Join me as I journey to different places, in the Bible, exploring and investigating how the people before us worship and serve the Lord our God.
Irrespective of what you may think about worship this expedition will teach you something important concerning the reverence of God according to the Bible.
We will traverse continents, meet many people, and we will discover what they do when they worship; when is it necessary; who worships God; where should respect take place; how to worship God, and why is devotion important?
By the time we get to the end of this journey, you would have learned much about this unique but common behavior of born-again Christians.
Let’s Define Worship
Worship has numerous facets. These will vary with the different people and places we encounter and visit respectively.
But let us define worship from a Christian perspective. Thus, to answer the question: “What is worship”, we shall observe some common activities amongst Christians and angels?
Worshiping the Lord is common between these two broad groups of worshippers.
Consequently, when Christians talk about worship, we mean the revere of the Most High, Jesus Christ our Lord.
By him and through him we “serve” and worship the Lord God Almighty.
Irrespective of where Christians are and how they accomplish worshipping the Lord, we always pay attention to similar things.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, a sacrifice is “an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god”.
Providing a sacrifice at worship is not even unique to Christianity. Many other religions offer a sacrifice at the time of reverence.
In Judaism, the parent of Christianity, its followers offer sacrifices to God on many occasions.
Sacrifice, Offering, & Gift
In this context of worshipping God, sacrifice, offering, and gift denote the same thing.
So, we could use them interchangeably, and we are going to do so shortly.
For example, Genesis Chapter Four, explains how Cain and Able appear before the Lord God to worship.
Both brought an “offering”. But Cain’s was rejected, yet Abel’s was accepted (Genesis 4:3,5; 4:4).
The important component of the sacrifice is the blood. Blood is essential for the removal of all sins.
But utilizing any blood is pointless. We need holy and sinless blood. Who qualifies for this?
Only God. And for that reason, He became Jesus Christ. He was killed by the Romans on the cross and his death pleased God.
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Jesus is our perfect sacrifice.
A Gift For The Lord?
Subsequently, after a very, long, long time Apostle Paul articulates this for us.
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4).
Note how Moses calls both Cain and Abel’s sacrifice an “offering” but Paul calls it a “sacrifice” or “gifts”? Hebrews 11:4.
Yet, they both are speaking of the same thing, the “offering” (Genesis 4:1-5).
A gift, an offering, or a sacrifice is mandatory for the worship of any god.
The reverence of the Lord God is no exception because Christians must supply one of these as we worship and serve the Lord God.
From these scriptures, we could deduce that blood is essential for a sacrifice to be effective, but pleasing God should be our goal.
Never Turn Up to Worship God With Empty Hands
Let’s look at another example which shows that a sacrifice accompanies worship.
Genesis Chapter Twenty-Two informs us how the Lord tests Abraham to demonstrate his obedience to Him.
Consequently, on route to worship God what did he carry?
“And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you” (Genesis 22:5).
Even his son was curious about this.
“Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7).
He needed wood, fire, and a lamb or a sacrifice.
So, any time we worship God we need a sacrifice, an offering, or a gift to present to Him.
We should never come before God empty-handed.
How We Worship God Has Changed?
At this point, you may ask, do we still need to bring a sacrifice, offering, or gift to God when we worship in these last days?
The Short answer is: Yes!
Let me explain.
With the first advent of Jesus Christ came changes to our worship.
He is our perfect sacrifice. He offered himself once for all so that now we don’t need to offer a blood sacrifice every time we come before God to worship.
But we still need to present an offering to be accepted.
This is not what you may be thinking. I’m not thinking or talking about money.
This Type of Sacrifice Is Possible Only Through Jesus Christ
Because of Jesus Christ and his perfect work, we could now come to revere God with no money and no lamb if we come with this!
This concept is new and paradoxical, for a sacrifice is usually dead but Jesus Christ changed this.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
Now, Apostle Paul was talking to “brethren” these are people who are saved. They are serving the Lord God by following Jesus Christ.
He wasn’t addressing everyone (Romans 12:1).
By ourselves and even after we have come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior, this is not easy to achieve, or is it attainable overnight.
But with the guidance of the Holy Ghost, we all could do this.
In worshiping God, We Need This Also
With our bodies as living sacrifices, we still must present another offering to God when we worship Him.
The offering of Jesus Christ once for all, also makes this possible.
Again, Apostle Paul explains,
“By [Jesus] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
So, as we show respect to God, what we say is very important. And we could do this in a variety of ways.
Now, every time we come to reverence God, we present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices and we present the “sacrifice of praise to God”.
Please note that to accomplish this “praise to God” “his name” is a prerequisite. This is praise and adoration of the name of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:15).
Now, this is how we worship God.
Let’s Not Worship Without a Name!
Now, furnished with the eternal and complete sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, and our mouth filled with offerings of the sacrifice of praise, we need a name to direct our reverence towards.
Because the entire universe and Satan are competing for our worship.
Anytime anyone is worshipping a god and is unaware of his name, such a one is serving that god ignorantly.
