Summary: True worship is God-centered. It flows from the heart. It brings hope.
Neil Marten, a member of the British Parliament, was once giving a group of his constituents a guided tour of the House of Parliament.
During the course of the visit, the group happened to meet Neil’s good friend, the Lord Hailsham, then Lord Chancellor, who was wearing his official robe for a meeting.
Hailsham saw his friend Neil among the group, waved and called out, "Neil!"
Not daring to question the command, and thinking it was part of the protocol, the group of visitors responded promptly and kneel down!
That’s not worship. It’s just a misunderstanding.
• We are going to look at Hannah singing in worship today and capture the heart of a true worshipper.
• We read last week of her persistent faith in God, despite the pain she was put through, how she kept faith with God and God blesses her with a son.
Let’s read the vow she made to God and what happened next.
• 1:11 "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." Read 1 Samuel 1:24-28.
God heard her prayer and gave her a son. She named him SAMUEL, which sounds like the Hebrew for “heard of God”.
• Imagine this, every time she calls the boy, it would be “GOD HEARD ME…”
• This is a gift from God. God heard my cry. It’s a constant reminder. Obviously she named him SAMUEL because she is grateful. GOD GAVE HIM TO ME!
And she remembered her promise. So when Samuel was weaned (3 or 4 years old) Hannah brought him to the Temple and left him there in the care of the priest Eli.
• That’s the place Samuel will grow up and learn how to serve God.
• After handing him over, Hannah burst into this prayer song, in the house of God.
• The picture is odd right? You have a mother handing over her son with JOY. We have to understand – it’s the worship of God! Let’s “sing” this: 1 Samuel 2:1-11
Nothing about her son, nothing about herself. It’s all about God and His greatness.
• It’s filled with the expressions of the WORTH of God. It’s the worship of God.
• It sounds almost like a mini-lesson on the character of God. She praises His sovereignty over all arena of life. God presides over everything. Her God reigns.
TRUE WORSHIP IS GOD-CENTRED
We can be caught up by many things ABOUT worship – the songs we sing, the music we use, or the way we conduct it…
• I am distracted by the noise from the fan, the people walking, or the papers flying off… 1001 things.
• At the end of it all, I need to train my thoughts to focus on HIM! True worship can only take place when my mind is ON HIM!
Tommy went to a birthday party and had a great time. The place was beautiful, the atmosphere was warm, the music was wonderful and most importantly the food was great. Everyone had a great time.
His roommate asked him, “So how’s the birthday boy feeling?”
“Oh him? I don’t know. He was not around.”
They had a great time at a party, but the person for whom all this took place was absent!
It can happen in a worship. Focusing on every other thing other than Him misses the point.
• Distractions will be there but set our thoughts right. Jesus is at the heart of our worship. He is the reason we are here.
Deeply immersed in meditation during a church service, Italian poet Dante Alighieri failed to kneel at the appropriate moment.
His enemies hurried to the bishop and demanded that Dante be punished for his sacrilege. Dante defended himself by saying, "If those who accuse me had had their eyes and minds on God, as I had, they too would have failed to notice what’s happening around them, and they most certainly would not have noticed what I was doing."
Hannah’s worship of God here took place most likely, without fanfare and music.
• And she did not worship God because He gave her a son. Chapter 1 tells us she was already a worshipper of God all along. Yearly she comes to worship and pray.
• She prays as “the Lord’s servant” (1:11, 18). She submits to God. That’s worship.
• God blesses her and she offers her son to God. She gives. That’s worship.
• And then she sang a song to God in His house. She praises God. That’s worship.
Look at her song – verses 2-3. “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows and by Him deeds are weighed.” (2:3)