"Oh worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth." Psalm 96:9
Text: Exodus 20 : 24-26
THE CONCEPT OF WORSHIP
Worship is the most fundamental of human responses when one comes to possession of knowledge of God! But how does one offer worship? From the earliest days, worship was associated with the following things:-
1. Giving of an offering
How does one approach a Great Being? Surely, one must not come empty-handed? The idea of wanting to present God with an offering to express gratitude and love is an in-born and natural feeling! (The idea of worship was first described in the Scriptures, with Cain and Abel, as the principal example).
2. Creating of an altar
The idea of erecting an altar is naturally associated with the concept of worship! How does one offer an animal sacrifice, for example? Would it be good enough just to slay the animal and leave it on the ground as an offering? Would it not be more presentable to offer it on an altar? The first mention of an altar erected for worship described in the Scriptures was associated with Noah after the Deluge (Cf. Genesis 8:20)!
3. Specific instructions concerning the erecting of an altar
These instructions may be divided into two sections:-
a) That which is forbidden
Altars were not exclusive to the worship of the God of Israel! People who worshipped idols also created altars! Theirs were often very elaborate, such as creating “steps” leading to the altar! Israel was not to imitate such forms of worship.
b) That which was acceptable
An earthen altar was acceptable, even though that may seem “too simple”. An altar made of rock may also be erected! However, the worshipper must bear in mind what God had expressly forbidden! No tool must be used to shape the altar! To shape it in any way was to profane the altar, and that would in turn cause the worship to be rejected!
WHAT GOD IS REALLY LOOKING FOR IN WORSHIP
What God is really looking for from those who desire to worship Him may be found in the following text. (This text was applied to the Lord Jesus Himself – Cf. Hebrews 10:5-7)! Great worship is delighting to do God’s will!
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.'”