O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the LORD [is] great, and greatly to be praised: he [is] to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Honour and majesty [are] before him: strength and beauty [are] in his sanctuary. Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory [due unto] his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen [that] the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that [is] therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. Psalm 96
“O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness…” This exhortation in verse 9 is familiar to most believers. Sadly, it is not always practiced. As we study this Psalm, it would be well to ask ourselves if we are worshipping the Lord in the beauty of holiness, in our hearts, in our homes, and in our churches.
It is a very sad fact to contemplate, but most Christians are well aware that much of what goes on in the name of worshipping the Lord today is not in the beauty of holiness, but in the ugliness of unholiness. It is easier to blame someone else for this sad situation, but what fills your heart and mind when you gather with fellow believers to worship the Lord?
Many churches are being torn apart today because so many people come to church just to criticize the preacher or to find fault with others in the church. Even for one hour many believers seem unable to bring their own lives fully into subjection to the Lord and His Word so that a worship service can be truly in the beauty of holiness – in an attitude of reverence – and with a spirit of forgiveness and understanding in connection with the needs and problems of others.
How will we be able to proclaim the true gospel message to the heathen, and remind them of His righteous judgment (v.10) if we are not worshipping Him in the beauty of holiness ourselves? Note also verse 13 where God says that He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth. Those who would sacrifice truth on the altar of expediency are denying God’s righteous judgment, and ignoring His will.
Only those who worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness can be faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ. Only those who worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness can sing unto the Lord a new song (v. 1). If we would give the Lord the glory due His name, and bring an offering that would please Him, then we must not follow those in our day who are willing to tolerate error. We cannot give the excuse that unholiness in the Church and in the proclamation of the Gospel is justified in an attempt to fulfill the Great Commission.
It is difficult to obey the Word of the Lord when the majority of the Christians are disobeying it. But let us not forget that the results of disobedience are always disastrous. Let us desire to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.