WHEN TO WORSHIP

Andy Hollifield 5-19-17

1 Samuel 1:25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord.

1 Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of his holiness.

Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Worship————-(1) reverent honor and homage paid to God

I know that I have written recently about true worship but I want to look at when to worship. Worship is obviously important or it wouldn’t have been mention 108 times in 102 verse in the bible. Worship has gotten to be a rare thing in our churches, even more rare in our homes, and not much better in our hearts. We continually clutter our hearts and minds with cares of this life to the point that we can’t enjoy the wonderful things God does for us each day. If we have an unthankful heart, we cannot worship. The definition of worship listed above is complete. It continued further to include any religious person or object but we know that is idol worship so I didn’t include that. What I really want to focus on is something that God has been showing me the last few days and that is when people worship. I began to notice that some people in the bible picked what would seem to be “odd” times to worship. Yet, they had power with God so we should follow their example.

The first time worship is mentioned in the scripture is one of those “odd” times I mentioned earlier. Genesis 22:5 gives the account of Abraham and Isaac were on a journey to a mountain where God had told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on the altar. No one knew this but Abraham. He made a curious statement to his young men that were with them. He told them “Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Did you catch that last statement from Abraham? It sounds like he was planning on both of them coming back when they were done. What was “odd” to me was that Abraham knew what he was going to have to do but yet with a heavy heart he went to worship anyway. We would do good to learn from that. If you can pay “reverent honor and homage to God” under those type of circumstances, you can truly worship anytime. Abraham worshipped before his event happened.

Gideon was another one that worshipped before his event, a battle, took place. In Judges chapter 7 we see the details of Gideon’s army of 300 and the recon mission God let him go on with his servant Phurah. He let Gideon go down to the edge of the Midianite camp for the purpose of hearing what the enemy was saying about him and his army. After one man in the camp told his dream to another man and told his interpretation, it encouraged Gideon greatly. So much was he encouraged that he went back to camp and told his army that the Lord had already delivered the Midianites into their hand. But in verse 15, before he even went back to his camp, the bible says he worshipped. Again, before the battle had even taken place Gideon was rejoicing and worshipping.

In the book of Job chapter 1:20, after receiving the devastating news about the death of all of his 10 of his kids at one time plus the loss of everything he had acquired in his life. After all of that the bible says he “rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped.” After his events, he worshipped. Staring the loss of 10 kids and his fortune in the face, he worshipped. I know I wrote on this earlier this week. But look at it again, all of that tragic news and he still worshipped. You aren’t necessarily worshipping God for the loss you may have suffered but actually for the losses you didn’t suffer. Sometimes if you look at it like that, it helps to handle things better.

Luke 2:20 gives us the account of the shepherds after seeing Jesus. You have to admit that it would be pretty dramatic to see an angel and then a host of angels proclaiming the birth of the Messiah. After the shepherds left the baby, they were telling everyone about the birth. Verse 20 says they “returned glorifying and praising God…” They were worshipping after the fact also.

One last event I want to mention is the disciples in the boat the night Peter walked on the water. In verse 26 it speaks about “they cried out for fear”. Several of these men fished for a living and no doubt were not afraid of just a little wind so it must have been a serious storm. The short version of the story is that after Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the disciples that were in the boat came and worshipped Jesus. It doesn’t say that Peter came and worshipped Jesus but only the ones that were in the boat. It is easy to rejoice and glorify God over someone else’s victory, especially after the storm is over but it is a whole lot harder when you are in the midst of your own storm and you are the one that is in fear of going under.

There are a lot of examples of “odd” times to worship. I just wanted to mention a few to spur your imagination about when we worship. Do we ever worship before the storm comes like Gideon did or when we know our heart is broken and about to get worse like Abraham did? Do we ever rejoice after an event as the shepherds did or do we just say “way to go God” and completely forget it afterwards? Now for the really hard one; in the face of overwhelming tragedy, can we worship like Job did? That is something to think about isn’t it? How much do we really trust God? If we really trust him that much, then why can’t we worship him in some of these situations? Why do we have to wait until the storms over before we worship God? This may not be the most encouraging and it comes with a pretty big load of conviction like it did for me. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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