In yesterday’s blog, we looked at the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah. That’s where the word love is first mentioned in the Bible. Here, in Genesis twenty-two, the Hebrew word “shachah” is first translated worship.
Remember the story. God commissioned Abraham to travel three days to Mount Moriah and there to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. At the foot of the mountain, Abraham said to his traveling companions, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you” (Genesis 22:5, CSB).
Worship is not the twenty minutes on Sunday morning just before the ushers pass the offering plates. Worship is not standing to belt out all four stanzas of three old-timey hymns. Neither is worship a newer form of music... “Does your church sing old hymns or new worship songs?” Nor is worship dropping a twenty-dollar-bill into the offering.
Genesis twenty-two describes, defines, and discloses the true meaning of worship. Abraham went up the mountain to give his most-love, most-treasured, most-prized possession. Isaac went up the mountain to give himself “as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1, ESV).
Now, reread this blog’s first paragraph again. “In Genesis twenty-two, the Hebrew word “shachah” is first translated worship.” But Genesis twenty-two is not the first occurrence of that Hebrew word. The first mention is found in Genesis eighteen where the same Hebrew word is translated “bowed to the ground.”
“The Lord appeared to Abraham ... he ran from the entrance of the tent ... bowed to the ground, and said, ‘My lord, if I have found favor with you, please do not go on past your servant’ ” (Genesis 18:1–3, CSB).
To worship is to bow down. It’s reverent. It’s humbling. Worship acknowledges that God is greater, and we are lesser. We are needy and He is able to provide. We are defenseless and He alone protects. We are lost and He saves.
Abraham, a wealthy and powerful man, “bowed to the ground” before the One he acknowledged to be Lord and Master.
Ponder this. Have you given your most-treasured? And, when’s the last time you actually put your knees on the floor and begged your Lord “not go on past!”
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor