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A Woman Who Worships in the Wait (Part 2)

Updated: May 11

This blog is a continuation of "A Woman Who Worships in the Wait” (Part 1), published on 4/23/24. To read that blog first, refer here:




"The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng; Kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder." (Psalm 68:11-12)


In my NIV study Bible, the heading of Psalm 68 states the following: “For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.” Additionally, my Bible's commentary notes (from Psalm 4), it state that this category of psalm was to be used by the director of music in Israel’s worship service, or that when the psalm was used in temple worship it was to be spoken by the leader of the Levitical choir.” So Psalm 68. like others in this category, is a call-to-worship psalm. 


Understandably then, it’s also headed as a “song," and is "a part of the grouping of psalms that are 'psalms of praise’.’” Commentary in my Bible informs, The voice heard here [in this psalm] is that of the worshiping community.” Even more specifically, this was a psalm that was to be used as “a hymn celebrating the triumphal march of Israel's God from Mount Sinai to Mount Zion." (italics added)


In consideration of these two mountains, first, there was Mt. Sinai, located in the desert where the law was given to Moses. According to my Bible's commentary, Mt. Sinai is a “symbol of our sin and reminder of our need for a Savior.” To me, Sinai is a reminder that the Lord dwells with me and leads me, within the desert places of life. Also, it's a reminder that His holiness is always deserving of my reverence, and His words always deserving of my attention and obedience.


Secondly, there is Mt. Zion, a symbol of the great city of David, the city of Jerusalem. It represents the Jewish nation, as well as the heavenly Jerusalem. Commentary in my Bible states that Zion was a “hub of worship that represented the presence of God.” Mount Zion reminds me that, in whatever seasons or situations of life I’m in, the Lord’s presence always makes me oasis places. And it’s a reminder that because Immanuel—“God with us”—arrived on Earth’s scene as the long-awaited answer to the promises spoken, I will one day eternally dwell in the presence of my Creator. Thus, I owe Him my worship, my all.


Regarding these two mountains, the writer of Hebrews says,


"You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: 'If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.' The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, 'I am trembling with fear.' But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.' The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire" (12: 18-29). 


I love this passage. I love the juxtaposition of these two monumental mountains. What once was, via the Law; and what now is, via Jesus Christ. I love the final thought the writer brings us to, the because-of-these-things-I-just-said point he ultimately makes: "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire" (italics mine). Yes, let us be so thankful! And let us worship Him! Let us be filled up, utterly consumed and overflowing, with reverential awe of Him, the One who is our "consuming fire."


The more I read Psalm 68 and consider it in the context of worship. . . and the more I read verses within it, like 3-6; 7-10; 19-20; 29 and 35. . . and the more I consider God’s involvement in the history of His people Israel. . . and the more I reflect on His involvement in my history and the history of my family, the Spirit of Christ stirs something within me as a woman, concerning worship. Worship that is preparing us, His longed-for bride, for the return of our longed-for Lord. Worship that is needed now more than ever, especially in these times that we find ourselves living on Earth’s great calendar.


 

My Bible's commentary notes on Psalm 68:11, reference Miriam’s song after the Exodus; the song of Deborah in Judges 5; and the singing and dancing of the women in Samuel 18, after David had killed Goliath. Not referenced, though, is another woman who worshiped, one that, when I was originally pondering all of this, the Holy Spirit brought to mind: Mary, the mother of our Savior, the favored teenage girl who took God at His word.


This is the deep place where the Spirit ultimately led me, to what, I believe, He ultimately wanted me to deliberate from my discovery of Psalm 68:11-12: to be a woman who worships, and to allow this worship to prepare me, His bride, for the arrival of Jesus, the Lover of my Soul. And I'm encouraging you, dear sister, to be the same.


The women who are referenced in Psalm 68:11-12 are full of praise, full of worship. They’re worshipers of the God who speaks only truth—the truth they believe and proclaim, the truth that brings them victory and redemptive spoils in the trials of life. 


But I believe that Mary’s song of worship gives us an even deeper layer of this, and that is to be a woman who worships in the wait. Yes, in the waiting of all God’s Word has declared and promised within your realm of existence; but ultimately, a woman who worships in the wait of the Savior’s return. 


Just think about it, when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that very soon the Savior would be arriving, the Jews had been longing and waiting for the Messiah who had been prophesied of. Then, there was the waiting through the 400 years of silence between the writings of Malachi and the birth of Jesus. The theme of waiting is woven throughout the pages of Scripture. From Noah to Abraham, to Jacob, to Joseph, to Moses, to Hannah, to Nehemiah, to Job, to David, to Daniel, to Habakkuk, to Simeon, to Anna, and Jesus, waiting upon the One whose wisdom, timing, and ways are worth waiting for is a reality for servants of the Most High.


And so, Mary, who identified herself as "the Lord's servant" (Luke 1:38), would, too, wait for what the Holy Spirit had conceived in her, waiting for the fruition of God's declarations. Amidst extremely challenging personal circumstances, she would choose to believe that the Lord would fulfill the words spoken to her, for she believed what the angel Gabriel had stated, that "no word from God will ever fail" (37).


 

But to add one more layer of thought, I want to also point out that I believe that it's within the words of Mary’s song that we are given the warp and woof of how to worship in the wait: It’s all about identity. Mary knew who she was, and Mary knew who God was. Consider how she identifies herself and how she identifies God in her worship song, found in Luke 1:46-55.


Her identity: humble servant, blessed by the Mighty One, the one who fears the Lord, the one who’s hungry and has been filled


God’s identity: the Savior, the Lord, the one who’s mindful of the servant’s state, the Mighty One who does great things, the one whose name is holy, the one who extends his mercy to those who fear him, the one who performs mighty deeds with his arm, the one who scatters the proud in their inmost thoughts, the one who brings rulers down, the one who lifts up the humble, the one who fills the hungry with good things but sends the rich (the one whose mindset is “I need nothing”) away empty, the one who remembers to be merciful to those to whom a promise has been made 


Women who’ve learned to authentically worship in the wait—women whose hearts are filled with praise and adoration and whose worship is way beyond Sunday morning singing; who keep their eyes fixed on the eternal more than the temporary distractions and problems of this vaporous life; who believe God's words amid tears, when circumstances are so very hard, even seemingly hopeless; who look to Heaven when the enemy is prowling and pouncing, keeping their gaze fixed on Christ alone; who choose to obey when their flesh wants to disobey, and who quickly repent and realign themselves when the flesh gets the best of them—these are women who’ve learned to. . . 


linger in His word,

listen for His voice,

love His fellowship,

align to His ways.


And in so doing, they know who God is and know who they are. Yes, there are days when they lose sight and need to realign their thoughts to these realities, as life's demands, distractions, disappointments, and discouragements vie to get the best of them, and sometimes do. However, like David—the Bible's quintessential example of an authentic worshiper at best—made it his habit of doing, they will, ultimately, encourage and refresh themselves in the Lord, via the wellspring of His truth.


And it's in this choice of knowing God and knowing who they are to Him that they become the women spoken of in Psalm 68:11-12, the ones who receive the Lord's Word that goes forth; who believe it, and then declare it within their realms; who call the enemy out as the great liar that he is, and then watch him flee; and who make use of the beautiful redemptive spoils as they wait for the return of the Master—their Savior, King, Lover, and Lord.


To this, dear sisters, we proclaim, "Amen! And Amen!"


In these troubled times upon the Earth, 

while sin does wax and days get worse,

may we not be women who are waning, 

or wandering, or worrying, or woe-ing.


Rather, may the Master's return find in us,

women who are worshiping, as we wait.








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