What do you think about when you hear the word “worship”? Does it refer to the moments when you are standing up in church and singing great songs of praise and adoration? Is it when you are deeply moved by the beauty or grandeur of God’s creation? Is it when you turn to God for answers to life’s big questions, hoping to discover truth? Is it during the times when you sit quietly and confess your sin, once again experiencing the reality of God’s forgiveness? Think about how you would describe the moments when you feel or know that you have experienced heartfelt worship.
Throughout the Old Testament the importance of worship is repeated over and over again. It was an integral part of the relationship that God had with His people, both individually and corporately. The Hebrew word most often used is “shachah”, which literally means “to cause oneself to lie prostrate.” Although it is not done frequently in our culture, bowing before anyone who has a position of authority, seniority, or is worthy of respect and honor is still a commonly understood way to express humility, gratitude and often submission. It is through the Psalms, the songbook of the Israelites, that we begin to understand this concept. David came to God with every kind of emotion – fear, anger, joy, elation, anticipation, adoration, longing and certainly repentance. As he did this, the reality of who God really is and what He had promised to do would turn David’s mind and heart to thanksgiving, joy and confidence and he would literally bow down in worship.
“From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for Your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer. Lord, if You kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But You offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear You. I am counting on the Lord, yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His Word . . . for with the LORD there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.” (Psalm 130: 1 – 3, 7 – NLT) Is there anything more amazing?