Man is obligated to worship his Creator:
“Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgments is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.” Revelation 14:7 KJV
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11 KJV
“Thou shalt worship the LORD Thy God, and Him only thou shalt serve.” Matthew 4:10 KJV
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SERVING GOD AND WORSHIPING GOD?
The Greek word for ‘serve’ in Matthew 4:10 (LATREUO) which means to serve religiously. For serving in general, DOULEUO is used.
The word here for ‘worship’ (PROSKUNEO) means to express, by words or by bowing down, profound and submissive respect and adoration for God.
The two activities, serving God and worshiping God, are complementary because worship is vain unless it is supported by a life of dedicated service to God.
The apostle Paul writes:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (LATREIA).” Romans 12:1 KJV
Also under the Old Covenant, worship was to be verified by a life of daily service to God:
“And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12 KJV
The word here for ‘serve’ in the Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament is LATREUO.
Serving God involves all that we do, walking in all His ways, both in the prescribed religious exercises and in a godly life, whereas worship (PROSKUNEO) is an expression of submissive adoration on specific occasions.
PROSKUNEO in the New Testament can also refer to Old Testament worship and to false forms of worship.
ONLY GOD MUST BE WORSHIPED.
When the devil tempted the Lord Jesus to bow down and worship him, the Lord Jesus told him to go away, “For it is written, Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8).
Neither men, nor angels, nor anything created may be worshiped. Angels, however, are commanded to worship Christ which proves His deity. In the Gospels various people fell down at the feet of Jesus and worshiped Him.
TRUE WORSHIP IS IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH.
The Lord Jesus defined genuine worship when He spoke with the Samaritan woman: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:23, 24 KJV).
A common error is to suppose that rituals have value, regardless of the attitude of the heart. The Lord Jesus teaches that worship is genuine only if it is in spirit and in truth. Both the inner and the outer aspects must be correct.
WHAT IS WORSHIP?
Worship (PROSKUNEO) is a conscious glorification of God flowing from an inner attitude of lowly submission to His authority and awe at His majesty.
This glorification can be expressed by bowing down and by words. Since God can hear the thoughts of the heart, the words do not have to be audible.
The gospel commands all people on earth to worship God:
6 “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.” Revelation 14:6-7 KJV
Majestic examples of worship are found in Revelation. We can learn how to worship from the heavenly host!
8 “And the four beast had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever,
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Revelation 4:8-11 KJV
By falling down and casting their crowns before the throne, the elders show their submission. They “worship … saying,” and then follows a beautiful and majestic verbal expression of adoration.
By definition, worship is directed to God, yet the glorification of God is magnified when words of adoration are heard by others.
Next we hear the saints worshiping the Lamb in song:
9 “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10 KJV
Then expressions of adoration follow in the third person, proclamations intended for others to hear:
11 “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts, and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshiped Him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:11-14 KJV
The praise of the saints is confirmed by the Amen of the heavenly host!
9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God,
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12 KJV
Worship includes thanksgiving:
16 “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God,
17 Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned.” Revelation 11:16-17 KJV
They who overcome the beast, sing the song of Moses and the Lamb:
3b “Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Thy ways, Thou King of saints.
4 Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy Name? for Thou only art Holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest.” Revelation 15:3b-4 KJV
These thrilling examples in Revelation demonstrate that worship is a conscious glorification of God flowing from an inner attitude of lowly submission to His authority and awe at His majesty.
Let us, therefore, worship God!