Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” (Genesis 22:5).
Words have meanings, and meanings have consequences.
One of the popular church phrases that I hate is “worship team.” Not only does this term re-define worship in an un-Biblical way, but consider it’s consequence. It means that music and singing are “worship”; they are spiritual. So what does that make the preaching of God’s Word and prayer? The Bible and prayer become un-spiritual (or less spiritual than music) and therefore of lesser value than music.
Significantly, in Genesis 22, the word worship is used for the first time in the Bible. When Abraham went up to Mount Moriah to worship, did he plan to play his guitar and sing songs for 45 minutes? No. Worship was in offering his only-begotten son as a sacrifice to God in obedience. Worship was Abraham’s attitude and actions declaring that God was greater than Abraham, his son, his life, his desires, God’s promises of an heir, and everything else. Worship was the expression of Abraham’s obedience of a surrendered heart to the command of the Almighty God.
Today’s ‘worship’ is self-centered. It’s about tunes that we enjoy. It’s expressing what we get from God. It’s about attracting a crowd to entertain or enthuse. It’s flashing lights, loud music, and standing on one’s feet with hands in the air. It’s the center of Sunday morning. It’s about us.
The Bible calls God’s people to Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 29:2; 96:9). Holiness is the idea that God is so much greater than anything else that He is separated from everything else.
How better to worship the great and awesome God of the Bible than by preaching and hearing Him speak to us in His Word, and then obediently serving Him from a surrendered heart?