Warnings before worship

 (continued from yesterday's post--see below)

They are the same warning. Jesus was calling those scribes and Pharisees exactly what they were... a brood of vipers. In verse 13 of Isaiah 58, God is saying to refute that way and delight not only in deed but in heart in the LORD.

There are 5 Hebrew words that are translated – Worship, we’ll look at two.
Shachah – (shaw-khaw) to bow down in homage, prostrate oneself before God or false gods or angels.
‘abad – (aw-bad’) to serve, to work, to labor or be enticed to serve.

There are 11 Greek words that are translated – Worship, we’ll look at one.

Proskuneo – (pros – koo – neh – oh) to kiss the hand to/towards one in token of reverence; to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; kneeling or prostration in homage. From a word that loosely means to kiss like a dog licking his master’s hand.

I was a member of a Lay Renewal team back when I was an older teen. We called it Worship Service back then. I really liked that term. When we would have our "debriefing sessions"...some of us would say, "The Holy Spirit was really working in this!" And others would say, "You really think so? I couldn't see it!" And yes, we were at the same church on the same weekend... I have been to the exact same service as someone else and received such a deep blessing while the person beside me had to cover yawns and fight to keep awake.

What is illustrated here is that worship is definitely a 2-way street. We must work with the Holy Spirit. If we work with Him and prepare our hearts for Him then we have a completely different experience than if we just go through the motions and our heart is not in it. And if you don’t believe me, in the next few minutes, I’ll prove it. Remember the dog licking the master's hand.

Today we call our singing service before the preaching, Praise and Worship. We just spent a Wonder-Full half hour singing praises to my beloved Lord. However, I suggest to you that Worship is far more than singing, raising hands, praying, preaching and anything else we do in our Sunday Morning Worship services.

As I studied this Worship thing, it seems that God was teaching the Israelites in the OT that worshiping was different than anything else mentioned along with it. Uncountable times it reads, “Bow down and worship” or “Sing praises and worshipped.” Starting with Abraham in Genesis through Revelation, Worship or some form of it is mentioned 385 times in Scripture.
Turn with me to Genesis 22:5.

When my girls were young, about 3 and 4 years old, my Mom was so excited at Christmas because they were old enough to actually understand the Christmas story. She gathered them up in her lap and read the story to them from the Bible. When she got through, she said, “Now, that was the story of the very first Christmas almost 2000 years ago and why every year we remember Jesus’ birth at this time.” My older daughter, Lauri Anne looked up at her with her eyes wide and such a look on her face, we thought for sure she was going to say something profound or really sweet about the baby Jesus, when she said, “You’re not going to tell us all the other 2000 Christmas stories are you?”

So, no, we’re not going to explore all 385 times worship or a word like it is mentioned. I’ve whittled it down to several verses, though. So hang on to your hats.

Genesis 22:5
Gen 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, You stay here with the donkey. I and the boy will go over there that we may worship and may return to you.
Gen 22:6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac; and he took the fire and the knife in his hand. And the two went together.

שׁחה
shâchâh
shaw-khaw'
A primitive root; to depress, that is, prostrate (especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God): - bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.

The first time this word is used is a few chapters before in Genesis 18. But this is the first time Shaw-khaw is translated worship. Shaw-khaw. Notice that Abraham takes wood and fire and the knife and the two went together to Moriah (Mo-ree-yaw). Moriah means “Chosen by God.” This mountain that Abraham and Isaac offer sacrifice on is the same mountain where Old Jerusalem stands. The same mountain that David bought in order to build God’s Temple and the same mountain where Solomon built the Temple. It is the same mountain where Jesus died on the cross.

Wood
Fire and a
Knife –

The Cross,
Judgment and the
Nails.

Oh, I wish we had time to camp on that awhile. This is an illustration that we don’t have time to investigate further but can’t just be passed over.

Now look a few verses higher in 22:1. Abraham is being tested. We see here that Abraham is a man of few questions of God. He obeyed. He remembered what God had promised about Isaac so he didn’t fear and he obeyed God without question. He and the boy would go over yonder and worship and return to them, the servants.

What an incredible testimony of faith and worship. He obeyed God no matter the apparent cost.

In the Old Testament, the people bowed low to worship most of the time. What does that literally mean, to bow down or to bow low? Let’s consider this for a moment. If we are proud of something, what is our stance? Standing up straight, chest out, neck back, arms wide sometimes. When we are bragging on our children, grandchildren, husband …. Fill in the blank, we are proud…stiff-necked… focused on “me”, “my” and “mine”. Right?

Here is the problem with that focus; it is inward and earthly. But, when we bow our heads and bow down, we are in the perfect position to take on the yoke of possession of God. Taking on that yoke is part of belonging to Him. It is submission. It is acknowledging that God is greater and higher and mightier than “me”, “my”, “mine”. Idols are earthly things. When we have an earthly focus we leave out God.