We are created to worship God. But why would God create human beings in order to receive their worship? Is this not, as some suggest, pure vanity?
Many years ago I was helped in my understanding of worship through C.S. Lewis’s explanation in his Reflections on the Psalms.
He wrote: ‘The most obvious fact about praise… strangely escaped me… I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise… the world rings with praise... walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game – praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare books, even sometimes politicians and scholars…
‘My whole, more general, difficulty about praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can’t help doing, about everything else we value.
‘I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It’s not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.’
In other words, worship is the consummation of joy. Our joy is not complete until it is expressed in worship. It is out of his love for us that God created us for worship. According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, humankind’s ‘chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever’.