Wednesday, October 10, 2012
But Psalm 99:5 suggests another way for us to exalt the Lord. Notice the parallelism between the two imperatives in this verse: “Exalt the LORD our God!” parallels “Bow low before his feet.” The verb translated as “bow low” is the basic Old Testament word for worship (hishtachawa). It literally means “to bow low” or “to prostrate oneself” before a sovereign. Thus, we can exalt God, figuratively speaking, not only by raising our voices to praise him, but also by lowering ourselves before him in humble worship.WORSHIP - is not about us - it is about God. When we insist that "real" worship is about raising hands and praising, I think we confuse what makes us feel good with what God demands of us. Yes, it is wonderful and joyous to praise God, and yes we should be full of wonder and joy at our Lord.
Sometimes, literally bowing before God is a fitting response to his greatness. The physical gesture can help our hearts to bow before him in submission. But whether we actually kneel before God or not, we can exalt him by giving ourselves to him as an offering. Thus, we can exalt God in the way we live each day: at work and at rest, in church and in our neighborhoods, with our families and our colleagues.
But we are also his servants. Raised hands and loud singing is just as hollow, if not accompanied by humility and service, as is the quiet "rote" liturgical forms of worship that are so decried these days.
As the worship wars continue unabated, let's be honest about what they are really about. They are not about which form is worship is more real or genuine or better. They are about something that is considered tacky - attendance and the plate. But then those things indicate the survival of the institution, they cannot necessarily be ignored. But we make such our sole focus at our peril.
Paul said he was all things to all people. Think about it.