It came up again this week – a conversation about what so many have called, “The Worship War.” It is meant to describe the all-out fight church people have had over what types of music will be used in the corporate worship experiences of the church. I’m grateful that our conversation about this common subject was around the belief that perhaps this “war” is about to come to an end.
But I believe there is a “Worship War” that will never end until we enter eternity. The first five verses of Psalm 149 describe the powerful worship of God’s people. Then in verse six it reads, “Let the exaltation of God be in their mouths and a two-edged sword in their hands. “ It goes to explain, “inflicting vengeance on the nations and punishment on the people, binding their kings with chains and their dignitaries with iron shackles, carrying outjudgment decreed against them. “ (Psalm 149:7-9a)
Sounds like war to me.
So what is the “Worship War” God seems to be calling for in this powerful psalm? I’m not sure I totally get it, but this is what I’ve been thinking lately…
We live in a world that has rejected our God and refused His rule. They have scoffed at Him and ridiculed His kingdom on every side. It’s a world where modern pieces of art deface His holiness and mock His name. A world that makes movies and entertainment that throws His name out like a punch line of a joke and defies His right as the One and Only Sovereign.
And God is just silent, right?
No, He is not. He has an army that is equipped with every weapon needed to refute the scoffers. And the psalmist has described those weapons in this psalm: “We have the word of praise, and the Word of God.” Those weapons, wielded by warriors who have the living power of the risen Savior in our lives, can inflict judgment on those who would defile our God the way Goliath defiled Jehovah.
So, remember – every time you stand in the congregation and praise Jesus; every time His inspired Word crosses your lips and goes out in the culture; every single time His truth comes through your living and His praise goes forth from your life, you are landing winning blows for the Kingdom and bringing judgment down on the enemies of God.
It’s a “Worship War.” And it’s one we are called to fight.
Director, LifeWay Worship