Where Will YOU Worship?

Text: Psalm 132

This past Sunday was a day that many of us refer to as a “day of worship.” For Carol and me it was a delightful day. We enjoyed the music, and the sermon directed our thoughts to the reality that we are Christ’s servants for the rest of the week.  I needed to hear that, and my soul needed to worship!

What would happen if our “places of worship” no longer existed?  

Perhaps you would feel like the psalmist who wrote Psalm 132. It is another one of those psalms of ascent, sung almost exclusively by Jewish pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem during one of Israel’s feast days. Some commentators suggest that this psalm was written during the time of the Jewish Exile, when access to Jerusalem and the Temple was non-existent. We have no way of knowing if this was the setting, but we do know that the writer longs to worship. How will this longing be fulfilled?

Notice how Psalm 132 is structured. It can be viewed from the perspective of time.

  1. PAST - Verses 1-12 deal with the past. The psalmist looks back to the days of David when he desired to bring the ark to Jerusalem. This was such a great passion for him that he could not sleep at night until the ark had a resting place (vv. 1-5). Then there was the time when David, at great risk, recaptured the ark from the Philistines and actually brought it to Jerusalem (vv. 6-10). So the psalmist asks God to bless David’s risks in bringing the ark to Jerusalem.
  2. PRESENT - Between verse 12 and 13 there is an unwritten allusion to the present. After reciting the promise of the Davidic Covenant in verse 12, many readers would acknowledge that David’s offspring did NOT keep the covenant. As a result, Jerusalem fell, the Temple was destroyed, and the people went into captivity. As far as the present is concerned, Jews still cannot go to the Temple to worship. And neither does God currently reside in a Jewish Temple.
  3. FUTURE - Verses 13-18 express a longing for a blessed future. Yes, the Lord has chosen Zion (v. 13). People long to rejoice in the abundant blessings only God can provide (vv. 15-18).  But it is still a longing—a prayer—not a reality! Psalm 132 seems to point to a future time of glorious worship.

In many ways Psalm 132 also points to a coming relative of David’s who will reign in Jerusalem and over all the earth. This is the allusion spoken of in verse 17, where the author refers to a “horn” and a “lamp.” I believe this is a reference to Jesus, the risen Savior and promised King.

What will we do if our PLACES of worship are taken away? 

We don’t want that to happen, but even if it did, there is still hope.

We can worship any time and in any place. Since King Jesus is always present to be worshiped! 

But how do we know He is present? There are many references in the New Testament to Christ’s victory over sin and death, but I’ll cite just two. In Matthew 28:17-18, we are told that when the disciples first saw the resurrected Savior they worshiped! Jesus also told His followers that all authority in heaven and earth had been granted to Him. In addition, prior to His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus promised His followers that He would send the Holy Spirit to live within every believer. That promised was fulfilled in Acts 2. Therefore, Jesus would always be with followers! That means they could also worship Him at any time or any place!

How will we worship in those “any time/any place” moments of worship? 

There are lots of ways, but here are three you will want to consider.

  1. We can worship Him in our work. Yes, your place of employment as well as your daily activities can be carried out to glorify Jesus. So worship Him in your work (COL 3:17). 
  2. We can worship Him in our families. Parents have a wonderful opportunity to call their children to worship Jesus at mealtime and throughout the day (EPH 6:4).
  3. We can worship Him in our blessings. Every time something good comes into our lives. Whether it is a beautiful, sunny day or some unexpected blessing, we can give thanks to the One who has sent the blessing (1 THESS 5:18; JS 1:17).

I pray that we will have actual places of worship for years to come. But if they should cease for one reason or another, that does not mean an end to your worship.

Jesus is King! Jesus is present! You can worship Him…ANYWHERE!

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