Worship is Imperatival (or We Must Worship God)

Psalm 100

1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

This is the most simple Psalm in that it communicates what it wants us to do without hesitation or apology.  We must worship God!  Six imperatives are given in the first 4 verses before they are grounded upon the reality of the God of v. 5.

First imperative: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

Second imperative: Serve the Lord with gladness!

Third imperative: Come into his presence with singing!

Fourth imperative: Know that the Lord, he is God!

Fifth imperative: Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!

Sixth imperative: Give thanks to him; bless his name!

And while each would be wonderful to ponder, I only want to assert the main issues here.  First, that there is a God and He is Lord.  Secondly, that this God is unchangeably good, eternally steadfast in His mercy, and equally faithful to all generations (I would add, to those who love Him, cf. Exodus 34:6-7).  Thirdly, because there is a God who is Lord, unchangeably good, eternally steadfast in His mercies, and equally faithful to His people, worship of Him is imperatival (or we MUST worship God)!  The Psalmist’s response to the concrete fact of this God is WORSHIP!  Within the consideration of this God lies enough glorious ammunition that the psalmist is loaded to rifle commands of worship – commands, not suggestions.  We must worship the Lord, because He is the one true and living God!

Upon this foundation, let us – with joy – command one another, church, to worship our God, privately, publicly, in service and at home and on the job, etc.  And let us also consider Him, and be, like the psalmist, overwhelmed by Him, and loaded with Gospel ammunition for all peoples.  That God must be worshipped is reason enough to go to all peoples and share the Gospel with them – they must worship Him too!  But they will not lest they with believing ear hear the Gospel of God: that He sent His only Son to redeem us from the curse of Adam’s sin, to save us from our own sin and sinfulness; and so He came to earth and put on flesh, being born of the virgin; He lived a sinless life, identifying with us in every way as human beings, perfectly fulfilling the law of God in our stead; and though He was sinless, He willingly took the penalty of our sin against God on His cross, becoming sin for us; and as His justification, God raised Him up from the dead, for death could not hold Him, and He ascended into heaven where He is seated at God’s right hand, as King, our representative with God, and He is coming quickly to gather His church into His eternal glory, and His enemies into eternal condemnation in a literal hell – and God will be glorified!  And thus, we are commanded to repent of our sin and to embrace Jesus Christ, through whom we receive the forgiveness of sin, eternal life, the hope of the resurrection, the gift of God’s Spirit, and the guarantee of an eternal and glorious inheritance.  So a worshipper of God is made – through faith in Jesus Christ!  And so, if you have been made a worshipper, you must worship God!  You have been redeemed from every other sort of worship to this one true worship of the biblical God – in spirit and in truth!  But I say again as a warning, these imperatives are for all mankind – believer and unbeliever alike, for such imperatives reveal the proper and exclusive object of worship: the God of the Christian Bible!  And thus, it directs the heart – and the one who has been made a worshipper will know as much by the tug of his heart to the truth; and the one who has not, indeed, will not, will know – if not now, then soon – that they have lived as idolaters.  May it not be so!  We are commanded to worship God, for He is infinitely worthy of our worship, the only being worthy of our worship.  Consider, then, your ways; behold what you worship – it reveals the heart of the matter!  And as a matter of encouragement, dear brothers and sisters, you who by grace have been awakened to this reality – as you have been awakened, so worship our God with exceeding joy!


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