In Exodus 24, we read the remarkable account of how Moses and the elders of Israel were given the awesome privilege of seeing a glimpse of God in His glory on the top of Mt. Sinai. When the text says that they saw the God of Israel, it doesn’t mean that they beheld all the glory of God in His essential being, for it is impossible for anyone to see God and live. It means, however, that they saw Him from afar. They caught a glimpse of grandeur. They beheld the glory of His throne and lived to tell about it. Can you imagine what that must have been like? It was an awe-inspiring experience that provoked worship and fear in their hearts.
Our modern word for ‘worship’ comes from an Old English word ‘worth-ship,’ which means to declare the value and worth of an object. Worshiping God is the highest privilege and the greatest responsibility of the Christian life, because God is the highest Being in the universe and the One to whom we must one day give an account. Everything that we are and do flows out of our relationship with the Lord. God created us in His image so we might love Him, have fellowship with Him, and reflect His glory. We worship not because we have to but because we want to. Jesus said that the Father is seeking worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
One of the best descriptions of what worship is came from William Temple, who said, “Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose–and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.” That sure is a mouthful! But go back and read it again slowly…
Worship is all of me worshiping God for all that He is and all that He has done. It is a matter of my heart and life. Worship is more than a song; it is more than a sermon; it is more than a service. Worship is the loving response of one’s heart and total life to the saving grace and matchless glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Stop what you’re doing right now and bow before Him in loving, adoring worship!