Friday, 29 January 2010

7. WORSHIP, praise and service

You often hear the statement that the first use of the word 'worship' comes in the story of Abraham's intention to sacrifice Isaac. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” Gen 22:5 but this is really only true in an English version. The Hebrew word usually translated 'worship' is Strong's H7812 - shachah and means 'to prostrate oneself'. It is the physical attitude of unconditional surrender and of utter compliance with the will of another.

If we were to draw a stick-figure of a man 'worshipping' it would be of someone lying on their face before another. Not that I am advocating any 'method' of worship, I am trying to identify the essence of worship. It contains within its sense the idea of surrendering to someone much more powerful who will now be served without hesitation. It is the thought captured in Psalm 2 where we are admonished to Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psa 2:12 This is the kiss of willing obeisance rather than of affection.

Christ's rebuke to Satan's temptation was “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” Matt 4:10 It is an entirely appropriate answer to someone who had said “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Matt 4:9. The Greek word for 'worship' used here is also highly suggestive. It is the word Strong's G4352 - proskyneō In its origins it meant 'to kiss towards'. Again it is the picture of absolute submission to another; it is a good Greek equivalent of an original Hebrew word.

Digging a little deeper unearths another vital theme. In the wilderness temptations all Christ's answers come from the book of Deuteronomy and 'you shall worship the lord your God, and Him only you shall serve' is a quotation from Deuteronomy where it says You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. Deut 6:13 It is significant that 'fear' is changed to 'worship' by the Lord in the wilderness. True worship is close to fear but has the element of a willing surrender in it too.

True worship is beyond words or forms; it is an inward disposition. An old friend of mine used to say 'the language of true worship, like the language of true love, has a very small vocabulary'. Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. Eccl 5:2

3 comments:

said...

hello........................................

黑色星期五 said...

幽默並不是諷刺,它或許帶有溫和的嘲諷,卻不傷人,它可能是以別人,也可以用自己為對象。..................................................

johnradler said...

So true, Ron! We're in the age of "me". Let's have true worship proclaimed again - Christians live a life of worship and worship is their life! Thanks, John