Worship Is Formed by the Past, but Gives Shape to the Present

It’s important for us to remember, because remembering is what gives us confidence in the present.

My favorite quote from Muller is this: “If God fails me this time, it will be the first time.” We need to remember. It’s vitally important that our worship is rooted in the great acts of God in the past, because we are actually precariously close – closer than we might realize – to forgetting.   


Sing a new song to the Lord;
let the whole earth sing to the Lord.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
proclaim his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his wondrous works among all peoples (Ps. 96:1-3).

We are commanded to worship. We meet together as Christians and do what seems like a complete waste of time to the rest of the world. We sing together. As we do so, and as we read this psalm which is an exhortation to worship, we are reminded that there is both a past and present aspect to what we do during those meetings.

We find first of all that our worship is formed by the past. In Psalm 96, after we are given the command to sing a new song, we find in verse 2 to proclaim his salvation day after day. In verse 3 we are told to declare his wondrous works among all the peoples. Later in the psalm we are reminded that God made the earth, the heavens, and everything in them. All of these things happened in the past, and the past is what forms our worship.

If you read through the Old Testament, one of the other commands you find repeated over and over again is the command to remember. Remember when the Lord brought you out of Egypt. Remember what He did at the Red Sea. Remember why we eat this Passover meal. Remember the faithfulness of the Lord. In fact, all the festivals in the life of the nation of Israel were really instituted so that the people would always remember what God had done in the past.

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