Many of us go to church on Sunday to take part in corporate worship. But, what is worship? The Bible gives us many guidelines as to what worship should be. Following are a few of them.
In Exodus 3:5, we see our first guideline for how to worship. In this passage, the Lord warns Moses not to come any closer to the burning bush he has encountered. He is also told that he is standing on holy ground. So when we approach God in worship, we must always be respectful and realize that we are having an encounter with our living and holy God.
In both Leviticus and Numbers, God gave Moses many instructions about the different offerings the people should give. In Number 28:2, the Lord told Moses “Give these instructions to the people of Israel: The offerings you present as special gifts are a pleasing aroma to me; they are my food. See to it that they are brought at the appointed times and offered according to my instructions.” When the people were preparing all of these sacrifices and offerings, they were preparing themselves for worship. Today, we should still prepare for worship and not just routinely enter the Church to take part in whatever is offered to us that day.
Psalms has many references to giving God praise. One such passage would be Psalm 81:1-3 where the psalmist says “Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Jacob. Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp. Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival!” This Scripture is referring to one of the festivals that the Israelites celebrated. These festivals reminded them of some miraculous thing that God had done for them. We should be careful to remember the spiritual meaning of our “religious” holidays and to celebrate the miracles God performed for us on those days. Of course, we don’t have to wait for a holiday to praise God for He blesses us and performs miracles daily. So we should worship Him with our praise and adoration.
In I Chronicles 25:1 we see that David appointed men from different families to proclaim God’s messages to the accompaniment of lyres, harps and cymbals.” David brought music into temple worship and we still use it today. Music is a wonderful way to take people away from their daily problems and lift them straight to our Heavenly Father. But, we must be prepared to allow the music and the words of the songs to help us celebrate our God and His greatness and allow them to take us closer to God.
A familiar verse would be Matthew 2:11 which reads “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Worship is honoring Christ for who He is and what He did. He is worthy of our best and worship is bringing our best to Him.
Worship is having an encounter with the living God, preparing for that encounter and always remembering all He has done, using music to sing praises to Him, celebrating His goodness and always giving God our best. These are just a few starting points for us to use as we enter into worship wherever and whenever it might be.