Biblical Examples of Worshipping God
I. Introduction (John 4:23; Genesis 22:5)
A. This is a study series looking at True Worship, and True Worshippers
B. So Far, we have looked at the Wrong Ways to Worship, and then the Right Ways to Worship God
C. Today, we begin to look at HOW God’s people worshipped God – starting with Abraham and his son Isaac in Genesis 22
II. Principles of Worship
A. Everyone worships some-thing or some-one!
B. But most people miss the target when it comes to worshipping God - People assume they know what worship should be like.
C. Worship means to show someone’s worth! To show someone’s worth-ship! An act of ascribing worth/value to a person. Ascribing great worth to a person
1. To honour – extol, lift-up, praise
2. To please
3. To bless
4. To love with all the heart
5. To glorify – put all the attention on – put the lime-light on
6. To serve gladly and whole-heartedly
7. When a person worship’s God, these things are all active!
III. Background (Gen 21:33,34; 22:1)
A. Abraham lived to worship God, no matter the cost!
B. That determination was going to be tested in this chapter
C. Abraham had seen some serious failures in his own life - Lack of faith Four Times
1. Once fleeing a famine to Egypt
2. Then telling his wife to lie for him about being his wife
3. Then telling her to lie AGAIN about being his wife
4. Then agreeing to take Hagar as a wife to get a son
D. Abraham had also seen God do some great things in his life
1. God had called him OUT of darkness to follow Him to a promised land
2. God had SAVED him by faith in His abilities to do anything He promised
3. God had blessed him
4. God had given him a miracle son in his old age (100 years old)
E. All along, Abraham had been learning how to worship God, but in Genesis 22, he will learn thoroughly, and God will show us perfectly
A. God’s Test of Worship (Gen 22:2)
1. What is the most important thing to you
a. Your Problems?
b. Your Past?
c. Your Friends?
d. Your Lack of Money?
e. Your Prestige and Position in people’s eyes?
f. All of the above get in the way of our worship that is due unto God
2. For the rich young ruler, money was most important
3. For Peter, the Messianic kingdom was most important
4. For Paul, the Jewish religion was most important
5. For Abraham, Isaac was most important
6. So God challenges Abraham’s ability to truly worship
a. Tested Abraham’s Love
b. Tested Abraham’s Trust in God
c. Tested Abraham’s Willingness – his faith was put to the test
B. Abraham’s Response (Gen 22:3)
1. Silent Obedience
a. Early in the morning – no dragging of the feet
b. No fight with his wife – just set on obeying God – no one was going to stop him
c. Everyone watching would have seen that this was going to be between Abraham and his God!
2. Prepared Obedience
a. He cut the wood for the sacrifice’s fire
b. He grabbed a long-life torch of fire (Gen 22:6) that he would carry with him for the next three days
c. He was prepared to go all the way to Moriah – took servants with him because of the long journey
3. Patient Obedience
a. He travelled three days – three LONG days journey to a small set of hills called Moriah, 40 miles away
b. Could have given up and gone back home
c. The hardest part of worship is doing it while waiting on God
C. Abraham’s Faith (Gen 22:4,5)
1. He saw the end from the start – he had no delusions – no vagueness about his faith – he had seen Moriah 3 days earlier in his mind and heart!
2. He leaned only on his God to carry him – oh that we knew how to do the same
3. He went all this way “to worship” – not grieve, or lose, or die, be entertained, or be blessed – Abraham lived to worship God, no matter the cost!
4. He was NOT sure of what was going to happen
5. He just knew that God would bring BOTH Abraham AND Isaac back down the mount, and then back home – we will see how he knew that next
D. Abraham’s Worship (Gen 22:5-10)
1. Abraham’s Worship Was a Burden
a. Worship is no easy task – worship sometimes is heavy
b. It was a burden upon Abraham
1) He could not send his servants to do it in his place
2) Worship is a personal act of submission to the will of God
3) I knew when God called me to preach, I could never worship God until I was surrendered to doing God’s will – period!
c. It was a burden upon his son Isaac
1) He took the wood now – it had been carried by one of the servants
2) He took on confusion – didn’t understand what was going on
3) And he took it all willingly – what a father who could earn such trust of his son!
