My Thoughts. . .

Monday, August 19, 2019

As one reads the Old Testament, he encounters believers who are “worshiping” God.  The Hebrew word is sha-ha.  It is used 99 times as “worship,” 18 as “Bow Down,” 3 times as “fall down,” and once to “stoop” and once to “crouch.”  It means to “bow down, crouch, fall down (flat), and to stoop.”  Out of the 99 times it is translated as “worship” in eight it specifically gives their posture which is either falling down or bowing down to worship.

In the New Testament the primary word for “worship” in Greek is proskuneo.  It is found 60 times.  This is the word Jesus used in John 4:23-24.  The definition of worship is “kiss like a dog licking his master’s hand, fawn or crouch, or prostrate oneself.”  Out of those sixty their posture is mentioned five times.  They either fell down, fell on their face, or fell at the feet of the one being worshiped.  Whether in the Old or New, the definitions are not literally practiced today as they were in both testament periods.  The reasoning today behind that substitution is, their posture in worship was connected to their culture not to their act of worship.  The reasoning continues by surmising that since our culture is different, we may choose what worshipers are comfortable with today.   The conclusion is that we may worship sitting or standing.

All English Bibles were produced by those who were in well-established practices which they called “worship.”  The Anglican Bible, referred to as the King James Version, did use the word worship (proskuneo) once with the New Testament assembly in Corinth (1 Corinthians 14:25).  The drawback is that the worshiper is not a Christian, but someone coming in off the street.  He falls down to practice his worship.  Something that some sects engage in, but not most Protestant or Catholics churches.  Strangely, the actions of the Corinthian church of God in chapter fourteen are never mentioned by Paul as “worship.”

There was a time in our history when men crouched on their knees in prayer and women wore a veil in the assembly.  Both practices yielded to the incoming culture.  If a man bowed down on his knees today in prayer, some might consider it a violation of 1 Corinthians 14:40!  If a woman wore a veil to the assembly, she might be considered a “show-off,” trying to get attention.  Anyone who would lift his hands in prayer as Paul spoke of in 1 Timothy 2:8, might be viewed as out of place, even non-biblical.  To challenge someone’s comfort zone today may be considered by some to violate God’s word.

So, what is worship?  Has anyone licked God’s hand lately?