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Summary: This message explains the shades of meaning of the word "worship" in the Hebrew and Greek languages. It then goes on to invite the reader to be a worshiper of God through Jesus Christ.

UNDERSTANDING WORSHIP

Pastor Eric J. Hanson

July 15, 2007

Read I Chronicles 16:23-36 & Psalm 150.

Worship: Hebrew is Shachah which means to prostrate in homage to God, to bow, to humbly beseech, do reverence, stoop down.

Greek is Sumphemi which means to say jointly, to assent to. A second Greek word for worship is Latreuo which means to minister to God.

To love God is one of the five great purposes of the Church as found in the great Commandment and the Great Commission. This love will express itself in many ways. such as changed lives, wherein people become given over to obeying the will of God. Worship involves much more than living right, however. Several of the Old Testament books have large sections given over to instructions for the temple instrumentalists and singers. There are several lengthy passages which tell what happened when the people worshiped God there in Jerusalem. There are also Bible accounts of the worship of God at other places, such as when the army of Judah worshipped God while marching to battle and God caused supernatural victory, (II Chronicles 20) or when David played songs of worship to God in the King’s palace, and tormenting demons actually left king Saul for a while (I Samuel 16:23).

One of the ways that love for God is seen throughout the whole Bible, is through the unmistakable visible worship of God. This holds true from the days of Moses to the multitudes in Heaven in the book of Revelation, When believers gather together for God’s purposes, a major way that the presence of God becomes strong and clear among us is as we reach out to him together in worship, saying the same thing together and calling out to God together. As we minister to God, together as a church family, God enters among us in tangible ways.

With this in mind, why do we meet together as a church family? There are many reasons actually. Perhaps the clearest and strongest is that we are commanded to do so in the Bible, Hebrews 10:25 actually gives a direct order to believers that we must not forsake meeting together. We also have the clear example in Acts and the Epistles that the believers met together often, in large gatherings on the Lord’s Day, and in smaller gatherings on other days. Obedience is important, but the early Church didn’t meet together only to be able to say that they had obeyed God’s will in this matter. There were and are purposes when the local Church gathers together. One of the big ones is the corporate (group) worship of God, and experiencing God’s presence together.

Worship leaders from around the whole World are giving accounts of people being spontaneously healed of diseases and injuries, set free from bondage to certain sins, or otherwise greatly blessed without anyone even praying for them, while the worship of God is happening.

Psalm 22:3 tells us that God actually inhabits the praises of His people. This explains these amazing accounts of seemingly spontaneous miracles. When God is strongly present in any gathering of people, the atmosphere of that event become more like Heaven and less like the fallen Earth we are used to.

Did you know that in the year 367, the instruments and the singing were removed from the churches. Soon the Bible was taken from the people too. This happened after the marriage of church and state in the late stages of the Roman Empire. Within the empire in those days worship was suppressed and sin was encouraged by the government. Soon the entire World was plunged into the dark ages. The Roman Empire fell once and for all in the year 500, and a powerless Roman Catholic Church, robbed of her heritage of God’s word and joyous worship, had no answers for the desperate people of the day.

I’d like to share some thoughts by one of the great worship leaders of our nation. LaMar Boschman is the president of Worship Institute. He has taught in depth on Worship all over the World from Washington DC to Ivory Coast, Africa, and even into Muslim lands. This renowned Worship Leader also has 33 songs published in Song Select’s data base. He shared the following principles at a worship seminar which I attended in Bedford New Hampshire. These are eternal principles which go beyond matters of style, personal preference, or even national culture and native language. Please consider them with me now.

1. If we love God, we will be worshipers. We are actually commanded to love the one who held back nothing for us. Mark 12:30 tells us to Love God with all of our Heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is both an inward and as outward kind of love. When Moses’ sister Miriam led the woman of Israel in a great songs and dance after they came out of Egypt, they all participated. The whole community worshipped God visibly and audibly. Personality type didn’t stop any of them.

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