Worship is a topic that appears frequently in the Old and New Testament and that is still very relevant to believers today. Many Biblical authors write about worship and the various ways believers worship God in the Bible. Everything from the book of Psalm, where every line leads believers to praise God because of his attributes and his works of salvation, to the Gospels that cause believers to praise God because of the works and sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. The aim of this paper will seek to find out how worship in the book of Psalms shapes our theology and definition of worship, while also determining the primary purpose of worship, whether to praise God for who he is, or what he’s done for believers.
After providing a definition of worship and the varied forms of worship in Scripture the attention will be given to answering the aim of this paper. To achieve this aim, the first step will be to look at the structure of the book of Psalm and how it shapes the way we should worship, both corporately and individually, while also looking into the life of David and how his understanding of worship helps guide our worship. Secondly this paper will analyze the two most common “goals” as represented by many worship leaders, worshipping God for who he is, and worshipping God for what he’s done for us. More specifically, which of these aspects is more important in worship. Are we able to truly worship God for who he is alone without responding to what he’s done for us, or must the two aspects work together in harmony? In addition to that, what is our motivation for worship according to the Scriptures? We need to understand the reason why we worship; we must understand the purpose behind gathering together in church on Sunday’s and offering verbal praise to God, and the reason it matters that we live our lives as a “spiritual act of worship” to God (Rom 12:1-2). 1
The first step to understanding a proper Biblical theology of worship is to define the Biblical meaning of worship. The Greek word for worship, προσκυνεο, means; “to pay homage to, or literally, to ascribe worth to some person or thing, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication.” 2 Webster’s Dictionary defines worship as: “the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god.” 3 Those varied definitions provide a good base definition of worship, but a more Biblical definition is still required. While a very important aspect of worship, especially in the Psalms, is musical worship, there are certainly other important forms of worship. Biblical worship includes several other categories in addition to musical worship. Worship involves every aspect of the life of the believer, as there are eight different forms of worship written about in Scripture. 1). Jesus says that a time is coming where people will worship the Father in “spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)...