Oxford defines worship as showing adoration, reverence and honour. What do you adore? How do you show honour or reverence?
God, the King of kings, created us with dust and his breath in his image and said, "Adore me, give me honour, worship only me." And Adam and Eve said, "Of course, who else is there?" They walked and talked with their creator daily, worshipping only him. Then, one day, the prince of darkness questioned Eve, asking, "Did the King actually say you can't eat anything from any tree in this beautiful place?" "Well, no," Eve answered, "We can eat from any tree except one in the centre, or we die." And the dark prince scoffed, "You won't die, you will be wise, as the King." In that fateful moment, Eve made a choice, along with Adam, to do the one thing the King had asked them not to do: they worshipped another thing in another way in another place.
So, with a grieved but loving heart, the King told Adam and Eve that they must leave the beautiful garden. But he had a plan to redeem and restore their broken relationship if they worshipped only him. And then the King sacrificed a perfect lamb to rectify their sins and clothe their naked bodies before sending them out of the beautiful garden.
From then until now, the King continues to say, "Worship only me. Like this. Here in this place." And some listened, like Abel, who brought a lamb. But some didn't, like Cain, who brought fruit blatantly disrespecting the King's commands. And the King accepted Abel, and Noah, Abraham, Moses and David, who worshipped him and rejected Cain and all others who worshipped something else, in a different way, in a different place.
Even after building the temple, Solomon chose to worship other gods in other ways and build high places. The King continued to remind them, "Worship only me, with sacrifice, here in this temple," some listened, but some, like Rehoboam, didn't.
Flash forward a thousand years, and Paul and Barnabas are sent to new Gentile believers whose minds were troubled with all the laws others had burdened them with. What was the priority? Worship. "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us not to burden you." Focus only on worshipping the one true God. Like this. In this way. Worship the Lamb of God now in spirit and truth.
King of kings, may we worship only you, the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world, until you come again to redeem, restore and bring us back to the Kingdom.
Heather and Meg Armour
Heather is a teacher and Meg is a TWU student, a dynamic duo to be sure!