Summary: Could anyone worship God? How could YOU really worship Him?
“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’" (Matt. 4:8-10, NIV).
Just what do you mean “worship”?
The Greek word is PROSKUNEO, which could be translated in English as “bow down,” “bow down before,” “worship,” “worshipers,” etc.
According in the margin of my Bible, Verse 10 was quoted from Deut. 6:13, “Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.”
You will notice that there is no “worship” in that verse in the New International Version. But in the New American Standard, we read the same verse: “You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him, and swear by His name.” The word “serve” was rendered “worship.”
In that verse, the word “worship” came from the Hebrew ABAD. It could be translated in English as “been slaves,” “burdened,” “make a servant,” “serves,” “tiller,” “work,” “working,” “worship,” “worshipers,” etc.
And what do you mean “worship” in the English dictionary?
Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary defines worship, as a noun: “the adoration, homage, or veneration given to a deity,” “the rites, ceremonial forms, prayers, etc., such adoration requires or assumes,” “excessive or ardent devotion or admiration.” As a verb: “to pay an act of worship to,” “to have an intense or exaggerated admiration or devotion for.”
Do we have “an intense or exaggerated admiration – a feeling of wonder and approbation; high esteem – or devotion – strong attachment or affection – for” God only?
And why would we have such kind of admiration or affection for Him? Because we are just commanded to do so?
Let us read 1 Chronicles 16:25-36:
“For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and joy are in His place. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the LORD in holy array. Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; And let them say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns.’ Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD; For He is coming to judge the earth. O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Then say, ‘Save us, O God of our salvation, And gather us and deliver us from the nations, To give thanks to Thy holy name, And glory in Thy praise.’ Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. Then all the people said, ‘Amen,’ and praised the LORD.”
We could read similar words in Psalm 96. The Everyday Bible translates verses 3-6, “Tell the nations of his glory; tell all peoples the miracles he does, because the Lord is great; he should be praised at all time. He should be honored more then all the gods, because all the gods of the nations are only idols, but the Lord made the heavens. The Lord has glory and majesty; he has power and beauty in his Temple.”
And part of verse 9, “Worship the Lord because he is holy…”
We give Him the highest honor, the “exaggerated admiration, “ the intense or strongest affection – we bow down before Him – not because we are just commanded to do so. Because He is Great. He is the Creator. He has Glory and Majesty. He has Power and Beauty. And He is Holy – He is the Only One who towers above all – distinct, unique and separate from His creation.
We worship Him, because His Supreme Worth inspires us to do so.
As we behold His Holiness, we will be stirred or moved to adore Him. We read in Psalm 29:2, “Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (NKJV).
We also read in Psalm 99:9, “Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy” (NIV).
What do we mean “God is holy”?
Judson Cornwall wrote in his book Let Us Worship: