Summary: Christ made this profound statement to the woman at the well, "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship..." Do you know what or who you worship? Do you have the right object of worship?
What Do You Worship?
Jesus' encounter with the woman at the well is one of the most beloved stories in the Gospels. While sitting at the well, Christ discussed with her their differing views of worship. In that discussion the Lord made this profound statement, " Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship..." That statement raises a question that I would pose to you today. What or who do you worship? Do you have the right object of worship? In order for us to be able to answer that question we must understand what worship means.
I. Worship defined
A. The word worship is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning honor shown to an object. In its simplest definition worship is to give worth to something.
B. A dictionary definition of worship is reverent honor and homage paid to God or a personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
C. John MacArthur says that worship is honor paid to a superior being. It means to give homage, honor, reverence, respect, adoration, praise, glory to a superior being.
D. 1 Chronicles 16:29 “Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!”
E. Romans 1:20-21, 25 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” …They “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…”
F. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The gods we worship write their names on our faces, be sure of that. And a man will worship something have no doubt about that, either. He may think that his tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of his heart but it will out. That which dominates will determine his life and character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.” - copied
G. Speaking on worship Augustine rightfully said, “We do what we worship, and we worship what we love and desire.” We can easily understand that statement when we remember that in Scripture the word for love is “Agapao” which means totally giving oneself over to something - to surrender all to it, to be fully committed to.
II. The Gods we worship
A. While we may not bow down to idols made of stone or metal as people did in ancient times although some people in the world still do that does not mean we don't have our own "idols"
B. Worship stems from the heart. We worship what we love. We crave what we love. We fill our lives with what we love. We submit to what we love. We are controlled by what we love.
C. 2 Timothy 3:1-5a “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power…”
D. The god of pleasure
1. 1 Corinthians 10:7 “Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play."
2. Israel’s sin of idolatry was rooted in their love and desire for the pleasures of life, which held a higher place in their affections than God did.
3. Duly warned, Adam and Eve made the critical decision to ignore God and to secure pleasure on their own terms. Eve saw the forbidden fruit as a source of pleasure in the form of food and increased knowledge — nothing inherently wrong with food and knowledge (Genesis 2:16, Proverbs 2:1-7). But by choosing to eat the fruit, she chose to enjoy a pleasure God had forbidden. Adam followed his wife’s sin; and, as God had previously warned, the disastrous consequences were forthcoming. An immediate pleasure, enjoyed self-autonomously apart from divine favor, proved utterly ruinous. - Dan Miller, Getting Pleasure Right
4. Proverbs 16:11 "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
E. The god of learning
1. Daniel 12:4 "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."