Summary: Worship takes many forms. Understanding why we do it helps with how we do it.


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"Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD Almighty, "and I will accept no offering from your hands.

Malachi 1.10(NIV)


God was not pleased with His people. Worship had degenerated into nothing but form. There was no powerful, dynamic relationship between the holy God of Abraham and the children of Israel. They had allowed both their sacrifices to God and their attitudes toward God to become "blemished." They weren’t giving -- nor did they care about giving -- their best. God preferred the honesty of no worship at all to this hypocritical show of pseudo-worship.

The church of God today must also be careful to offer acceptable worship to God. We have a tendency in our day to do what pleases ourselves, rather than what pleases God. Gordon Dahl put it this way: "Most middle-class Americans tend to worship their work, to work at their play, and to play at their worship. As a result, their meanings and values are distorted.

Their relationships disintegrate faster than they can keep them in repair and their lifestyles resemble a cast of characters in search of a plot.

How may we guard our worship so that it is acceptable to God? The answer is, of course (for Bible-believing folk) to make it Biblical worship. Take a crash course with me from Genesis to Revelation:

Worship In the Bible

Abraham worshipped Gen 22:5 (NIV)

He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."

The Law

I said to you, ’I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me." Exo 20:5 (NIV) You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, Deu 8:19 (NIV) If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.

History of God’s People:


Josh 24:15 (NIV) But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD.The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed. You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.


At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship


Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. "Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool

Major Prophets

"Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message: "’Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not provoke me to anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you."


and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?"

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