Worship Is An Act Of Love And War!

Worship is highly effective spiritual warfare as well as an expression of divinely inspired, deep and passionate love between God and His people.

Psalm 149 is replete with verses that start with the word – “Let”. The word “Let” is found seven times. Seven is the number of perfection and completion. This Psalm perfectly and completely reveals the importance of giving place to passionate worship and to the passionate worshiper.

“Let” = to allow, not to forbid.

Christians who hinder worship on any level are in some ways complicit with the works of darkness.

In fact, it is the spirit of Pharaoh that says, “You can worship, you just can’t go too far” [Exodus 8:28].

Seriously, no person can tell me how far to go in the worship [love] of my God and the love for my wife!

PSALM 149

V1 ~ Praise the Lord!

  • Is a command to exuberantly, passionately, privately and publicly give God what He is worth [our worship]!
  • The word ‘praise’ is the Hebrew word halal. Halal means to to shine, to boast, to praise, to make a fool of, to act madly, to act clamorously foolish.
    • Halal worship is not timid.
    • Halal is the root word of hallelujah which is a command ~ Halel [praise], u [you], jah [God] = You – praise – God!

V1 ~ Sing to the Lord a new song!

  • Is another command to keep worship fresh, inspiring, and spontaneous.
  • The Hebrew word for ‘sing’ means to use the voice to extol God. It comes from a root word that means to stroll, travel, go on a journey.
    • In other words, worshiping God in song should be a lifestyle, not an event.
    • Actually – worship is supposed to be a lifestyle, not just an event.

V1 ~ And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones!

  • Is part and parcel with the previous two portions of V1.
    • This speaks of public displays of affection in the assembly of the saints of God.

V2 ~ Let Israel be glad in his Maker! Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King!

  • Israel and the sons of Zion are God’s covenant kids.
    • Israel speaks of the corporate Body and the sons of Zion speak of the individual sons.
    • Individually and corporately we are to worship God.
  • Gladness and rejoicing speak of our inner appreciation making its way out of us through exuberant expressions of praise and worship.

V3 ~ Let them praise His name with dancing! Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre!

  • Dancing [jumping, leaping, twirling, and whirling].
    • “Let them praise God in the dance”.
      • It is never a good idea to get in the way of public, passionate worship.
      • David honored God with his exuberant public display of worship and it got him in trouble with his wife Michal. Her attitude toward David’s outward passion for God got her in trouble with God [2 Samuel 6]. Is there really a decision to make?
      • Passion creates pregnancies [fruitfulness] where posterity progresses.
      • Michal’s name means “one who is like God”.
        • Oh how she failed to live up to her calling in life.
          • Michal comes from a root word that means “to be able”.
            • Michal had what was needed to be like God but apparently she chose to live contrary to her divine ability.
      • David’s name means “beloved” [be – loved].
        • David comes from a root word that means “to boil” in the context of love.
          • So David means “a passionate lover”.
            • Acts 13:22 The Message ~ “God removed him [King Saul] from office and put King David in his place, with this commendation: “I’ve searched the land and found this David, son of Jesse. He’s a man whose heart beats to my heart, a man who will do what I tell him.'”
      • The playing of instruments and singing should be activities that are associated with our worship as well.

V4 ~ For the LORD takes pleasure in His people! He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation!

  • Afflicted does mean sick and decrepit, or tormented.
  • Afflicted means meek, and surrendered to God and His ways.
    • Those are the ones who are made beautiful by His salvation.

V5 ~ Let the godly ones exult in glory! Let them sing for joy on their beds!

  • The Message Bible states the first part of this verse this way – “Let true lovers break out in praise.”
  • Exuberance in glory creates exuberance in the place of holy, physical, intimacy.
  • Worshiping God is a spiritually intimate act played out in and through our physical bodies.
  • So is sexual activity in the confines of marriage. Sex between a Christian man and his wife is to be a truly holy, spiritual act that is played out in the physical realm. Thus, we are to keep the marriage bed holy [Hebrews 13:4].
    • Here’s a hint – The word “sing” does not mean what you think it means. It’s different from ‘sing’ in verses 1 and 3.
    • The word ‘sing’ and the word ‘joy’ are the same Hebrew word.
    • The word ‘bed’ means ‘a place of sexual intimacy and rest [sleep]’.
    • Those who worship passionately rest [sleep] thoroughly!
    • Deep sexual intimacy and deep restful sleep are connected.
  • Why would God place right in the middle of this Psalm on worship and warfare a verse that has clear sexual overtones?
    • I believe one reason is because in the beginning, in Eden [Paradise], the husband and wife were one, were naked, and were unashamed.
    • Another reason was while they were in this “condition” God commissioned [commanded] them both to take Paradise to the planet. He said to them both, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth [includes sexual activity that would populate the planet with holy offspring].”
    • He also commissioned them both to rule and reign on His behalf and to subdue the non-human part of the Creation. This was a declaration of war!
    • It is clear from other Biblical teaching that sex creates a oneness with the ones engaged in sexual intercourse [Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5,6; Mark 10:8; 1 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 5:31].

