October 19 I Monday

Isaiah 56-58

2 Thessalonians 2

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name...”

—Matthew 6:9


The first lines of The Lord’s Prayer are concerned about God—more specifically, the worship of God. In our relationship with God, we worship Him simply for who He is. The word “worship” in our modern churches has rendered its understanding as “singing.” One time, I had a church tell me, “We’re going to have a time of worship for the first half an hour and then you come preach.” What they actually meant was, “We’re going to have a time of expressing in song our worship to God.”

The late F. F. Bruce taught, if we want to know how to define something in Scripture, it is good practice to see where it first occurs. Often in its first occurrence, we will discover a good definition of what it means; although it may not be foolproof, it is an interesting exercise.

When we look at Scripture, the first occurrence of the word “worship” is found in Genesis 22, where God called Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham got up early the next morning, took his son, went on a three-day journey and arrived at the base of Mount Moriah, where he tells his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). Then, as Abraham and Isaac were going up the mountain, Isaac asked, “The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? (Genesis 22:7). We did not find Isaac asking, “We’ve got the guitar and the piano. But where are the drums? How are we going to worship?”

Rather, Abraham was going to take the most precious thing in his life—a son for whom he waited 25 years after God had promised him—and do something absolutely incredible to worship. When Abraham and Isaac reached the place that God told Abraham, Abraham bound Isaac, put him on the altar and was about to slay him with a knife when the angel of the Lord intervened: “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son” (Genesis 22:12). We see that worship is not about saying things, but about obedience.

The first time “worship” occurs in the New Testament is in Matthew 2 with the Magi: “…they saw the child… and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts...” (Matthew 2:11). Worship is associated with opening treasures and surrendering everything to God.
We worship God by recognizing who He is, responding with total obedience and surrendering everything to Him.

Prayer: Lord God, I want to worship You for who You are, responding with total obedience and surrender of all things into Your hands. May my worship of You be acceptable in Your sight. Praise You!

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