What is worship? Is it about style? Is it about how it makes me feel? In Exodus 15, God’s people, having been redeemed, did something pretty amazing. Immediately, after being delivered by the mighty hand of God, they began a praise service right there on the banks of the Red Sea, as the bodies of the Egyptian soldiers swashed back and forth and sank to the bottom.
What is Worship? – SERMON AUDIO
Exodus 15:1-9 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying: “I will sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! 2 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. 3 The LORD is a man of war; The LORD is His name. 4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. 5 The depths have covered them; They sank to the bottom like a stone. 6 “Your right hand, O LORD, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O LORD, has dashed the enemy in pieces. 7 And in the greatness of Your excellence You have overthrown those who rose against You; You sent forth Your wrath; It consumed them like stubble. 8 And with the blast of Your nostrils The waters were gathered together; The floods stood upright like a heap; The depths congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be satisfied on them. I will draw my sword, My hand shall destroy them.’
Worship is our response to God for who He is and what He has accomplished on our behalf. It is more that singing songs, but singing songs is a very valid part of our worship! As we take this principle forward into the New Testament, we see that the Apostle Paul makes the same connection. The Letter to the Romans is the most detailed exposition of the Gospel in our Bible. After taking 11 chapters to described, Man’s fallen condition (Romans 1-3:23), God gracious provision in Christ (Romans 3:24-31), our response of Faith (Romans 4), Where sin came from (Romans 5), our response of Obedience (Romans 6-7), God’s ultimate sovereignty and deliverance (Romans 8), God’s dealings in history with His people Israel (Romans 9-11) What our lives should look like as a result (Romans 12-16). Paul begins this last section, our response to 1) Our sin, 2) God’s provision, 3) God’s sovereign rule of all things, is to be this;
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
The point is, if you can grasp God’s mercy in not destroying us as His enemies (Romans 3:10-19 Romans 5:10) If we realize that He gave His ALL for us,
Romans 8:31-32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
The right response to the One who has given us His ALL is to give our ALL for Him. Not out of an attitude of repayment, but of gratitude! It is what Paul calls our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
The word “service” here is not what you may think. There are a few Greek words that are translated as service in the New Testament.
- Duleo, is serving as a bondslave or bondservant this is not the kind of service here, even though Paul uses the noun form, Dulos, to describe himself often in the New Testament.
- Diakonia is translated as minister or serve and is transliterates in its noun form as Deacon or Minister
But the word that is used here is neither of these. It is not the idea of serving that you may have in mind. It is;
- latreian, or the ministration of a worship service. We get the English word “Liturgy” from this word. Our worship service to God is the way we live for Him! It is give ourselves to Him without reserve, just as He gave His Son for us. It is identifying with Him to the degree, that we are able to trust Him enough to do this. That our lives become worship!
Yes, we will certainly sing! How could we not sing when God has done so much for us? But if our worship is limited to songs, we have come up short. Israel struggled hard with this, as we will see in our further study of Exodus. The question comes, what are you holding back from God? What can you justify holding back from Him? That question is answered in this one, What has He held back from you?
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Check out the audio on this one, It was my daughter’s favorite sermon from Exodus so far!
What is Worship? – SERMON AUDIO