When you arrive at 1 Chronicles 16:7 you discover you’ve changed genres. We move out of narrative and into Hebrew poetry/psalms. We worship by allowing this song to guide our worship in church and in life. That means at least 7 aspects of worship, plus the reason why God deserves our worship.
So, as you read through the Psalm you can teach that worship involves:
- Giving thanks (vv. 8a, 34a)
- Asking for help (vv. 8b, 11, 35)
- Singing His praises (vv. 9a, b, 10, 23a, 28-29a, 36). Let me pause for a moment and point out in v. 10 that God commands us to be happy. I always love that. He says, “I know life is often hard, but I’m good and I am putting together the pieces of My broken world. You are a part of that restoration while you wait for Me to finish the job.” Your congregants will appreciate the honesty, the balance of brokenness and wholeness they experience.
- Witnessing in the world (vv. 8c, 9c, 23b-24). I must admit: I didn’t see that one coming. But, as you can see in the Psalm, corporate worship involves instruction to tell the Story. If I was a techie, I’d write: Tweet This: Every worship service is a commissioning service. But, I’m not…
- Remembering His promises (vv. 12-22)
- Bringing an offering (v. 29b). We’ll see more on this in the last chapter of 1 Chronicles.
- Becoming holy (v. 29c). It can’t get much clearer: “Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness…” It’s a great time to remind everyone that we can’t worship God and rebel against Him at the same time.
Finally, vv. 25-27, 30-33, 34b, c provide the reason why God deserves our worship: “For great is the Lord…” (v. 25).
If you’re interested in making a Christo-centric application (more on the difference between Christ-centered interpretation and application later maybe), you can move from v. 15-16 (“Remember his covenant forever…”) to the New Covenant in His blood (cf. Luke 22:20).
Preach the Psalms in Chronicles, or the Psalms in Psalms for that matter, so God receives glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:21).
As you near the end of Isaiah’s Gospel, you discover a lengthy prayer (cf. Isaiah 63:15-19 and Isaiah 64:1-12 and Isaiah 65:1-16). This section functions much like the earlier section of Isaiah that read like a Psalm. So, Isaiah intends that God’s people pray this prayer. I find it best to focus on the requests, the special relationship we have with God, the problem that gives rise to the requests, and the solution to the problem (cf Isaiah 64:4-5). The last section continues to carry Isaiah’s intention forward: creating a righteous people ready for Christ’s return. One unique feature of Isaiah 65:1-16 is that it contains God’s answer to a very specific question (cf. the question in Isaiah 64:12 and God’s answer in Isaiah 65:6). A saved remnant is hinted at in Isaiah 65:8. The repetition in Isaiah 65:13-14 is a strong call for every congregant to be sure they can be accurately identified by God as his “servants.” Of course, the only way any of us can be identified as the servants of God is because God’s Servant, our Lord Jesus Christ, took all our uncleanness upon Himself (cf. Isaiah 64:5-7) when He died on the cross for us sinners, when He literally “spread out” His hands for a rebellious people (cf. Isaiah 65:2).
Isaiah 63:7-14 reads like a Psalm of David and it functions like one, too. Isaiah’s memories are designed to shape our own memories. We are to remember God’s “steadfast love” (Isaiah 63:7-9); we’re to remember our terrible tendency to spurn God’s steadfast love (Isaiah 63:10). Finally, thankfully, God Himself (according to the ESV and KJV reading) remembers the time when He rescued His people. All that remembering is designed to lead God’s people to put an end to their rebellion and their grieving “His Holy Spirit.” Or, to use the language of Isaiah 63:14, the Psalm of Isaiah is designed to make sure all of us are being led by God. According to Romans 8:14, being led by the Spirit of God confirms that we belong to God. Paul can instruct his readers in Ephesians 4:30 to stop grieving the Holy Spirit because faith in Christ gives the desire and capacity to do so. Isaiah 63:9 previews the Gospel. Christ truly “was afflicted” on the cross and those who receive Him respond to His love by yielding to His Spirit.