“Praise is Always Polemical”

I listened to an outstanding sermon on Psalm 100, the Bible’s quintessential call to worship, by Dr. Ray Van Neste today on my lunch break. Dr. Van Neste does an excellent job bringing out a number of important themes in this psalm, including joy and gladness in worship and the manliness of singing unto God in worship. He made another striking point early on:

Praise is always polemical, that is, it is always fighting in a certain sense . . . to come together and say, ‘Praise,’ or ‘Worship,’ or, ‘Serve Yahweh,’ is to say not to worship anyone else.

In other words, there is much more going on at the Sunday morning ‘song service’ in the little country church down the lane than meets the eye and the ear. When those old hymnals are cracked open and those voices begin singing “This is My Father’s World” in faith, the people of God are defying the spirit of the age; they are assaulting the gates of hell; they are joyfully declaring that Jesus is alive, and he is Lord. Praise is polemical.

That’s enough to fire you up about singing this Sunday. So is Van Neste’s sermon — listen to it here.


About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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