Theology brought me to worship. Maybe a better way to say it is seeing the majesty of God brought me to worship. It's funny because for a while I've been thinking a lot about worship, trying to define it and understand it so that I can truly experience it. That's been on the back burner of my mind in recent weeks.
This past week I was doing quite a bit of reading. Specifically I've been pouring through systematic theology texts as well as various writings on the doctrine of God. All this for my licensing thesis that I'm working on for the EFCA. Some of this stuff can get pretty deep.
But then there was a moment last week when for some reason I decided to put down my books and notes for a moment and open up my Bible.
Somewhat randomly I flipped through and came to Psalm 104. As I read the words I realized that I was encountering the majesty of God. It wasn't systematized by Erickson or Grudem, it was laid out in a poem by the Psalmist. I actually think I said "Wow!" out loud as I read. I had stumbled into worship and it was good.
There's nothing wrong with systematic theology; actually I like it a lot. I'm a rather systematic kind of person. But I have to admit, seeing the doctrine in Scripture as it was originally presented just felt right. For the first time in a while I "understood" the majesty of God as He wanted me to see it.
"Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.
He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind;
he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.
He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills;
they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth
and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart.
The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens.
Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.
O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great.
There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!"
(Psalm 104, ESV)
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