Immutability: Worship

One can almost imagine a smile on people’s faces and perhaps long and loud laughter as well if one began to speak on the necessity of immutability for worship and how the immutability of God should move people to worship. We live in a day where things that are new and exciting are thought to be necessary for worship. We want things that move us and things that are old and have been done a long time cannot (we say) do that. We can’t imagine doing the same old things over and over again. Before long they don’t move us to worship. We want fog machines and strobe lights with action films in order to say we have worshipped today. However, Scripture tells us that the only worship is done in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). Scripture also tells us that true worship is done with reverence and awe (Heb 12:28). For anyone to come near to God one must treat Him as holy (Lev 10:3).

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). As we look at this verse, there are many things that set out the nature of true worship. One, we can see that there is an outward aspect to worship (words of my mouth). Two, we can see that there is an inward aspect to worship (meditation of my heart). Three, this is done to please God and not ourselves (be acceptable in Your sight). Four, it was to the self-existent God (LORD = YAHWEH = self-existent one). Five, it was to the immutable God (my rock). Six, it was done to “my Redeemer.” Within this one text, and how it is related to the three texts in the previous paragraph, there is enough to teach us about worship.

Worship is not just an outward action. This is not to deny that there are outward manifestations and practices, but simply that it is not just that. The heart is what determines the object of worship. It is easy to see that a person can have a lot of hyped music in terms of sound and beat and people will be fired up. But what are they fired up about? Are their affections flowing to the truth about God or about feeling good because of the music? They can, at least to some degree, have high thoughts of God while they are feeling good and still think highly of God because of what He is doing for them. That is not true worship. The heart must be taken with God as He is.

As we can see in Psalm 19:14 the soul wants the meditation of its heart to be acceptable in the sight of God. This is not just a bunch of ditties or of high feelings to the sound of loud music, it is living in the sight of God and wanting its inner person with its thoughts and feelings to be pleasing to God. This is a heart that desires its adoration of and delight in God to be pleasing to God. This is a heart that wants to exalt, magnify, and glorify God above all things and that for the pleasure of God. This is not a heart that is taken with its own high thoughts of God and of its own pleasurable feelings and praises God for the ability to have those. It is for the pleasure of God as its primary goal or it is not the worship and exaltation of God. God and His pleasure are always the only proper goals in worship.

Points 4-6 show the object of worship. All of what I have been saying above is in some ways a prelude to the immutability of God as the basis for worship displayed in this text. Worship is aimed at YAHWEH, that is, the self-existent one. It is this God that upholds the universe and each thing and person in it. It is this God that upholds my every breath and it is in Him that I live, move, and exist. There is no true worship of God apart from the self-existent I AM. He is the only God. In a previous entry I set out that there would be no self-existent God who is capable of change. If there is no worship apart from the self-existent God and immutability is a necessary component of self-existence, there is no worship apart from the God who is immutable. The very next phrase of Psalm 19:14 refers to God as “rock.” That is simply another way of saying that God is immutable. A large rock is a symbol of things that are not moved and are not changed. It is only the self-existent God who does not change that can truly save from things now and for eternity. He is a God who can be worshipped.

As we dwell upon this for a moment, surely it is obvious that the worship spoken of in Psalm 14 is worship that is in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24) and done with reverence and awe (Heb 12:28). We are able to selfishly worship a Redeemer who saves us, though with nothing but a narrow and selfish self-love. But if we do not worship the Redeemer who is also self-existent and immutable, we don’t worship the true God from the heart and with reverence. The fact of God’s immutability and the fact that we must worship Him in spirit and truth and with reverence and awe demonstrate that there is no true worship of a God that can change. A Redeemer that can change may be a Redeemer now, but he might not be a redeemer later on when he changed. God and God alone is to be worshipped as Redeemer because He saves forever, that is, immutably. Anything less is not worship.

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