“Worship” is sadly very misunderstood in Christian circles today. Much is made of the approved/disapproved genres of music, over/under-emphasis of emotions in worship, and many other such matters that are not the primary concerns of Scripture when it comes to a theology of Worship.

As Christians we have the Scriptures, and in them we have such a wide range of examples and teaching on worship that we should not be distracted by the worship trends that rise and fall throughout history.

In Psalm 9 is one of those wonderful instructive examples of true worship. It is a song with a designated tune. But don’t let that deceive you into thinking that worship is only for singing. The defining elements of worship are not the genre of song and the selected tune of Psalm 9, but are instead the accurate knowledge of God and the entire spectrum of appropriate responses to that knowledge of God.

Worship, according to Psalm 9, is when one’s personal experiences in life are turned into a display of the truth we believe about God. David worshipped by meditating on God’s loftiness  (2b, 7a, 19a, 20a), justice (4-8), protection (9-10), and utter other-ness (3, 15-20).

But since worship can never merely reside in a worshipper’s meditations, David gave expression to his worship through thanksgiving (1a), verbal testimony (1b, 11b, 14a), glad praises (2a, 14b), and yes, of course also song (2b, 11a), but also trust (10a) and prayer (13).

May Psalm 9 be your reminder today not only to worship God with well-written songs and their assigned tunes, but more importantly by thinking about God’s character and works, and by expressing your worship of Him through obvious external ways.