Listen as Apostle Paul explains the identical thing:
“For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23).
This unknown god is Jesus Christ. He is the Lord.
The leper, in the following text, worshipped Jesus using his name to obtain his healing.
“When [Jesus] was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him” (Matthew 8:1).
This leper by calling Jesus “Lord” demonstrates his worship of him.
“And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean” (Matthew 8:2).
Different Ways to Worship God?
“And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matthew 8:3).
This explains why after Peter and John healed a lame man in the name of Jesus, he came into the temple worshipping God in this manner:
“And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:8).
“And all the people saw him walking and praising God” (Acts 3:9).
This man was worshipping God because by the power of the name of Jesus Christ he could walk for the first time in his life.
He wasn’t the first person, in the Bible, who worshipped God in this manner.
Let’s Demonstrate What is a Worship of the Lord
Do you remember what King David did?
“And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod” (2 Samuel 6:14).
“As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord….” (2 Samuel 6:16).
In both of these instances of worshipping God the hearts of these two men were in the proper mode…. praise to God.
And this manner of worshipping God is superior to that of the Old Testament (OT).
Listen as Apostle Mark compares the two. To love God or to worship Him with all our being is superior to the old way.
“And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his [neighbor] as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices” (Mark 12:33).
How Did This Woman Show Repect to God?
Similarly, a Gentile woman who had no spiritual connection or access to salvation confidently and humbly worshipped Jesus Christ, by saying, “Lord” and she received her petition of him.
“And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil” (Matthew 15:22).
“But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us” (Matthew 15:23).
“But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).
Below, note how this woman reveres God by offering “the sacrifice of praise” in the name of Jesus.
“Then came she and worshipped him, [how?] saying, Lord, help me” (Matthew 15:24).
“But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs” (Matthew 15:26)
To demonstrate that this woman didn’t express her adoration of him in error the Bible highlights it a second time in the verse below.
“And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (Matthew 15:27).
Worship Requires This!
“Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour” (Matthew 15:28).
Every worship of the Lord God requires faith in Him because we cannot see Him.
What Does it Mean to Worship God?
One of the ways Christians worship God is by praising, giving glory, and speaking highly (that is magnifying) of his great name.
We observe this form of worship permeating the Holy Bible.
“Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven” (Psalm 148:13).
Again, David says,
“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30).
When Is a Good Time to Show Our Reverence of God?
Worship is necessary when we are in the presence of royalty.
Thus, when the King of Israel was born, Wise Men From the East, came and worshipped him.
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:1).
“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? [F]or we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2).
The worship of a king occurs even if he is a newborn baby.
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).
Always present a gift to the King when you are in his presence.
We worship God (our king) when our heart is filled with gratitude and praise for his goodness, mercies, grace, and blessings on us.
How to Worship God?
Are There Types of Worship?
Another way we worship God exists. By far, this is the most universal demonstration of worship in heaven or earth.
Even Satan requires this of all who “serve him” or worship him.
This demonstration of worship is ancient as it is contemporary.
Worshipping God involves presenting our bodies as a living and holy sacrifices; offering the sacrifice of praise, and in most cases, bowing before the Lord God.
Bowing before God indicates the present state of the worshipper’s heart.
What is Worship in the Bible?
Let’s Examine How Angels Worship God!
Above we note examples of how people on the earth worship God; but, below observe, how “the heavenly host” worships God?
In taking note of them worshipping God, observe two things: one, what they say, and two, what they do.
Note What They Say When They Worship God
So even in heaven, when the heavenly host comes before God to worship, they present holy bodies and the sacrifice of praise.
“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8).
So, in heaven, one set of worshippers speak the worship and praise.
“And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever” (Revelation 4:9).
Note What They Do as They Worship God
Then, another group performs the worship.
The universal sign of worship in earth and in heaven is identical, note it in these quotations.
So, in heaven, even the elders, prostrate themselves before the Lord God as they are worshipping Him.
“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,” (Revelation 4:10).
Here comes the sacrifice of praise as the worship God.
Why We Worship The Lord God?
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and [honor] and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
This is why we serve God and this is what He desires.
Therefore, when we worship God, we are not concerned with His “worth” for He’s priceless.
Instead, we focus on offering our bodies as living sacrifices to Him; on giving Him “pleasure” and pleasing Him with our actions and the sweet odor of praise to His name.
Instead, we focus on giving Him “pleasure” and pleasing him with our actions and the fruits of our lips.
As a result, we are consumed with saying and demonstrating all the good, great, lovely, wonderful, and true things about our God respectively.
This means that we are offering the sacrifice of praise to His name.
With this goal in mind, bowing as we worship God comes naturally to a Believer.
Fall Down Before God Today
During the temptation of Jesus Christ, how did Satan desire him to worship him?
The Devil says to Jesus, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9).
In other words, if Jesus bows before Satan he would be indicating that he is serving him.
So, even the Devil knows and desires the ultimate posture of worship, bowing.
When we bow, both our body and our heart prostrate before God.
In closing, it’s the humble person who bows before God in worship and praise.