Shabbat Shalom family, it is good to be together and be able to worship our Maker, Redeemer and King – יהוה of Hosts, aměn! An oxymoron is a combination of contradictory words, and there are many – here are a few examples:
Freezer burn – plastic silverware – accurate rumours – dangerously safe – bitter sweet – terribly nice – exact estimate – plastic glasses. And there are many more I am sure we can all think of but how about this one – boring worship – That reminds me of the little boy who asked his mother if she could remember the highest number she ever counted to. The mother didn’t know so she asked him about his highest number. He answered, “5,372.” The mother was puzzled and asked him why he stopped at that particular one. The boy responded, “Well…church was over.”
So many today sadly find worship unto Elohim boring and so how about a more shocking oxymoron that would better describe many misguided individuals today – ‘a bored believer’! It is a contradictory term as when one discovers the true nature and importance of worship to Elohim then one quickly realises and recognises that a life of worship unto Him is far from boring, and if you do find worship unto Him boring then who are you worshipping? In a message tonight called, “If You’re Bored – Then You’ve Whored!” I would like us to be reminded of the joy of what worship unto יהוה is and what it entails – for pure worship for יהוה is anything but boring, and if in any way you find yourself being bored then you need to check out your lifestyle as to what is calling for your attention!
Please turn with me to Tehillim/Psalm 96 (Read).
Tonight I want us to be reminded of the imperatives of worship. This Tehillim that we have just read is based on Dawiḏ’s anthem as found in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 16 when the Ark of the Covenant was brought back to its resting place, and when you compare the two songs you find very similar phrasing. The context of this Tehillim/Psalm similarly represents for us the joy of the return of the presence of יהוה to a people who have been held in captivity to lies and enslaved teachings of man and the great and confident expectation we have of His soon return when He comes to judge the earth and establish His reign. This Tehillim/Psalm also reminds us of the wonderful blessings of יהוה that is intended for all who would call on Him and the urgent call here in this Tehillim/Psalm in our life of worship is the call to sing songs and break out in praise in the expectation of the soon return of יהושע Messiah!
In asking a simple question of what or who should be worshipped – we all know the answer to that – יהוה our Elohim. In fact His Name is mentioned 11 times in 13 verses and He is referred to by Name or pronoun in every verse except verses 11-12 which echoes the call for creation to rejoice after a great longing in anticipation for His return and the revealing of the sons of Elohim.
But before we go on and understand the imperatives of worship we must ask the question – what is worship?
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 66:23 “And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” declares יהוה.”
All flesh will worship before יהוה – that is a fact! But what is worship? Well the word used here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah is the Hebrew word שָׁחָה ‘shachah’ – H7812 and it means, ‘to bow down, to prostrate oneself before another, to humbly beseech, to do or show reverence, and to do or show obeisance’. Obeisance means ‘a movement of the body made in token of respect or submission as well as to acknowledge the superiority of another’.
In Greek there are a number of words used for worship:
Yoḥanan/John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him. 24 “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”
The Greek word used here is προσκυνέω ‘proskuneō’ – G4352 means ‘to kneel down before as an act of reverence’ and is from two words – πρός ‘pros’ – H4314 ‘to, at, toward, unto’ and κυνέω ‘kuneō’ which means ‘to kiss’ and so ‘proskuneō’ means literally, to kiss toward someone, to throw a kiss in token of respect or homage. The idea or picture one gets is to kiss the hand as the word ‘kuneō’ is a probable derivative of κύων ‘kuōn’ which means ‘dog’, meaning ‘to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand’. This really struck me as we see the attempt that the enemy has done at gaining the worship of the masses – think about how so many are enslaved into having to bow before the ‘pope’s’ or any catholic priest’s extended hand and kiss (lick) the hand of their assumed ‘master’! Or how about the millions that ‘kiss’ the toe of the statue of ‘St. Peter’ which is in fact the pagan image of a pagan mighty one called Jupiter! We are to worship only One – and that is יהוה – not any man, woman, image or any other false mighty one! We are not to ‘kiss the hand’, so to speak, of another in subjection to enslavement – but we are to humble ourselves and show respect and reverence toward יהושע our Master – we are to worship Him Alone!
This Tehillim/Psalm tells us how we are to worship Him Alone:
1 – With Music (verse 1); 2 – With Proclamation of His deliverance (verse 2); 3 – By declaring His Esteem (verse 3); 4 – By bringing an offering (verse 8); 5 – By coming into His courts (verse 8); 6 – By living set-apart lives (verse 9); 7 – By witnessing for Him (verse 10).
This Tehillim/Psalm also tells us why we are to worship Him:
1 – Because He is our Deliverer (verse 2); 2 – Because of His greatness and esteem (verse 4); 3 – Because of His power (verse 5); 4 – Because of His Excellency, splendour, strength and comeliness (verse 6); 5 – Because He is righteous and True and is coming to judge the earth (verse 13).
This Tehillim also reminds us of where we are to worship Him:
1 – Among the nations – our light must shine (verse 3); 2 – In His set-apart place (verse 6); 3 – In His courts (verse 8).
And when are we to worship?
