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What Is Worship?

Whitney said, “Worship is focusing on and responding to God.”[1]I agree with him but think that I would state it in a different way. My favorite text of scripture is Exodus chapter 34 because the Lord has used this passage to help me understand all of scripture, especially the incarnation of his Word in Jesus Christ. 
The Lord God told Moses to cut out two stone tablets like the former ones that Moses broke and bring them up to the top of Mount Sinai, there presenting himself to the Lord. (Ex 34:1-2)
“The Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the Lord. Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” (Ex 34:5-7) 
Seeing the glory of God and hearing the Word of God caused Moses to bow low toward the earth and worship, after which Moses prayed to the Lord. (Ex 34:8-9) 
Therefore, worship is a response to seeing the glory of God, and or hearing about God. I read from both the Old Testament and the New Testament every morning which causes me to respond in the worship of God: Father and Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. This is followed by a prayer of confession, thanksgiving and supplication. In order to improve in this discipline, I must persevere in it and I can only do that by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ guided by his Spirit. Many people call the singing of songs at the beginning of the church service worship. I find this curious, because we go from a time of chatting with one another to songs called worship. It seems to me since worship is a response to seeing the glory of God and or hearing about God from his inspired Word, shouldn’t the service begin with the reading and exposition of Scripture and not the other way around?


[1]Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life,2nded. (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2014), 103.