A spectacular promise from the Bible is found in Isaiah 40:5 KJV
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
This verse is also the text of one of the most beloved choruses in Handel’s Messiah. Handel’s music and this glorious promise came together, not by an accident of human creativity, but at the direction of the Holy Spirit. This promise needs to sing. It must be merged with a tune that will keep it in our minds and send it to our hearts.
Each Lord’s day we gather again with the people of God in the House of God to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
What is the point of it all?
- Certainly not our glory,
- Not our relaxation and enjoyment,
- Not the precise presentation of our beliefs,
- Not the exhibition of our artistic gifts,
- Not the reestablishment of our standing before others,
- Not the exercise of our ego,
- Nor even for the healing of our wounded souls and battered bodies.
Public worship is about seeking the face of God as we try to express His holiness, majesty, compassion, wisdom, strength, goodness, mercy—His Glory!—with all the human resources we can muster. As the Psalmist said,
Psalm 103:1 NKJV
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
It is true that many benefits flow to us as we worship God in spirit and truth:
- It may be that His glory will spill over on us.
- We may be refreshed and relaxed in His Holy Presence.
- Our heart-held beliefs will be publically proclaimed with the unction of the Spirit.
- The fullness of our artistry will be demanded by the splendid task of worshiping God.
- If we have fallen into pride, we will be humbled by worship; if shame has overtaken us, we will be elevated to our full value before God.
- All the worshipers will stand on level ground before King Jesus–holy, level ground.
- Our wounded souls will sing in tune with angels and with the spirits of those “just men made perfect” in the throne room of God as healing virtue flows from Jesus’ hands to our needs.
All these benefits are the blessings that should not be forgotten as we focus on giving glory to the Lord and not on receiving blessings from Him. The scriptures command that we give glory to the Lord.
How much glory?
The exact amount is this: the glory that is “due unto His name.” (Psalm 29:1-2) That means, all we can give and still more as the angels join us and the Spirit give us utterance. We have been called out of darkness into marvelous light for this purpose!
Call for the brass! Alert the percussion! Line up the woodwinds! Tune the strings! Signal the conductor, and count off the rhythm! It is time to give God glory!
Psalm 29:1-2 NKJV
Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the
Ephesians 1:12 KJV
…we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psalm 103:1-2 NKJV
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits…
Psalm 150 NKJV
Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!
2 Chron 5:12-14
All the Levites who were musicians… raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.
A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
O the Glory of Your Presence
Words and Music: Steven Fry
Oh the glory of Your Presence,
We, Your Temple, give You reverence.
So arise to Your rest and be blessed by our praise
As we glory in Your embrace,
As Your presence now fills this place.
Jesus, all glorious, create in us a Temple,
Called as living stones where You’re enthroned.
As You rose from death in power,
So rise upon our worship,
Rise upon our praise and let the hand that saw You raised,
Cloth us in your glory, draw us by Your grace.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved