Monday Devotions – Unrestrained Worship

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. (Ps. 40:9-10 ESV) In these two verses, David models praise that is enthusiastic, specific, and corporate. “I have told…I have not restrained…I have not hidden…I have spoken…I have not concealed.” God has delivered David from the pit of destruction and put a new song in his mouth (Ps. 40:1-3). David is now committed to singing that song passionately. The impression here is that nothing is going to keep him from declaring what God has done. David isn’t sitting around waiting for some worship experience to inspire him, move him, or impress him. He’s already impressed. He doesn’t need to be warmed up for worship. His heart is overflowing in verbal acclamations of praise and exaltation. He will not be restrained. But what is he so excited about declaring? “Deliverance…your deliverance…your faithfulness and your salvation…your steadfast love and your faithfulness.” What was David delivered from? We have no idea. But that enables us to apply the same truth in countless ways to our own situation. You probably don’t have to look back very far to remember a trial, challenge, or difficulty that God mercifully brought you through. Maybe your checkbook balance was approaching zero and you received an unexpected gift. Maybe you found a sudden solution to a confusing relational issue. Perhaps God freed you from a besetting sin. Whatever the situation, it reflected God’s faithfulness and steadfast love. And even if you remain in a season of difficulty, the salvation God has provided for us in the Savior makes Him worthy of our endless praises. But the sweet psalmist of Israel isn’t content to praise God by himself. He exalts God’s deeds: “In the great congregation…the great congregation.” This is one of the many times in the Psalms where it’s evident that worshipping God is ultimately more than having a personal pipeline to Jesus. God wants to dwell in the midst of His people, not just me. One sign that God has truly worked in my life is the desire to proclaim His glory to and with others He has redeemed. “The great congregation” may not as sound as good as my Ipod, but praise cannot remain solitary. “I will bless the Lord,” will always lead us to, “Let us exalt His name together.” (Ps. 34:1-3) One day as I was meditating on this Psalm, I suddenly saw why David would not “restrain his lips” from declaring God’s greatness. It’s in the next verse. As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! (Ps. 40:11 ESV) How amazing to consider that the God whose holiness should cause Him to pour out unrestrained wrath on my sin, has chosen instead to pour out unrestrained mercy. Like the millions of gallons of water rushing relentlessly over Niagara Falls, God’s kindness overwhelms my life each and every day. How can I keep silent?

5 Responses to Monday Devotions – Unrestrained Worship

  1. Dan Hames January 17, 2006 at 8:29 AM #

    Thanks Bob, for that piece… it spurred me.

    Every blessing,
    Dan Hames

  2. Peter Foxwell January 17, 2006 at 9:46 AM #

    Hey Bob: I’ve been reading your blog for about a month now. I wanted to say thank you very much for all the useful insights and resources. I pass on some of the posts to our worship leaders.

    God bless you.

  3. Matt Heerema January 17, 2006 at 9:51 AM #

    “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…’

    Ephesians 2:1-6

    God has delivered us all from something. We always have something to sing about :)

  4. Allan Sherer January 17, 2006 at 12:36 PM #

    How amazing! When we have poured out our praise “without retraint” it is still a puny and insignificant thing. But what about an infinite God pouring out His mercy without restraint? What of an infinite God loving us with all His heart and soul? Though the construction of the verses is parallel, the gulf between our affections and His mercy is so great… “Oh for a thousand tongues to sing my Great Redeemer’s praise!”

  5. Nigel J. June 16, 2009 at 9:48 AM #

    ohhh woooowwww!!!! I love the psalms you selected!! what a good excuse for me to not pace myself when I worship!!!!

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