Summary: Magnification is useful because it enlarges the object of our attention. It's what we do in worship every week.
Is. 6:1-8 & Revelation 4:1-11
Even though it’s not used as frequently as it used to be, I still like a magnifying glass. It takes something that’s hard to see and makes it bigger. It brings the word or subject into clearer focus so I can see it more clearly. Camera lenses accomplish much the same thing. Through zoom lenses I can bring small objects in the distance up closer. I can magnify them – enlarge them – and see them up close and personal. I can see details I otherwise would miss. Magnification is useful because it enlarges the object of our attention.
It’s what we do in worship every week. It is, in fact, worship. WORSHIP IS THE MAGNIFICATION OF GOD. In worship we enlarge God – we bring Him up close and personal. There are some stirring examples in the Bible. We read from Isaiah 6, a scene of worship. The passage describes a very difficult time for the prophet Isaiah. “In the year that King Uzziah died…” gives us a glimpse of Isaiah’s frame of mind. Uzziah (2 Chron. 26) had been a hero. He became king at age 16 and reigned for 52 years – his rule was 2nd only to the splendor of King Solomon. But it turns out that Uzziah had feet of clay – once he became powerful he also became proud. Eventually he attempted to burn incense– a task reserved by God for the priests. God struck him with leprosy and eventually he died. So Isaiah was concerned – with the downfall of such a great king, what could the future look like? So Isaiah went into the temple to worship. And there he saw the Lord “seated on a throne, high and exalted…the thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” Isaiah worshiped - the Lord God was magnified. Isaiah saw him as never before, enlarged, up close, and personal, and his life was changed forever. Worship is the magnification of God.
A second scene is the one we read from Revelation 4. The beloved apostle John had refused to quit preaching and teaching about the risen Lord Jesus Christ. So he was sentenced to isolation on the Island of Patmos. The Spirit of God transported John up into the sanctuary of Heaven, where worship was taking place. There he saw the risen, reigning Lord Jesus Christ on His throne, being praised by the heavenly worshippers. God was magnified. John saw God in Jesus enlarged, up close, and personal. He saw Jesus as never before. He then received encouragement and strength as He saw God’s plan for the ages unfolding.
The message is clear. THE PURPOSE OF OUR WORSHIP IS TO MAGNIFY GOD IN JESUS CHRIST. The Psalmist invites us to join him in worship (34:3 NKJV): “Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Put the zoom lens on your eyes and bring the Lord up close and personal. Magnify the Lord. Make Him larger.
This is underscored when we recognize that ‘worship’ is a verb not a noun. Worship is active, not passive. Worship is giving, not receiving. WORSHIP IS NOT SOMETHING GOD DOES TO US BUT SOMETHING WE DO TO AND FOR HIM. One way to magnify God is to give to Him in worship. This takes great effort and has at least two implications.