24 They have seen Your procession, O God, The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary. 25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; Among them were the maidens playing timbrels. 26 Bless God in the congregations, The Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
In the last couple weeks we have learned that two lessons young women teach us both highlight our identity. The Church collectively is called the daughter of Zion to indicate how beloved the Church is – God loves us just as a father delights in his daughter. In addition, we saw last week that throughout the Scriptures young women are frequently identified by the title, “daughters of Zion” or “daughters of Jerusalem” or “daughters of Judah.” All these titles assure young women – God claims you as His own; He loves you; He cherishes you; He delights to be called your God.
Precisely because God claims you, He simultaneously invites you into His house to worship. When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, they were given two tasks: to tend the garden and to cultivate it. This latter calling of cultivating the Garden relates directly to worship. In the ancient Hebrew, as well as in Latin from which we get our word “cultivate”, the idea behind the word is to offer up in worship. So in English we not only get the word “cultivate” from the Latin cultus, we also get the words “cult” and “culture” – both pointing to the product of our cultivation. Adam and Eve, in other words, were to guard and cultivate the Garden and the work that they did was to be offered up to the Lord as their service of worship. From the beginning, man and woman were not created first and foremost as homo sapiens (wise man) but as homo adorans (worshiping man). We were created to worship.
Consequently, when God claims you young women for Himself, He invites you into His presence to worship; he invites you to offer up your labors as sacrifices, a pleasing aroma, to Him. Listen again to our psalmist:
24 They have seen Your procession, O God, The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary. 25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; Among them were the maidens playing timbrels. 26 Bless God in the congregations, The Lord, from the fountain of Israel.Note that the psalmist is careful to note that in the assembly of God’s people, worshiping before Him, were the maidens, the young women. And note that these maidens are not there half-heartedly, not there disinterestedly, not there sulking or pining for some other activity, but there rejoicing. Their joy in worship was evident for they were playing the timbrels – and timbrels always draw the attention.
This description of young women is made an imperative in another psalm – the psalmist in the 148th psalm calls upon the whole creation, including maidens, to worship the Lord: Praise the Lord from the earth… Both young men and maidens; Old men and children. (Ps 148:7,12)
So, young women, you are exactly where you are to be this morning. God has invited you here, welcomes you into His presence, delights over you with songs of love. He has brought you here to assure you that you are welcome; he speaks to you and says to you, “You are mine”; He receives you at His table and says to you, “I will provide for you, I will protect you.”
So, having been invited, come into worship with all your heart. Do not come distracted; do not come half-hearted; do not come unwillingly. The Lord Himself calls you here – not your parents, not your friends, not your elders. And for all you saints of the Lord – learn this lesson from the young women in our midst – just as God delights over them, inviting them to worship before Him with all the congregation, so too the Lord delights over all of us and call all of us homo adorans, worshiping man, called to offer up all our labor in worship.
Reminded that we are first and foremost worshiping creatures and that we have frequently failed to come into the Lord’s presence with joy and gladness, but have instead been sulky and disinterested, let us kneel and confess our sins to God.