Worship & Sacrifice
Let me start by saying that I do not believe that there are any insignificant details in the Bible. If something is written into this precious book it is there for a purpose. With that being said, do you know where the word "worship" is used for the very first time in the Bible? It's in Genesis 22:5. Bible scholars use a method called the principle of fist mention, which states that whenever a word is used for the first time that there is a significant connection between the word and whatever setting or scene it is placed into that provides insight into the meaning of the word. The very first time "worship" is used in the Bible is in Genesis 22, the account of Abraham and Isaac going to Mount Moriah. To fast track the account Abraham has been told by God to take his son, his only son to Mount Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice. In verse 5 they arrive at the mountain and Abraham tells his servants that he and his son Isaac will go on alone to worship.
Upon reaching the top of the mountain, Abraham builds the altar and proceeds to bind and place his son upon it. As he is poised to surrender the one thing that he holds most dear the Angel of the Lord stays his hand and provides a ram as a sacrifice exchanging it's life for Isaac's.
There are so many intricate details woven into the fabric of this account. I really could geek out about it for quite some time. I am trying to contain it because I want to focus on two things- worship and sacrifice. Based on the Genesis 22 narrative we view worship as connected with sacrifice. As worship leaders (and everyone in The Church is a worship leader regardless of your position on or off the platform) we must ever be mindful that worship without sacrifice is just entertainment. We are not called to entertain but to worship in spirit and in truth. A mandate that is frankly quite humbling and at times challenging. That is why we must ever fix our eyes on the cross- the Great Sacrifice and our Savior who exchanged His life for our freedom.
Worship should ever and only be Jesus-centered. Our songs and expressions of worship should lift up not only the name of Jesus but the perfection of Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf. It’s easy to get caught up in issues surrounding worship, but our focus should be on Jesus Himself. On stage worship leaders can sing the wrong words, instruments can be out of tune but at the close of our worship service we only need to ask one question- was Jesus glorified? If the answer is yes then we have succeeded in our God-given assignment.
My prayer is that the church would resound with songs that boast in the finished work of Jesus Christ and that you would be challenged and inspired to worship sacrificially no matter the role you may have.
With Much, MUCH Love!!