THE MEANING OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP
A. WHAT IS PRAISE WORSHIP?
Praise comes from a Latin word meaning “value” or “price” thus to give praise to God is to proclaim His merit or worth. Many terms are used to express this in the Bible, including “glory” “blessing” thanksgiving” and “hallelujah” the last named being a transliteration of the Hebrew for “praise the Lord” the Hebrew title of the book of Psalms “praises” comes from the same root as “hallelujah” and Psalms 113-118 have been specially designed the “Hallel” “praise” psalms. Worship in the Bible appears in varied forms and types. Times and places are among the major factors. Worship especially of the corporate type, normally takes place according to some sort of scheduled and or calendar. There are times and seasons for worship, even though in the Bible God is present with His people at any time. To worship is to express reverence to have a sense of awe, to bow low before the object of worship is the highest form with praise and then move on into worship. The word “worship” derives from the old English word “worthship” to esteem the worth of and to make a suitable response to that worthiness.
1. An Attitude
Worship is first an attitude of heart. It is the reverent occupation of the human heart with its creator. It begins with an inner music of the heart, a depth of meditation upon the greatness and worthiness of God. It is the savouring of admiration respect for the Almighty.
2. An Overview
It is an overflow of those thoughts and emotions. They flow forth spontaneously. They should not have to be pumped up or force out. Our cup like David’s should run over joyfully Ps.23:5.
B. THE BIBLICAL REFERENCES TO WORSHIP
One of the principles of Bible interpretation is the “law of fist mention” the first biblical mention of any subject gives a clear indication of its meaning and significance wherever it may occur in the Bible. It is the key to understanding the import of that word or subject throughout the scriptures.
1. God commanded Abraham to Go and Worship
Praise and worship are not an option which we may decide to do or not to do according to our whim. It is a commandment of God. When the Bible says, “Praise ye the Lord” that is not a suggestion or a request; it is a commandment. There are no exceptions made. Every chid of God is to be a praise and worshipper of God.
2. Abraham’s Response was one of Obedience
This obedience was essential to his covenant relationship to
God and he had entered into a covenant, which demanded Abraham’s absolute obedience and total commitment to God.
3. The act of Worship would Costly only One
This act of worship would cost Abraham his very best and highest offering. It was to truly be a sacrifice of praise (Heb. 13:15). A life of worship demands everything we are and have (Rom. 12: 1,2). There has to be a complete order to become a true worshipper. David also understood this principle when he said, shall I offer to God that which cost me nothing. (2Sam 24:24).
4. Praise Glorified God
Abraham’s costly act of worship glorified God. How great and glorified must be the one for whom Abraham would be willing to sacrifice his well-beloved son in order to ender the worship of obedience and faith. God days, “whose offereth praise glorified me” Ps. 50:23).