I think sometimes we as Christians (read: I) cringe a little bit when we talk about worshipping God and the fact that He commands us to do so. That reality doesn’t exactly present the easiest case for Christianity’s PR department.
- God is all-powerful.
- Thus, everything – both good and bad – is under the realm of His control and, arguably (and oh, do we argue about it), ultimately caused by Him.
- Oh, and He tells us to worship Him (e.g. Deuteronomy 8:10, but there are plenty of examples of this command throughout the Bible).
This is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. Someone commanding us to tell them how great they are? Maybe it’s just me, but that can (and has) definitely rub(bed) me wrong.
However, reading through that single example in Deuteronomy 8 gives a clue as to why I might be interpreting this reality a bit naively. God is speaking to the people of Israel and explains why, after He has given them a huge abundance of blessing by clearing out the promised land of enemies and plopping them into rich agricultural cornucopia, they should remember to turn back to Him and praise Him for what He has done:
“10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (NIV).
How many beautiful stories out there exist of a character that lets power, affluence, riches, or fame get to their heads and become a shell of who they were before?
Let me hypothesize then that if we forget the true Source of good; if we forget our first Love; we become proud, selfish echoes of ourselves. And God knows that. (It’s like He created this whole thing.)
Telling us to remember Him and His goodness centers our hearts and souls. It orders things. It distinguishes the Giver from the given. It kindles hope within the throes of absence, devastation, grief, or pain. It creates rhythms and structure. And we need all those things.
So maybe telling us to worship Him is just another example of God doing things for our good after all.