!” He is KING! He is mighty, majestic, powerful, and deserving of our honor, respect, fear, awe, obedience, gratefulness, and worship. Worship is really just a recognition of who God is. It is an awareness that He is God and I am not. When I come to God for only what I can get from God, that is the farthest thing from worship. In doing so I turn Him into a glorified slot machine. I pull the handle hoping to hit the jackpot. I want Him to deliver on my desires for happiness, success, popularity, peace, comfort, and contentment.

But again, the Psalmist remind you and me, “Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem, for the LORD our God is holy!” (Psalm 99:9 NLT). We are to worship Him simply because He is holy. He is set apart, distinct, different, sacred, one-of-a-kind, unique, and without equal in all the world. And if that doesn’t get us to worship Him, then the Psalmist reminds us that one day God is going to judge the earth. He is going to send His Son back to set things right and restore the earth to its original splendor. He will judge the nations. He will judge all mankind. He will put an end to sin and establish His kingdom on earth. That’s the God who deserves our worship, praise, honor, glory, and full attention.

“Shout your praises to God, everybody! Let loose and sing! Strike up the band! Round up an orchestra to play for God, Add on a hundred-voice choir. Feature trumpets and big trombones, Fill the air with praises to King God. Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause, With everything living on earth joining in. Let ocean breakers call out, “Encore!” And mountains harmonize the finale – A tribute to God when he comes, When he comes to set the earth right. He’ll straighten out the whole world, He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.” (Psalm 98:4-9 MSG).

Father, You deserve my praise and worship, not because You do things for me, but simply because of who You are. Forgive me for the many times I hold back on my praise because I am waiting for You to meet my needs on my terms. I fail to recognize Your holiness and so I fail to give You the honor You so rightfully deserve. Open my eyes to the reality of Your uniqueness. Let me see You in all Your splendor and holiness, and shout Your praises simply because of who You are. Anything You do for me is like icing on the cake – an extra bonus from the hand of the Almighty God. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org