In Genesis 22:1-19 we read how Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac. If you are like me, you have probably read this a dozen times or more. What I didn't know is that in verse 5, the first use of the word "worship" as we know it occurs. The Hebrew word used in Genesis 22:5 is shachah, meaning to "...prostrate (espec. reflex. in homage to royalty or Go): - bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship" (Strong's Concordance).
If I am completely honest, I must admit that if God had asked me to sacrifice my only child if worship would be the first thing on my mind. There are a lot of times, if I am honest, that I don't feel like worshiping God at all. Let me share some of what I read this week from My Heart's Desire.
Worship comes as a command, not a suggestion...Worship comes not as the fruit of our impulse, felt need, or creativity; it is the specific command of God. Worship is God's idea. It comes from the depths of His heart with the fullness of His passion. The very beginning of our journey into the depths of knowing God is marked by His voice calling us to come and worship.We were all made to worship God. It is part of who we are. If we don't worship Him, something else will become the object of our worship.
Robert E. Webber has written a helpful book entitled Worship Is a Verb. When I came across that striking title in a bookstore, I was intrigued. Webber's thesis is that worship isn't a feeling or a thought process. It's something much greater that a mere emotion. Worship, he says, is an activity we pursue in obedience to God's directive. It is far from passive, but something in which we participate wholeheartedly, something we can do every moment of every day.
I can't allow my feelings and my emotions to interfere with my worship. As Dr. Jeremiah reminded me this week, "The very beginning of our journey into the depths of knowing God is marked by His voice calling us to come and worship."