Give to the LORD the glory due to his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship may be called the flower of the religious life. It will be absent where there is no religion at all; it will be scanty or poor when one's religion is feeble; it blossoms into beauty and perfection only when godliness is assiduously cultivated in daily practice and the soul is accustomed to dwell habitually under the shadow of the Almighty. Here, then, you have a very useful test by which to judge of your real religious condition. Is worship irksome? Do you find your affections generally cold, your desires languid, or your thoughts wandering when you come to church? Search within for the cause; see if there be not a negligent state of the soul behind this undevout frame of yours; inquire into your daily habits of obedience, your vigilance against known sin, your study of God's will and mind, your practice of repentance, and of faith in the Saviour. As a Christian lives well or ill so will he worship. Again, his worship, if it be hearty and constant, must feed and purify his spiritual life. And here let me speak a little on the utterances which the devout mind finds for its feelings towards God; because it should be recollected that although worship begins in a state of the heart it does not stop there — to feel penitence, or gratitude, or adoration is not just the same thing as to worship; worship or homage begins when the hidden emotions of a devout mind, stirred up at the thought of God, run out into some form of utterance. The utterance may, no doubt, be secret and silent — no voice — hardly even the lips moving, like pious Hannah's, the soul talking only to its God. This is how people commonly worship when they are alone. No matter; there is none the less real outflow and utterance of the man. An outflow of the heart towards the Most High there must be, perfectly well understood by Him whether discernible to men or not — then the soul worships. Now, of what nature is this outflow from the religious heart? Briefly, it is of the nature of an offering of a sacrifice. Foremost of all, that of which it is expressly said, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit," etc. Next comes the offering of our grateful and joyous praise for Him who hath been sent among us to heal the broken-hearted; I mean the words of our lips giving thanks to His name in song and audible confession of His mercy, for "with such sacrifices," likewise, "God is well pleased." One other offering alone I shall name which we ought to bring within His courts — it is that which the apostle has described as a service reasonable on our part and acceptable to God — I mean the dedication to His service of ourselves. Christian homage to the Redeemer finds its supreme utterance here in the recognition of the fact that we are no longer our own, at our own bidding and disposal, but are His who bought us with a price, willingly devoted, separated of our own choice, to the service and honour of our Redeemer, living and dying body and soul the Lord's.
(J. O. Dykes, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.