DAY TO DAY (Verse 2)!!!
Understanding this certainly must cause us to realise that we do not serve a boring Elohim and therefore worship in the life of a true believer is far from boring – or else you are whoring after others!
I would like to touch on 4 imperatives of worship of a believer unto Elohim as seen in this magnificent Tehillim/Psalm:
1 – EXALT HIS NAME (1-2)
Sing, Sing and Sing – 3 times here is the urgent call for all to sing to יהוה; a new song – speaking of life birthing forth great and joyous praise that all the earth resound in singing and exaltation of His High and Mighty Name! Singing and shouting for Elohim has been happening from the beginning and has never stopped and will continue forever:
Iyoḇ/Job 38:6-7 “Upon what were its foundations sunk? Or who laid its corner-stone, 7 when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of Elohim shouted for joy?”
Ḥazon/Revelation 4:8 “And the four living creatures, each having six wings, were covered with eyes around and within. And they do not cease, day or night, saying, “Set-apart, set-apart, set-apart, יהוה Ěl Shaddai, who was, and who is, and who is coming!”
Ḥazon/Revelation 15:3 “And they sing the song of Mosheh the servant of Elohim, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvellous are Your works, יהוה Ěl Shaddai! Righteous and true are Your ways, O Sovereign of the set-apart ones!”
Ḥazon/Revelation 14:1-3 “And I looked and saw a Lamb standing on Mount Tsiyon, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s Name written upon their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice out of the heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder, and I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 And they sang a renewed song before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the elders. And no one was able to learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.”
Singing a new song unto Him is a great indication of just how ‘alive’ His Word is in us and how new His compassions are every morning:
Ěḵah/Lamentations 3:21-23 “This I recall to my mind, therefore I wait: 22 the kindnesses of יהוה! For we have not been consumed, for His compassions have not ended. 23 They are new every morning, great is Your trustworthiness.”
There is reason, every single day, to sing unto יהוה a new song, aměn! I praise יהוה for the wonderful songs being birthed right here in our assembly and long may they continue as we continue to sing to יהוה and bless His Name!
2 – EXTEND HIS KINGDOM (2-3)
Singing unto Him a new song, day after day and blessing His Name can only result in one thing – a proclamation of His deliverance from day to day and a declaration of His esteem. Singing, proclaiming and declaring are not silent actions – they mean business and the question is ‘are we doing it or have we become bored because we have whored after others’?
Proclaim is the word בָּשַׂר ‘basar’ – H1319and means ‘to bear good news, to publish, to preach, to announce as good news’. We are to announce and proclaim the good news of His deliverance over us from day to day, and this isn’t going to happen if you don’t have a song in your heart, being ever ready to worship and walk in reverence of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light! In our worship of Him this is imperative that we do this – proclaim what He has done and is doing!
Declare gives a similar admonition as to how worship is not a silent matter. The Hebrew word used for ‘declare’ is:
סָפַר ‘saphar’ – H5608 meaning, ‘to count, recount, relate, celebrate, declare, speak or tell’. We are to make known who He is and the wonders He has done among all the people we find ourselves – if we find this to be a boring task in any way – then let’s face it you are not worshipping יהוה but are rather whoring after something else that may be catching your attention and getting your worship! We are His ambassadors and we need to make known who we represent – it may not always be a popular message or declaration to many, as it was not a very popular one in the days Messiah walked here among the peoples in the flesh and most will probably reject our declaring and proclaiming.
Let that not stop us for if we do not cry out the rocks will cry out just as the heavens are:
Tehillim/Psalm 19:1-2 “The heavens are proclaiming the esteem of Ěl; and the expanse is declaring the work of His hand. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”
When we are truly living a full life of worship we most certainly enjoy the benefit of corporate worship and will desperately want to tell everyone you see. Just think about it – when you go to a concert or show or big sport event or the latest blockbuster movie and you enjoy it – don’t you tell everyone about it? Well then, how much more should we be telling everyone we see just how awesome it is to come together and be in His presence as a family and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth – come on ask yourself – when last did you tell someone just how awesome it is here for us to be gathered together in Him? Or has it nor been ‘wow’ enough for you in your giving of worship that you have become bored because you have whored after self? Let us be an excited people who will extend His kingdom as we declare and proclaim the deliverance and esteem of our King, aměn!
So the question is simply, “Are you proclaiming and declaring or are you bored?”
3 – EXPRESS HIS GREATNESS (4-9)
In case you haven’t realised – He is the King of all creation!!! He is great and greatly to be praised! Are you praising Him for who He is – is your praise toward Him great as He is great or is it mediocre due to boredom?
There are far too many so called believers today that are sadly expressing the greatness of other people rather than that of יהוה as they very quickly applaud the success and attributes of seemingly successful people according to world’s standards and tend to lend much of their worship unto man rather than Elohim! This Tehillim/Psalm makes it clear who is to receive all the praise – יהוה and He is to feared above all mighty ones and there are many mighty ones that people have set up in their hearts and minds that is receiving greater attention and praise than יהוה – not realising that all that they have made to be mighty are in fact matters of nought – and worship and praise of them will do you no good!
