Psalm 73 in today’s Bible reading* gives us an interesting perspective. Asaph begins his song speaking of God in the third-person (“he”). In doing this, he is testifying to other people. He is telling people about God. He begins to talk about God’s covenant relationship with His people.
Next, Asaph talks about those who are not God’s people. He echoes many of the proverbs as he ponders the good life that wicked seem to enjoy. Then, he realizes that the ease of the wicked is a façade. He says that as he began to worship, he began to realize the hopeless condition of those who are not God’s people. He repents and turns back to God.
By the time he gets to verse 18 through the end of the chapter, he refers to God in the second-person (“you”). At this point, Asaph is directing his attention to God Himself. He speaks of how he relates to God. He talks of how God is his help. And because of his relationship with God, he is able to tell other people about God.
There is a huge difference between “praise” and “worship”. Praise uses third-person language (“he”). Praise talks about God. Praise tells other people about God, both God’s people and lost people. Praise tells other people what God has done for you (or them) and points people to God.
Worship on the other hand speaks directly to God in second-person language (“you”).
As you sing songs in church today, pay attention to how the songs are addressed. Are they addressed about God (praise)? Or are they addressing God directly (worship)? Do you need to change some third-person language about God to second-person language to God?
Spend some time today talking to God and talking with God.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
1 Samuel 25
1 Samuel 26
1 Samuel 27