V6 ~ Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand!

  • The phrase ‘high praise’ is the same Hebrew word. It means to be lifted up, to lift oneself, to exalt, to praise.
    • High praise is praise that exalts, or lifts the worshiper to a higher place.
    • You could say it means to get caught up in praise. Another way to see this is to be raptured, or enraptured, in praise.
  • A two-edged sword is the Word of God [Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16; 2:12; 19:11-21]. Godliness includes articulating and demonstrating praise according to the Word, will and ways of God.
  • God is looking for worshipers who worship Him ~ in [the] spirit [breath, true essence of the truth] and in Truth [the Word, the written instructions of truth] [John 4:21-24; John 17:17].
  • Paul wrote to Timothy instructions on the need for studying the Scripture. He said, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” [2 Timothy 2:15].
    • “Accurately handling” the word of truth does not mean “properly carrying the Bible in your hands.” It means properly carrying it in your lifestyle.
    • Our lifestyle should be directed by the Word of God.
    • Then we will present ourselves to those around us as “approved to God”. This is not limited to worship but it also does not exclude worship.

V7 ~ To execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples!

  • Nations and peoples from our NT perspective are the pawns in the hands of unseen powers.
  • Vengeance and punishment from our NT perspective is bringing correction and conviction for the purpose of repentance to those nations and people.
  • Jesus commanded His disciples to “disciple nations” [Matthew 28:19].
    • In order to disciple nations the people in the nations have to come to Christ. But the command did not say, “disciple some of the people in the nations.” Jesus expects entire nations to be discipled to Him.

V8 ~ To bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron!

  • From the NT perspective kings and nobles are levels of demonic rulers [Ephesians 1:19-21; 6:12].
    • These rulers are to be bound so they can no longer influence people to live contrary to God’s plan for their lives.

V9 ~ To execute on them the written judgment!

  • This speaks of V8 where the rulers of darkness are bound.
  • Jesus made reference to this binding in the Gospels.
    • Matthew 12:29 ~ “Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.”
      • This reference has to do with setting captives and prisoners free from satanic bondage through the new birth, healing and deliverance [salvation].
        • Captives are those saints who in the process of carrying out God’s work were taken prisoner.
        • Prisoners are those who violated God’s core values and were taken prisoner.
        • Jesus said He came to liberate captives and prisoners [Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18].
      • This reference also has to do with the transferring of great material wealth from the kingdom of darkness to God’s kingdom
        • Proverbs 13:22b ~ “And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”
        • Isaiah 23:15-18 ~ 15 “Now in that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years like the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the harlot: 16 Take your harp, walk about the city, O forgotten harlot; Pluck the strings skillfully, sing many songs, That you may be remembered. 17 It will come about at the end of seventy years that the LORD will visit Tyre. Then she will go back to her harlot’s wages and will play the harlot with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. 18 Her gain and her harlot’s wages will be set apart to the LORD; it will not be stored up or hoarded, but her gain will become sufficient food and choice attire for those who dwell in the presence of the LORD.”
        • Matthew 16:19 ~ “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
          • The actual Greek [original] text says, “What has been bound in heaven you will bind on earth, and whatever is loosed in heaven you will loose in earth.” Heaven is our model!
            • The context of this verse is Christ has given His disciples authority to advance His Kingdom into places of darkness.
        • Matthew 18:18 ~ “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” [See the note on Matthew 16:19 for the order of the binding].
          • The context of this verse is Jesus gave His disciples authority to bring order in the local assemblies so that the enemy will not have free rein to spread his poison.

V9 ~ This honor have all His saints!

  • What a promise to ALL the saints [holy believers]!
  • Believers of all ages, maturity levels, experience, and knowledge in the things of God have God’s permission to engage the enemy of God for the purpose of plundering his kingdom – through genuine worship.

V9 ~ Praise the Lord!

  • This Psalm ends the way it began, with a command to praise the Lord.

One of my favorite verses is found in Psalm 8:2 KJV. “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.”

Jesus referred to this verse when He was confronted by the religious leaders of His day when He entered Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey prior to His death, burial and resurrection.

Matthew 21:16 ~ “Jesus said to them, ‘Yes. Did you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have perfected praise?'”

Jesus changed the word ‘strength’ in Psalm 8:2 to ‘perfected [completed] praise’. In other words, when praise is complete, or mature, the result will be God’s enemies will be stopped dead in their tracks. Mature praise does not have to be released by mature people. God wants to stop the enemy but He wants to stop him through His obedient people!

Look at this incredible verse that connects worship to warfare. “Judah, your brothers shall praise you; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s sons shall bow down to you” [Genesis 49:8]. Very clearly this verse reveals two things – 1] Praise [worship] confronts and controls God’s enemies, and 2] Praise [worship] is instrumental is submission and obedience.

The simplicity of true praise and worship knows no bounds – especially geographically. We worship way beyond the room! This is why at Bethel Church in Brunswick, GA we put a premium value on worship, regardless of the age of the worshiper.

Stay Hungry And Thirsty For God My Friends!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury
A Hisstorymaker

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