Our Purpose

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.  The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.  The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.  He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.   The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.  The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.  The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.  And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.  The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

–          Psalm 29


“Yes, worship of the loving God is man’s whole reason for existence.  That is why we are born and that is why we are born again from above.  That is why we were created and that is why we have been recreated.  That is why there is a genesis at the beginning, and that is why there is a re-genesis, called regeneration.

“That is also why there is a church.  The Christian church exists to worship God first of all. …

“Sad, sad indeed, are the cries of so many today who have never discovered why they were born.  It brings to mind the poet Milton’s description of the pathetic lostness and loneliness of our first parents.  Driven from the garden, he says, ‘they took hand in hand and through the valley made their solitary way.’”

–          Rev. A. W. Tozer, Whatever Happened to Worship?


The toddler’s favorite question, ‘Why?’


Okay, that comes after ‘What’s that?’, but it is a question that is often ignored.  You go to school and make good grades, so you can get into a good college.  You study hard and make good grades in college, so you can get a job.  You work hard for the next forty years to buy a house, raise a family, etc.


And the entire time, you never learn why.


Worshipping God is the why.


Why do we worship God?  Psalm 29 breaks it down.  We ascribe to the Lord that which is His.  Thus, we ascribe everything.  When you realize how big infinity is when it comes to omnipresent, omniscient, all powerful, and the creator of all things, then we can get the idea why David dropped to his knees and worshipped as he did through song.


When our only worship is when we try desperately to stay awake for an hour on Sunday morning, Sunday or Saturday night, whenever, we see a small God that can be placed on the shelf and ignored until that one-hour next week.  We do not see a God who has a voice that can break the cedars of Lebanon into splinters.


Many years ago, when we went to a church in Augusta, GA, we renovated an old home behind the church to be Sunday school rooms and the yard to be a parking lot.  As part of the work party, I was doing one odd job after another until one of my fellow Deacons stepped away from a large cedar tree in the yard.  He was exhausted, and he had hardly dented the tree.  For one thing, his ax was dull.  His saw was dull, too. And his approach at cutting was fighting the grain of the wood.  He had not even cleared a space to get a full swing of the ax.


I told him I had something in my truck.  For over a year, I had been teaching boy scouts, cub scouts, and scout leaders how to sharpen an ax.  Of course, I used my ax with a three-pound ax head for every lesson.  I never tried, but I think I could have shaved with the ax.


Knowing how to swing an ax, and fell a tree, I took a swing at a low limb, about four inches in diameter.  The limb simply popped off with one swing.  I took a few more swings at the other low limbs with the same result, making a spot for a full swing at the trunk.  Cedars have so many low limbs, you must cut your way to the trunk.  Then the trunk took a few swings before the tree came down.


My friend stared at me, sweat pouring down his face from his fruitless efforts, dumbstruck.  I said nothing.  I just placed my ax in a safe place and went back to my assigned task.  The tree was cut up and hauled away, other than a few pieces I threw into my truck.  Cedar smells so good.


About an hour later, I heard someone call my name.  “We need your help over here and bring the great Ginzu with you.”  (At the time, an early infomercial on TV was for ‘the sharpest knife in the world.’)  The work crew had dubbed my ax, the sharpest ax in the world.


But Psalm 29 says that God could have turned that tree into splinters, and its much larger Lebanese cousins, just with the sound of His voice.


Of course, when God’s voice can strike like lightning bolts, that would turn a cedar into splinters, and burn them at the same time.


Ask yourself what limitations your imagination places on your vision of God?  If God is bigger, stronger, wiser, faster, than anything that you can imagine, why not really worship on Sunday, with every bit of fiber and every bit of energy that you have?  Why not worship every day?  Why not worship God all the time?


Worshipping God gives us purpose, and with purpose there would be so many fewer people in the world lamenting over the meaningless of life.


Soli Deo Gloria.  Glory to God Alone.

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