Worship; July 14, 2019

2 Chronicles 7:3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,
“He is good;
his love endures for ever.”

The people gathered there were just as blown away as we would be at such a supernatural display. Their response was, appropriately enough, worship, in posture and in words. I really think their words were along the lines of, “This is how you’re supposed to be, so please don’t zap us!” Very few Westerners have ever worshiped with their face to the ground, but it is a standard posture for Islamic prayer, which is why they have prayer rugs, to avoid having to put their faces to the dirt. There are many places in the Bible that speak of people worshiping God in this posture, and indeed, the Hebrew word for worship at least implies this sort of thing. It is actually a natural response to extreme and fearsome power and authority, as we have here. However, if our response to God stops with fear, we have a real problem. It is vital that we know God is totally powerful, and is to be feared from that standpoint. However, it is important that we also not forget His other attributes, as these people were reminding themselves with their words. As Paul told Timothy, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Being able to “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16) is a blessing that is unimaginable in most religions. Far too many of us take God for granted, and are even flippant about worship. That is spiritually very dangerous. We cannot grasp the magnificence of His grace unless we realize how awesome and powerful He is.

Raised in a family that rightly focused on the love of God, I fell into the trap of taking Him for granted. It was in November of 1972 that God in His mercy allowed me to see what I had become as a result of that, and I repented in tears, literally falling to my knees and crying, “My Lord and my God.” I am deeply grateful for God loving me enough to call me to account. Since then I have had many times of being acutely aware of His reality, His presence, and each of those has been a treasure to me. I have had times of being prostrate before the Lord, and times I felt like He was holding me in His arms. I am to walk in the conviction that He is who He is, whether I feel anything or not, and so worship Him in spirit and in truth, just as Jesus said. (John 4:23-24)

Father, thank You for this reminder. We are expecting a small group for this morning’s service, with several people having very legitimate reasons to be elsewhere, plus it’s raining. Keep me from allowing my worship of You to be contingent on people or circumstances, but rather be all that You desire and deserve, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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