When you think about corporate worship, what first comes to mind?
When you are providentially hindered and unable to attend, what do you miss?
When you made the effort to come to the service today, what motivated you to attend?
What brings you the most joy in corporate worship?
Please open your Bibles to Psalm 42. Tonight, we begin a brief series from Psalm 42 and 43 on “The Joys of Corporate Worship.” These two psalms may at first seem like an unlikely source to learn about corporate worship. They are not composed by one who is in the midst of God’s people, enjoying the blessings of gathered worship. They are rather a lament of one who is providentially hindered from joining in worship—he is prevented from being in Jerusalem and is, at least temporarily, separated from the people of God.
In this lament the psalmist pours out his heart to God and reveals his longing to return to Jerusalem and gather once again with the people of God in worship. Through his words, we are taught what should be most desirable about worship. We learn why corporate worship is so necessary for the people of God.
Psalm 42 and 43 are actually a single psalm made up of three sections. Each section ends with a similar refrain. In each section the psalmist sings about an aspect of worship that he especially misses and longs to experience again.
The Joys of Corporate Worship.
I. (42:1-4) The Joy of Seeking and Delighting in God together.
II. (42:6-10) The Joy of Strength and Encouragement in time
III. (43:1-4) The Joy of Light and Truth