Summary: This message focused on Worship as practiced in the Old Testament.
Worship Is A Verb Part 5
For the last three weeks I have discussed seven types of hindrances to our worship. This week I want to move into another area pertaining to our true worship of God. Before I go into my subject matter for this morning, I want to share with you an experience that I had while on a plane to Philadelphia this past Monday. As many of you know, I have never enjoyed flying, but I have grown very accustomed to it. When I first started flying, any small amount of turbulence would cause my hands to sweat and my heart to beat faster. Today, it does not bother me. As I look back on it, I guess I have come to realize that my fate does not rest in my hands when I am on a plane – it is in God’s. So this past Monday as my plane climbed to 30,000 feet, I felt the need to praise God. Actually it started while I was in the van driving to the airport. But as the plane reached beyond the clouds, I looked out the window as the sun was rising and I felt the need to praise and worship God. It was not about being scared for I was not, it was about this inward need that I had Monday morning to praise and worship God. So I closed my book, took out my IPod and carefully selected songs of praise that I could listen to as I silently began to praise and worship God on the plane. If you have never felt such a desire, keep living and you will for the desire to worship “something” is in all of us.
There are two common elements that exist among all people. The first is a “need”; we are all in need of something. The second is the desire to worship. God has placed within us an innate desire, something we do not always control or understand, to worship Him. The problems come when we do not seek to fulfill the desire we have to worship in Jesus Christ. Because He is the only one that can truly fulfill the need, when the void exists, we attempt to fill it with possessions, education, systems of religion and other people – only to be disappointed in people, dissatisfied with possessions and disillusioned at systems of religions. Spiritual, intellectual and emotional needs are met by worshiping God. God revealed Himself and his plan for worship through His written Word, the Bible. The Bible chronicles God’s plan to bring humanity to himself so that together they may enjoy a dynamic relationship through communication, obedience, service, ministry, humility and prayer. When God provided the Old and New Testaments for us, He revealed His plan for redemption and in the process provided a snapshot of how we will worship in eternity. Today we will examine God’s plan for worship starting with the Old Testament. Next week we will look at worship in the New Testament.
I. Old Testament Worship
The Old testament contains evidence of five periods of worship: (1) early Hebrew worship, (2) Mount Sinai worship, (3) tabernacle worship, (4) temple worship, and (5) synagogue worship.
A. Early Hebrew Worship
The first evidence of early Hebrew worship can be found in Genesis 1:1-2 with the recognition of God as Lord of Creation. Genesis 1:1-2 reads “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” These verses leave no doubt as to how the world began and Who it was that made what is in existence today. When we move to the second chapter of Genesis, we find that God created the Garden of Eden and placed Adam and Eve in it. What is so unique about this is that God’s presence was with them. When you read of Adam and Eve’s interaction with God in the Garden, most of us focus on the fact that they sinned and had to leave the Garden. But consider for a moment the relationship they enjoyed with God. They knew His presence and they knew Him. They enjoyed all of the benefits of fellowship – communication, companionship, security and love for each other. God loved them and they loved God back. They recognized that God was the creator and was due their praise. Now when they sinned, they severed this special relationship and fellowship that they had with God and the communication between them ceased. Have you ever had someone stop communicating with you because you did something that offended them? When this happens you miss the relationship on some level even though you may still carry some hurt feelings. I am sure God was disappointed in Adam and Eve’s actions and I know that He missed that connection with them because He immediately put a plan in motion to re-establish this special relationship with man, His Son Jesus Christ.