Musician Israel Houghton has a passion for worship that is visible throughout his work as a church worship leader and Grammy Award-winning recording artist. He recently told an interviewer: "I believe I am existing in this generation to help the church worldwide see that we don't have to wall ourselves off and say, 'This is how we do it, so we're just going to do it like this.' Worship is not for us. It's not about, 'What can I get out of this moment?' It's about offering. It's about sacrifice." His recent album, The Power of One, clearly shows this vision, including the idea that worshiping God goes hand in hand with seeking justice and caring for people.
Giving glory to God is often accomplished in music. Psalms like Psalm 69 might start with questions, complaints, or cries for help, but they always end with praise, expressions of faith, and descriptions of God's greatness. Very often these are framed as praise for acts of God not yet done, but treated as if they were already accomplished. That's exactly the sort of thing going on in today's reading, providing the rich background for David's declaration: "I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving" (v. 30).
We see here at least four results from a God-glorifying attitude of faith and praise. First, God is pleased (v. 31). It might have been possible for the Israelites to offer insincere animal sacrifices, but insincere praise is a contradiction in terms. True praise comes from our hearts and gladdens the heart of God. Second, the poor are encouraged (v. 32). The word "poor" here means spiritually needy—and we are all spiritually needy! What makes us glad, or, what do we "see"? God's deliverance and people's praise. Third, prayers are answered (vv. 33, 35-36). God faithfully hears and responds to our petitions and intercessions. Fourth and finally, nature joins in with our praise (v. 34). The entire earth is waiting to be called to worship!