I struggled with the decision of writing a paper length academic overview of worship in the Bible requiring a lot of research or writing a concise blog comparing what I see today verses an example of worship in the Bible. I am going with the latter. Partly because if I don't I won't write a blog for this week and partly because that is what I feel my heart saying to do (no one wants to read a paper anyway, but to do all that research would have been fun and enlightening, at least for me).
This week we talked about the power of music to cause people to feel certain things and if this can even be considered worshiping God. I think we have to say that some genuine worship does occur, but I would warn against music being the only way they are able to encounter or worship God because it makes me wonder what exactly they are connecting with: God through music or just the music. I think we have this problem for three reasons:
- The lack of modeling
- Incorrect terminology
- Lack of opportunity
I do believe that churches teach that we can worship but it seems that the main form of worship modeled is music. We call the music time of a church gathering “worship” but rarely label any other activity as worship. There is a whole music genre called worship. I don't want to point any fingers as to what has caused this but I believe that such a focus on music has limited the opportunities for other forms of worship. Even other ways end up being paired with music. It often feels as if the only way to worship God is to sing a song when in reality anyway we serve can be done to worship God. Above all else obeying God is what worships Him most.
The examples of worship in the Bible that stand out the most to me right now are found in Revelation. Now this isn't a post explaining what the imagery within Revelation means but what I want us to see is the worship depicted within the book. Revelation 4:8-11; 11:15-19; 19:6 all depict similar scenes of God being worshiped in heaven.
8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
This is so much more than just a feeling because of music. This is complete awe at the all powerful, all knowing, all creating God whom we have found redemption in when we did not deserve it.
I have written this blog as a reminder to myself that the next time I don't feel like singing a song because I don't like it or they are playing it in a different way than I like that I should be face down on the ground telling God how marvelous He is. Not because He needs it but because He deserves for me to do that forever. No one else is worthy of it. The God of the Bible deserves everything and yet, I rarely act like it.