Jottings – The Full Height of New Testament Christian Worship
Commenting on Psalm 28:2 KJV “‘Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto Thee, when I life up my hands toward Thy holy oracle.’ And now we get a suggestion here of the difference between Old Testament worship and New Testament worship. The Old Testament saint knew nothing of what you and I through grace should know and understand. In all of the Old Testament dispensation God was hidden behind a heavy veil. He dwelt in the thick darkness and only the high priest could push that aside and enter once a year, bearing the blood of atonement. But now it is altogether different. The Old Testament saint said, ‘I lift up my hands toward Thy holy oracle.’ But what about the New Testament saint? Look at Hebrews 10:19-22 KJV and see how different our position is, ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water,’ or with ‘the water of purification,’ referring to the nineteenth chapter of Numbers, undoubtedly. Look at the difference. The Old Testament saint was truly a child of God, truly forgiven, but he knew nothing of immediate access into the holiest because the veil was not yet rent. The precious blood of Christ had not yet been shed, and so these Psalms do not rise to the full height of New Testament worship. That is why we need to be careful when we try to use [the Pslams] as vehicles of Christian praise, testimony, and adoration. The tone of worship never rises to the New Testament heights until we enter into the holiest through the value of the precious blood of Jesus. The Old Testament saint says, ‘I lift up my hands toward Thy holy oracle.’ Suppose I were to try to sing that today. I will not do anything of the kind. The oracle was the holiest of all. I belong in the holiest of all. I enter, in all the infinite value of the precious atoning blood of Christ. On the other hand, a great many of the Psalms are beautiful expressions of praise and worship, but they all reach just a certain height. You get the full height of Christian worship in the Revelation where we read, ‘Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever’ (Rev. 1:5-6 KJV). I wish I could write music. I would like to write an anthem on those words, for that is what we are going to sing in Heaven”
Harry Ironside, Psalms. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers; 1952), pp. 169-170.