2. Abraham’s Worship Was a Picture (John 8:56)
a. A picture of a yet future event – almost 2,000 years later
b. An event where GOD the Father would direct His only begotten Son (Gen 22:2; John 18:11) up a small hill called Golgotha - Mount Moriah is exactly where Jesus would die (2Chron 3:1)!
c. And the Son would lay down willingly – obediently - lovingly
d. But this time, there would be no call from heaven to stop the death of the Son – heaven will be absolutely silent!!!
e. And the Son will die
f. Other parts to the picture
1) The THREE days (Gen 22:4)
2) The burnt offering (Gen 22:2) – Jesus experienced not only death, but hell for those three hours on the cross
3) The coming LAMB of God (Gen 22:8)
4) The aloneness of Christ on the cross – no one else there - abandoned by all, including by God
3. Abraham’s Worship Was a Sacrifice
a. There is no worship without a Sacrifice
1) Nobody just talked with God
2) For a sinner to approach to God, they had to have a perfect sacrifice that could make the way to God possible
3) Lambs, turtle-doves, scape-goats, bulls, rams, etc.
4) A Christian comes to God through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ in their place!
b. There is no worship without a Cost – a high cost!
1) Abraham could just offer some money
2) Couldn’t make a deal with God
3) Had to offer his most prized possession – his son
4) The great truth of this whole event is that GOD HIMSELF will pay that cost FOR anyone who will allow Him to!
c. There is no worship without Faith - he had to trust
1) That God would do right
2) That God would provide
3) That God would resurrect Isaac if need be (Heb 11:17-19)
d. There is no worship without Obedience – wilful obedience
1) God cannot and will not accept the worship of a rebel
2) Isaac obeyed his father
3) Abraham obeyed God
4) Worship was therefore active and in full-motion
e. There is no worship without an Altar
1) A place of death
2) A place where something would die
3) We come to God so full of ourselves, and of our good feelings, and our accomplishments that we miss the fact that to truly worship such a holy and perfect God, we must look at ourselves constantly and let anything that comes between us and God DIE!
f. There is no worship without Detail – take care to worship right!
1) Abraham took time to lay out in order the wood – had to be right
2) He took time to prepare his son as a sacrifice should be
3) He took care of the details – he was no haphazard – “just get this over with” attitude kills every church meeting, and every season of prayer and Bible reading!!!
E. God’s Pleasure (Gen 22:11-18; Rev 4:11)
1. Is in our obedience – not in what we give (1Sam 15:22)
2. Is in supplying the Sacrifice that we truly need
3. Is in showing Himself – we learn most of God in the fiery trials of our afflictions (Dan 3:23-25)
4. Is in blessing us (Gen 22:15-18)
F. Abraham’s Change – he will never be the same (Gen 22:19)
1. An unshakeable joy – it is what happens when a believer truly begins to worship God in spirit and in truth instead of only on sunny days!
2. A new address – never went back into the Philistine area – stayed in the Promised Land
3. A readiness for anything now – Sarah’s death in the next chapter did not hurt him like it could have
4. All because Abraham learned how to truly worship his God
V. Conclusion and Application
A. What is the most important thing to you?
1. Your Problems?
2. Your Past?
3. Your Friends?
4. Your Lack of Money?
5. Your Prestige and Position in people’s eyes?
6. All of the above things get in the way of our worship that is due unto God
7. For the rich young ruler, money was most important
8. For Peter, the Messianic kingdom was most important
9. For Paul, the Jewish religion was most important
10. For Abraham, Isaac was most important
B. How easy do you find it to obey when things are rough, and God’s will is hard?
C. Worship is an act of faith
1. NOT sure of what is going to happen
2. Just knowing that God would work everything out right
D. Our Worship will be three things:
1. A Burden – no easy task – worship sometimes is heavy
2. A Picture – to the world of God and HIS sacrifice for us!
3. A Sacrifice – there is no worship without a Sacrifice
E. How Determined are we to PLEASE GOD with our Worship, instead of please ourselves?
F. True Worship Will Change You – you will never be the same
G. Begins with the new birth, and will follow through a testing – are you now better ready for that test – ready to worship? No matter the cost?
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork