Twenty differences between the Psalms and modern worship songs. 

Beware of presumption. We serve a holy God not a cuddly best mate. 

woman-591576_640There is a major difference between many modern worship music and the Psalms. Too many modern songs speak only of the love of God, and he is seen only as a gentle and loving friend.

It’s not that the worship songs are wrong. It’s just that they can almost completely miss a different side of God’s character. I want to explore that a little today before we focus in another post to an event that happened in 2 Samuel 6 which shocks the modern reader.
In the Psalms God is described as someone who

  1. judges (Psalm 1:6)
  2. is full of wrath (Psalm 2:5, 12),
  3. breaks the teeth of the wicked (Psalm 3:10)
  4. is a God of honor and righteousness (Psalm 4:1-2)
  5. hates all evildoers and destroys liars (Psalm 5:5)
  6. disciplines (Psalm 6:1)
  7. feels indignation every day (Psalm 7:11)
  8. is majestic and full of glory (Psalm 8:1)
  9. rebukes and blots out the wicked (Psalm 9:5)
  10. stands far off and hides himself even when someone is in trouble (Psalm 10:1)
  11. tests us, and pours burning coals on the wicked (Psalm 11:5-6)
  12. cuts off flattering lips and boastful tongues (Psalm 12:3)
  13. forgets people (Psalm 13:1)
  14. looks down on us to see if anyone seeks him (Psalm 14:2)
  15. wants his people to despise vile people but honor those who fear God (Psalm 15:4)
  16. requires his people to recognize him as Lord (Psalm 16:1)
  17. delivers his people from the wicked with a sword (Psalm 17:13)
  18. when he is arroused makes the earth quake, smoke comes from his nostrils, and fire from his mouth, he clothes himself in darkness, and his voice thunders (Psalm 18:7-12)
  19. created the whole universe and the heavens in particular to display his glory (Psalm 19:1)
  20. and finally, this very awesome God is also someone we can expect to actually answer us! (Psalm 20:1-9)

Today I would challenge you to meditate with me on these things. Allow these words to reshape your age of God. He is not a cuddly but ineffective friend. He is fearful, awesome, powerful, righteous, and yet this God is the same one who has promised to answer you.
I don’t know about you, but reading these words makes me want to repent of treating God lightly, of not respecting him enough, and of triffling with so-called ‘minor’ sins.

Of course this image of God I have painted today is not totally absent from modern worship. But I challenge you to think of a  song that clearly focuses on this aspect of his character. And if you write worship songs, perhaps be inspired by these words from the Psalms.

When I next write, we will see how this view of God is vital as we seek to understand what happened in 2 Samuel 6.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Robin Warchol

    Real interesting analysis. Incredible insight into what really scirpture worship song say about God and the usual pop fizz feel good sloppy agape we currently have.

  • Carla (Emily)

    Amen, sir. And it seems like our sloppy song service tells our preacher what kind of preaching we want to hear. It seems like we are choosing spiritual immaturity because we are perhaps afraid of the God that we would have to face if we matured in Him.

    • Theodore A. Jones

      All contemporary preachers scratch itching ears which is what they have been destined for.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    I don’t believe Evangelicals have ever progressed to spiritual immaturity yet.