Introduction: Have you noticed that our recent worship studies are
focused on our personal reasons for worshiping God? We worship Him
because of what He has done for us! These personal reasons for
worship bring tears of joy and gratitude to my eyes. But, are these
personal reasons for worship “selfish?” After all, Satan told God
that Job’s worship was for selfish reasons. ( Job 1:9-10.) What if
you believe that God has let you down? What if life has not gone
right, even though you think that you have been faithful? Let’s
plunge into our study of the Bible to explore worship beyond our
personal reasons!

  1. The Wicked and Worship

    1. Read Psalms 73:1-3. Why has this follower of God nearly
      lost his faith? (Envy of the wicked.)

    2. Read Psalms 73:4-6. Do you know people like this? They
      live well, they are proud about their achievements, and
      they don’t let anyone get in their way!

    3. Read Psalms 73:9-11. What is the relationship of these
      proud people to God? (They make spiritual claims of some
      sort. They are popular and successful. People “drink”
      what they have to sell. In America we would say “the
      people are drinking their kool aid.”)

      1. What do the drinkers say about God? (If the proud
        and successful people claim a spiritual path, why
        think that God has any better wisdom or knowledge?)

      2. Do you find this is true today? (The spiritualism of
        “Hollywood” is that every view of life (except
        serious Christianity) is of equal worth.)

    4. Read Psalms 73:13-14. Have you been following God and
      thought it was doing you no good? In fact, it was making
      your life worse? Are you being “punished every morning”
      for following God?

    5. How would this kind of feeling interfere with worship?
      (You would not feel gratitude towards God.)

  2. Thinking it Through

    1. Read Psalms 73:15. What keeps our doubting friend from
      expressing these thoughts in public? (He is worried that
      he will lead others away from God.)

      1. Is he right to keep silent about his doubts?

    2. Read Psalms 73:16-17. Did the answer come easily? (No. He
      was “oppressed” by the problem. Apparently, he struggled
      with it.)

      1. We’ve recently studied the sanctuary. How does it
        help us to solve the problem? (Recall the sanctuary
        is God’s picture of the plan of salvation. The lamb
        dies for the sin of the human. Jesus, the Lamb of
        God, died to give us the possibility of eternal

    1. Let’s continue this line of thought in Psalms 49:10-11.
      What is the common fate of the wise and the foolish?
      (They die.)

    2. Read Psalms 49:16-20. Is this the answer? When we are
      feeling jealous about the wicked who live so well, should
      we say, “You are going to die like a dog and have nothing
      in death.”

      1. What kind of an attitude is that?

    3. Read Psalms 49:14-15. A common expression is “I’ll sleep
      when I’m dead.” Is this “I’ll rule when I’m dead?”

      1. How would you express this in the most positive way
        possible? (This life is all that is given to the
        wicked. The righteous are redeemed by God into life

    4. Read Psalms 73:21-22. What kind of Christians are we if
      we doubt God and fail to study His word to understand His
      will? (Brute beasts: senseless and ignorant.)

    5. Read Psalms 73:23-24. What does God offer us other than
      eternal life? (This text is on my office wall. If we
      study to learn God’s will, He will guide us with His
      counsel here on earth, and afterwards “take [us] into

    6. Read Psalms 73:25-26. How else should we justify the
      prosperity of the wicked? (The pleasures of earth are
      limited. The true desire of our hearts should be God. He
      is our strength and our wealth.)

  1. The Declaration

    1. Let’s shift gears a bit. So far we have learned that the
      follower of God may find that the wicked accumulate more
      wealth and more glory on earth, but the Christian gets
      the counsel and companionship of God now, and eternal
      life later. How can we know that these things are true?
      Read Psalms 19:1. What do you think the heavens declare
      about God?

      1. Imagine that the most amazing space ship arrives in
        your town. It has no seams, no obvious fasteners.
        Formed of some material we have never seen, part of
        it is as transparent as glass. It moves with great
        power, but without noise. What would you say about
        the people who created it? (They are much more
        technologically sophisticated than we are.)

      2. Our text says that the skies are the “work” of God’s
        hands. What should we conclude from that? (That God
        made them.)

      3. To get a better idea about what we are talking
        about, you should go to YouTube on the Internet and
        look for videos by Louie Giglio which describe the
        size and wonder of the heavens.

      4. A light year, the distance light travels in a year,
        is six trillion miles or 10 trillion kilometers.
        Louie Giglio talks about the Whirlpool Galaxy which
        is 31 million light years away from us. It contains
        300 billion stars. So, think about this: God made
        something that is 31 million light years away and
        contains 300 billion stars. If you were going to
        worship a god, would it be one made with your hands?
        Or, would you worship One who made the Whirlpool

        1. Speaking of our hands, if I asked you to create
          a galaxy 31 million light years away, how would
          you start?

    2. Read Psalms 19:2-4. We discussed what we would conclude
      about the people who built our imaginary space ship. What
      are people hearing from the universe today?

      1. Have you noticed that the greater the number of
        people who live in an area, the less clearly the
        heavens appear?

      2. Our text says that the heavens “display knowledge.”
        In what way is that true? (They show not just
        intellect and order, they show power and resources
        beyond our comprehension.)

      3. Who is unable to hear these messages about God? (No
        one. They are heard in every language and every part
        of the world.)

        1. Do you think that is the reason why God created
          the heavens?

    3. Read Psalms 19:5-6. How is the sun like a bridegroom? (In
      a marriage, we focus on the groom and the bride. The
      bride places her hopes on the success of the groom. Our
      earth is dependent upon the continuing heat and light of
      the sun.)

  2. The Connection Between the Heavens and the Law

    1. Read Psalms 19:7-8. Why would David change subjects from
      the heavens to the law? Or, is David staying on the same
      subject? (He is changing from astronomy to theology, from
      the stars to the Ten Commandments. But, they both operate
      by set laws.)

    2. Let’s connect this with our prior discussion. What is the
      problem faced by the wicked? (They are not following
      God’s law. They miss His counsel and companionship on
      earth, and life on earth is all they “enjoy.”)

      1. How can we know that what we believe about God and
        His law is true? (If God is competent to create the
        rules governing the heavens, we can have confidence
        in His rules governing our lives.)

      2. Notice what David says about the law – that it is
        perfect. Are the laws controlling the heavens
        perfect? (This is an amazing thing. Evolutionists
        understand that the heavens follow laws which can be
        mathematically expressed. We can predict where the
        planets and stars will be in the future, and
        determine where they were centuries ago. As a
        result, those who advocate chance and natural
        selection for the creation of the universe and
        everything in it, also understand that the universe
        is governed by reliable laws. It makes no sense.)

    3. Friend, David says that the law makes the “simple” into
      “wise” people. Would you like to be wise? If you are
      already highly intelligent, imagine what God’s law will
      do for you! God admits that some people who reject Him do
      well. But, if we are wise enough to see the big picture,
      we will see that the wicked are a sad group. They are
      without God’s counsel and companionship both now and
      eternally. Friend, will you choose today to be among
      those who seek to walk with God?

  3. Next week: Conformity, Compromise and Crisis in Worship.