But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple (Ps 5.7). In this Psalm David brings out the stark contrast between the features that marked the world in which he lived, and the qualities which ought to characterise those who belong to God. We can learn from his experience, as there is a great deal of pressure on us to submit to what society dictates should be ‘the norm’, be it in fashions, leisure activities, lifestyles or morals, and it is very difficult to resist these influences, particularly when they come from friends, whether at school, university, work, or in our neighbourhood.

It takes a special kind of courage to stand for God against these demands. Men like David and Daniel appreciated this, as for parts of their lives they had to remain firm in the face of opposition and difficulty. Here David looks at the world around him, considers its ways, and then says, “I’m different”, or in the words of the Psalm, “As for me…in thy fear will I worship”. He turns from the world toward God, even though this puts him in the minority. He is prepared to stand alone - a courageous stance when we realise that it is not so easy to look inwards and appreciate (and apply) the difference between “they/them” and “I/me”. David acknowledges that it is only because of the grace and mercy of God that he can come into His presence, and, likewise, it is only through the work of Christ that we are accepted there.

Worship is the highest and most important Christian activity, and we learn in the Word that it is sought by the Father, who seeks true worshippers to worship Him “in spirit and in truth” (Jn 4.23). We learn also that worship is to God alone, as we find in Exodus 20.1-5. Worship was refused by Peter for himself when he arrived at Cornelius’ house (Acts 10.24-26); by Paul and Barnabas in Acts 14 (albeit in a different kind of context); and by the angel(s) in Revelation 19 and 22. It is uplifting to note that we are more privileged than was David. The king worshipped towards the place of God’s holiness – as a holy priesthood we come into the very presence of God with holy boldness and reverence, offering to Him “spiritual sacrifices…by Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 2.5). May the Lord help us, as David was helped, to say, “As for me…in thy fear will I worship”.