Summary: Learn how each Psalm in the Songs of Ascent (120-134) describe the exciting life of the modern day follower of God as we climb and grow in our relationship with Christ.

Praise: The Hikers Environment

August 11, 2002

As you may or may not know, for the last couple of months, we’ve been on a trip (figuratively at least) to Jerusalem and today we’ve

finally arrived!

The travel songs we’ve been singing aren’t “100 Bottles of Beer”

and “Father Abraham”, but what are known as the “Psalms of Ascent”

They’re found in your bibles from Ps.120-134 (if you want to turn

there) and they conclude at our destination… the temple.

Which in the O.T. were THE place of worship and praise!

See every one of these songs represents a step in the Christian

journey that we’ve been calling the “Great Adventure” And every

step of this journey has been marked by a song.

In this last “Song of Ascents” the traveling pilgrims join together in

an outburst of praise to God for bringing them safely to their


So, we’ve covered 14 “Psalm Steps” and now we’ve reached the

pinnacle, the highest point of Ascent… praise to the God who

made our lives worth living! That’s the theme of this psalm:PRAISE

Now if you can think back to June 2nd you’ll remember that

the journey began with repentance. (By way, if missed, get tape!)

In Psalm 120, we heard the call to turn away from the world and

to turn toward God. The journey began with “woe is me” , but it

concludes with “bless the Lord!”

The road of discipleship begins with repentance, throwing up our

hands and saying, “God, Help! I’m messed up! I tried to do it my way and

ran myself into a ditch… now I want to start over. I want to change

directions. I want you to change my life.”

Now, the last Psalm of Ascent concludes with Praise! Praising God

that He did what He promised He’d do. Praise that His promises

are all true!

The writer of this song, (David) starts out by telling us to “Praise the


Praise to the God that made it all possible and brought us through…

Praise to the God who gave us meaning and purpose!

Praise to the God who helped us to overcome ever obstacle,

every habit, every set-back.

Praise to the God who healed our marriages, who put our

lives & families back together!

What does it mean to praise God? Do you know? I believe praise

means to… “Acknowledge God with my Heart not just my Head”

The bible tells us in John 4:24 to worship the Lord “spirit

and in truth”. Truth: that speaks of worshipping God with your head.

Understanding who He is as He’s revealed Himself in His Word,

the Bible.

There’s no doubt that it’s important to have a correct

‘head knowledge’ of who God is…(that’s where the cults get off base)

but if that’s all the further that it gets… you really haven’t praised

& worshipped God!

True worship goes deeper… it reaches the heart! To the point that

you’re not only singing about God… but you’re singing TO God!

How many of you know there’s a difference between ‘having’

church and ‘HAVING CHURCH’?

There’s a big difference between rejoicing and rituals…

a big difference between live worship and and dead liturgy.

And you can tell the difference!

Now David, who like I said, wrote this psalm, practiced what He

preached. In II Sam.6 we get a glimpse of David’s worship


David had been given the task of bringing the ‘Ark of the Covenant’

back to the temple after it had been gone for a number of years. He

made some mistakes along the way, but eventually they had a huge

worship service as they brought the Ark into the city.

I want you to notice David in II Sam.6:14,15 (READ)

David was singing loudly to the Lord! And I’ll bet he had a beautiful voice, but that wasn’t the most important part… it was that he was singing with his heart… and not just his head!

Now some of you are what I would call ‘Prison Singers’… you’re always behind a few bars, and you can’t find the right key!

I’ve heard you all the way up here… but it’s not important what you sound like… what’s important is that you are singing to the Lord with all your heart!

I think probably the worst thing that can be said about some music isn’t that it’s off key, but that it’s sung to the wrong audience! True

worship is sung to an audience of one!

Again in Jn.4:24 Jesus said Jn., “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and truth.” That’s the only way it can be done!

To be true worship it has to engage both your mind and your heart!

It employs both intellect AND emotion…

It involves both your right brain and your left brain!

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