The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Yonder To Worship"
The first mention of worship in the Bible involves Abraham's faith and obedience in the offering of Isaac.
"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt (test) Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him… I and the lad go yonder to worship" (Genesis 22:1-3; 5).
This introduction to worship provides the essence of its meaning, namely, worship involves trusting and obeying God, at whatever cost. The writer of Hebrews speaks of Abraham's faith and its fruit of faithfulness:
"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called, accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead" (Hebrews 11:17-19).
In some manner, God promised He would resurrect Isaac if Abraham did what he was told to do. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). Indeed, Isaac was the son of God's promise. He had to live in order for offspring as "the stars of the sky" and the "the sand which is upon the sea shore" to be birthed into heavenly and earthly abundance (Hebrews 22:17). Abraham believed God's promise of a son's resurrection, the first human being in recorded Biblical history to set foot upon the gilded path of such faith. He then obeyed the command to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Little wonder the Apostle Paul referred to believers as those "who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham" (Romans 4:12).
Abraham also obeyed God as the fruit of faith, or as Paul termed, "the obedience of faith" (Romans 16:26). This completed the first directly mentioned act of worship in Scripture, thus providing for us the very heart, essence, and meaning of worship. To trust God and to obey Him, regardless of the cost - this is worship. Many fruits of worship may flow from this fount of faith and obedience, including the praise, thanksgiving, and music that has come to define the subject in the minds of many in this generation. However, Abraham did not go into the mountain of sacrifice to praise, thank, or sing to the Lord. He may have done so, but it is not recorded. Abraham went into the mountain to kill Isaac, trusting that God would subsequently raise his slain son from the dead. This Abraham called worship, and we must join "our father Abraham" in our understanding and calling to our own steps of trust and obedience.
Another journeyed into the mount of sacrifice to worship. At Calvary, the greatest act of worship to ever occur saw the Lord Jesus Christ give His life in obedience to His Father, and in the confidence that His Father would raise Him from the dead (John 10:17). This same One now lives in believers, leading us to our own mountains of sacrifice. Indeed, every self-sacrificial act of faith and obedience to God constitutes the essence of worship. Thus, we can worship anywhere, at any time, and in any place as the Holy Spirit leads us to trust and obey our Father.
Long ago, Abraham set his feet on the threshold of the path God calls all His children to walk, the path that led to the offering of a son, in confidence of his resurrection. He worshipped thereby, and gave great glory to God by his steps of faith and faithfulness. We worship in light of an even greater sacrifice, made for us by God Himself, and in the glory of a far greater and more literal resurrection. Surely this will lead to much praise, thanksgiving, singing and countless other fruits of worship. The heart of the matter, however, will always be the trust and obedience of Abraham's "I and the lad go yonder to worship."
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."
Weekly Memory Verse
Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father.