Here is an article I published on my blog (onewaypublishing.co.uk) recently. Hope its helpful.

What worship means

WHAT WORSHIP MEANS

 

The first mention of worship in the bible is inGenesis 22:5when Abraham said to his servant:

 

 AV Gn 22:5b Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder andworship, and come again to you.

 

The Hebrew word for worship here is shachah (shaw-khaw’), which means: “to depress, or prostrate (especially reflexive, in homage to royalty or God):–bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.” So, in the first mention of worship in the bible we shown that this it is:

 

  • a weighty and glorious business

  • it is done in the presence of God

  • it should be faith-filled

  • the power of resurrection life is found in worship

 

The glory of worship

 

The context ofGenesis 22:5is the well known account of Abraham’s complete submission and obedience to God, to the extent that he was willing to sacrifice Isaac (the son God had promised him). If that isn’t enough to spell it out, the scripture is saying that Abraham took submission to God, obedience and belief in God’s promises exceptionally seriously.Gn 22:3says Abraham woke up early in the morning to make this incredible sacrifice. In the old testament the word for glory literally means weight or heaviness, I think it is clear that Abraham put great weight in the words that God had spoke to him regarding this sacrifice. God being the generous Father that He is would not let Abraham go through with it and instead revealed Himself as Jehovah Jireh by providing a lamb in the thicket at the crucial moment, which itself was symbolic of Jesus (God’s one and only Son) and the sacrifice he would make thousands of years later. But more on this end of the story later.

 

Worship for an audience of one

 

The main meaning of the word for worship in this passage speaks of paying homage, bowing and even lying prostrate before God the King. While this certainly means submitting our own will to God’s will, something else we should focus on here is that these actions all clearly take place in the presence of the defined subject – in this case Yahweh. This may sound obvious to you, but to me the very thought of actually entering the presence of God when we worship amazes me. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise though, throughout the bible the Kingdom of God manifests when people worship. After allPsalm 22:3says God inhabits the praises of His people, or another translation says He is where His people praise Him (The fact thatPsalm 22is a prophetic picture of Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary and that this itself is the fulfilment of God’s revelation as Jehovah Jireh inGn 22is a powerful parallel in the context of offering a sacrifice of worship).

 

It also reminds us that we are not performers but worshippers before an almighty King. However, the fact that we are worshipping for an audience of one doesn’t mean we aren’t in tune we can be indulgent when we worship. As a worship team we need to be in tune with God the Holy Spirit and work in unity as team so we can take the whole congregation there with us.

 

Worship should be faith filled

 

Abraham said he and and the lad (Isaac) would go yonder and worship (sacrifice the son of promise)and return.Knowing that he was going to sacrifice (kill) Isaac as an offering of worship unto God Abraham believed that, seeing as God had promised he would be the father of many nations through Isaac, God would raise him from the dead (Hebrews 11:19). If that isn’t faith I don’t know what is. But what does this tell about how we worship today. Firstly, it should like Abraham be faith filled in and based in the unending truth of God’s promises. And secondly, resurrection power will be made manifest in this kind of worship.

 

True worship leads to the manifestation of God’s resurrection power

 

Isaac did not die. Seeing as Abraham had committed to sacrificing him, this is one very real kind of resurrection that took place in response to Abraham’s worship. However, the fact that He didn’t die doesn’t in any way negate the power of the resurrection that took place. Because God exchange Isaac for His son Jesus Christ, what happened here was that act of worship led directly to the ultimate once and for atoning sacrifice of Jesus and the flow of his propitiating blood. In other words, when Abraham worshipped God stepped in an unlocked all the promises of God in Jesus. Therefore when we worship, it is like we are tapping into that same flow and releasing the fruit of Jesus’ sacrifice by faith . There are examples of this throughout the bible from Joshua (the walls of Jericho falling down) to Acts (Paul and Silas causing the earth to shake through worshipping God).

 

 

Related Posts:

And you can read more about worship here - Worship 

Views: 197

Comment by Benjamin Sealey on February 24, 2011 at 1:30pm
Good article
Comment by Chris Anthony on February 24, 2011 at 4:42pm
Thanks Benjamin. Do let me know if you have any feedback, I would love to hear from you.
Comment by Benjamin Sealey on February 25, 2011 at 7:44pm
It's amazing how many churches/worship leaders don't realise these fundamental truths. I've spoken at a lot of churches, and I always ask, "what is worship" to the congregation, and usually only, (at best) do one or two people realise that it's about submission to God. True worship should be central to our churches and our walk with  God, but unfortunately, too many of us have made worship in church all about music and songs, at the expense of encounter and deep relationship with God
Comment by Chris Anthony on February 25, 2011 at 9:10pm

It is important to get the right priorities in the right order. I love worshipping with music as much as anyone else, but there is so much to learn about what it means. 

 

If you liked this article, let me know your feedback on these related ones too:

 

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