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What is Worship?

I strongly encourage you to stay with me through this first part of this column. I do not normally get so involved in just Bible teaching. But in this case it is necessary to look at the meaning of the word Worship. I pray that as you read this you will find yourself worshiping our Lord and God now and forever!

Let us first look in the Old Testament which was written in Hebrew.
In Strong’s Greek/Hebrew Dictionary:
The word “Worship’:
Word number 7812 in Hebrew is shachah (shaw-khaw’);
Meaning “a primitive root; to depress, i.e. prostrate (especially reflexive, in homage to royalty or God)”:
Translated in the KJV as to:
bow (self) down,
crouch,
fall down (flat),
humbly beseech,
do (make) obeisance,
do reverence,
make to stoop,
worship.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary:
“WORSHIP’ in Hebrew
shachah 7812, “to worship, prostrate oneself, bow down.” This word is found in modern Hebrew in the sense of “to bow or stoop,” but not in the general sense of “to worship.” The fact that it is found more than 170 times in the Hebrew Bible shows something of its cultural significance. It is found for the first time in Genesis 18:2, where Abraham “bowed himself toward the ground” before the 3 messengers who announced that Sarah would have a son.
The act of bowing down in homage is generally done before a superior or a ruler. Thus, David “bowed” himself before Saul in 1 Samuel 24:8. Sometimes it is a social or economic superior to whom one bows, as when Ruth “bowed” to the ground before Boaz Ruth 2:10. In a dream, Joseph saw the sheaves of his brothers “bowing down” before his sheaf Genesis 37:5,9-10. Shachah is used as the common term for coming before God in worship, as in 1 Samuel 15:25 and Jeremiah 7:2. Sometimes it is in conjunction with another Hebrew verb for bowing down physically, followed by “worship,” as in Exodus . 34:8: “And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.” Other gods and idols are also the object of such worship by one’s prostrating oneself before them Isaiah 2:20; 44:15,17.
(From Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
(Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

In the New Testament which was mostly written in Greek the word that is used for Worship is:
4352 proskuneo (pros-koo-neh’-o);
From 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965
(meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand);
to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage
(do reverence to, adore):

WORSHIP (VERB AND NOUN), WORSHIPING
Notes: (1) The worship of God is nowhere defined in Scripture. A consideration of the above verbs shows that it is not confined to praise; broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgement to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such acknowledgment. (2) In Acts 17:25 therapeuo, “to serve, do service to” is rendered “is worshiped.” See CURE, HEAL.
(From Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
(Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

The Heritage Bible always translates Worship in the following way.
Psalms:1-2 in the Holy Bible

“Give to Jehovah, Oh you
children of the Almighty, give to
Jehovah heavy glory and strength.
Give to Jehovah the heavy glory of his name;
prostrate yourselves
to Jehovah in the adornment of holiness.”

Today in the modern church worship has become synonymous with music. Some people have even been taught that you only worship when you sing! Should a song help you worship God then great, you can worship and sing. But to emphasize music above other ways of worship is to totally miss what worship is.

During the entire life of Jesus there is no record that anyone sang before or after He spoke. No record of Jesus leading a crowd to sing and worship. There is no record of the 12 disciples being a singing group.

I think the definitions of worship above will open our mind to the possibilities of worship in many forms and ways that to the Lord is worship. I just want you to think of the following and ask God who is Father, God who is Holy Spirit and God who is Jesus to open your heart and mind to worship Him now and forever!

We worship God as we:

Walk in His Ways,
Give to the Poor,
Visit the Sick,
Care for the Widows and Orphans,
Provide for our Family,
Visit those in Prison,
As we give a Cup of cool Water,
Forgive Others,
Have Mercy,
Humble Ourselves,
We Keep His Commandments,
Love one Another,
Deny Self,
Take up our Cross,
Follow Jesus,
Are filled with the Holy Spirit,
Lift up Jesus,
Tell others about Jesus and His Salvation and Love,
Help others,
Speak of Him,
As we Meditate on Him Day and Night,
Sing,
Read His Word,
As Two or Three are Gathered in His Name,
Go into all the world,
Make Disciples,
As we are Baptized,
In Communion as we take the Bread and the Wine,
Wash one another’s Feet,
By Living by Faith,
As we give our bodies unto God a Living Sacrifice,
As we give money,
In Prayer,
Believe His Promises and His Word,
We are Filled with the Holy Spirit,
When we Walk in the Spirit,
When we are peacemakers,
We live with a Pure Heart,
When we expect the return of the Lord Jesus,
When we speak of Jesus,
We preach the Cross of Jesus,
When we tell the Good News of Jesus to Others.

Now Hear Jesus speaking:

“You shall worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall you serve.’
(Matthew 4:10 in the Holy Bible)

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
(John 4:24-26 in the Holy Bible)

Now we take a look at Heaven!

And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals;
for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,
saying with a loud voice:
” Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
(Revelation 5:9-13 in the Holy Bible)

“ After these things I looked, and behold,
a great multitude which no one could number
of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb,
clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
and crying out with a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures,
fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me,
” Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
” Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
” They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
” for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’
(Revelation 7:9-17 in the Holy Bible)

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus’!
“Revelation 22:20 in the Holy Bible)

A pilgrim follower of Jesus,

Arthur Blessitt Editor
Luke 18:1