Jerry C. Brewer
David wrote, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand” (Psa. 95:6-7). “Worship” is from the Hebrew shachah, which is defined as,
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” (James Strong, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary).
To the Samaritan woman, Jesus said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). The word “worship,” in this passage is from the Greek, proskuneo, “(meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, that is, (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore): – worship” (ibid). In both, the Old and New Testaments, “worship” carries essentially the same meaning.
Worship empties the worshiper of self and centers upon the Father who created us and redeemed us by the blood of His Son. In this dispensation, worship is accomplished through the avenues of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), prayers and supplications to God (1 Tim. 2:1-8), the giving of our means for the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7), the reading and study of God’s word by preaching (2 Tim. 4:1-4), and the memorial of Jesus’ death in eating the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19-20; Acts 20:7). In all of these things, the true worshiper prostrates himself before the Creator with a thankful heart, adoring Him for His merciful grace toward us.
Attendance at worship is not the only thing that defines one’s faithfulness, but it is a fair barometer of the Christian’s heart. Hearts which think on spiritual matters and love the Father supremely are anxious to echo and heed David’s words, “O come, let us worship and bow down,” but those whose love for God has grown cold have no problem forsaking the worship for worldly and temporal pursuits. One’s attendance at worship can fairly demonstrate one’s love for The Christ who redeemed us with His own blood. Jesus said,
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (Matt. 10:37-39).
How empty are the words, “O, How I Love Jesus” when one allows anything or anyone or even a past memory to keep him from the worship of our God. There is nothing in this world worth the loss of a soul who forsakes the Lord, and one who willfully forsakes the worship has forsaken Him (Heb. 10:25). The easiest deception in the world is self-deception. How many Christians are deceiving themselves, thinking they are right before God when they habitually, and constantly, refuse to come to worship? The truth is that they are lost and need to be restored—not for simply forsaking the worship, but for having hearts grown cold and regarding the mercies of God insufficient incentives to serve and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Forsaking the worship is not the problem with such persons, but a symptom of hearts that are not right with God. They are fallen from grace and are in danger of eternal punishment, unless they come to repentance. Won’t you who have forsaken Him come “home” to the Lord this week? He waits with open arms to receive and forgive (Luke 15:17-24).