4 attributes are listed here and are personified as if they were attendants before His throne, expressing His beauty, vigour, mighty, power, and adornment is the 4 words: ‘excellency, splendour, strength and comeliness’. Excellency and splendour are the two greatest attributes of a king. Strength and comeliness are used as symbolic names for His Ark – that which represents His presence and so because of His presence – His strength and comeliness is where His presence is and also are two other characteristics of יהוה as king.
And here we are told 3 times to ascribe to Him what is His. Ascribe is the Hebrew word יָהַב ‘yahab’ – H3051 – and means, ‘to give, to choose’ provide, come or to ascribe or to set’. We are to ‘give’ to Him all He is and ascribe to him, that is give, acknowledgement and all that is due to His Name – so when we come before Him we are to come and ‘give to Him’ all excellency, splendour, strength and comeliness as expressed through our obedient, joyful and reverent worship. He expects nothing less than what is due to Him! To give or ascribe speaks of offering – bringing and offering into His courts. The call is to the ‘clans’ of the peoples! This is clear – we are to do this together as a unit, as a body – no lone ranger ascribing here – gathering for worship is critical to the life of the body and this requires your all as a living sacrifice and a slaughter offering of praise and to do good and share!
Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:15-16 “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share, for with such slaughter offerings Elohim is well pleased.”
Offerings were brought to the temple – we are the temple and when we neglect to come into His courts together we are neglecting the admonition to worship Him as He is and if worship is neglected the danger of boredom can set in. Neglecting to worship Him His way and not doing it together with others will reveal just how boring you think worship is and in fact will then reveal the issue – if you are bored then after whom have you whored?
Verse 9 sums up for us the need to express His greatness together and how – “Bow yourselves to יהוה”. The word used here for ‘bow’ is the word we looked at the beginning for worship – שָׁחָה ‘shachah’ – H7812.
And we are to ‘Shachah’ in set-apartness – the splendour of set-apartness – that is there can be no attachments to the world in our worship unto יהוה. We cannot come together to worship Him with a zillion things going on in our minds – the splendour of set-apartness – ‘splendour’ here is the Hebrew word הֲדָרָה hadarah – H1927 which means ‘adornment, beauty, array, attire’ and this speaks to us the need to be adorned with His beauty – his set-apart garments of righteousness as we worship Him who is set-apart. Are you ‘adorned’ in Him expressing His greatness or have you become tired and bored as a result if whoring after fleshly garments?
4 – EXPECT HIS COMING (10-13)
As we exalt His Name and Extend His Kingdom it will result in our sincere and devoted expressing of His greatness together which in turn will lead to the next imperative for complete worship and that is to hold on to the great expectation of His sure and promised return. He is coming again and He is coming to judge the earth in straightness!
Righteousness and Justice are the foundations of His throne and He is coming to execute justice and righteousness – this will cause all of creation to rejoice and let me tell you – this will be a huge rejoicing as creation is groaning in anticipation for this – the heavens, the sea, the fields and the trees will rejoice and shout for joy at His presence!!!
Romiyim/Romans 8:20-22 “For the creation was subjected to futility, not from choice, but because of Him who subjected it, in anticipation, 21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage to corruption into the esteemed freedom of the children of Elohim. 22 For we know that all the creation groans together, and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.”
Our King is coming soon, and we are called to wait on Him – and this is an active waiting as we be witness for Him and worship Him with our all.
When tempted by Satan in his fight for worship, יהושע said to him:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:10 “Then יהושע said to him, “Go, Satan! For it has been written, ‘You shall worship יהוה your Elohim, and Him alone you shall serve.”
The same Greek word is used here as we discussed earlier – προσκυνέω ‘proskuneō’ – G4352 and so when we are tempted by the world and Satan and all of his attempts at enticing us away in any form to worship after the flesh, may we too respond in the same way as we proclaim and declare whom we serve and to whom we bow down and reverently worship – ‘kiss not the hand of the flesh’!
There is a battle for worship – we know the One whom we are to worship in Spirit and in Truth – the question is are you heeding to the imperatives of pure worship or are you becoming bored in your worship – because if you are bored – you’ve whored after others and if this be the case – STOP and turn to the One who is worthy of all worship and begin to sing unto Him with great joy and gladness of heart as you esteem His Name and extend His kingdom by proclaiming and declaring His esteem and His deliverance, express His true greatness – ascribing to Him exactly what and who He is as you die daily as a living sacrifice of thanksgiving in set-apart living, living with the sure and promised expectation of His soon return.
A bored believer is an oxymoron – I trust that you are not one because if you are bored – you’ve whored and be charged this day through the encouragement of this Tehillim/Psalm of praise and be encouraged to heed to call to SING, SING and SING – PROCLAIM – DECLARE – ASCRIBE – BOW, saying יהוה shall reign!!!
If you truly understand what being a believer is all about, it will be impossible to be bored. If we are exalting, extending, expressing, and expecting, we will be fired up and will experience the joy of what it means to partner with יהוה in His kingdom work.
And so, stop sitting – flee whoring and start singing, sowing and serving. I guarantee you will never be bored again.
יהוה bless you and guard you;
יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour;
יהוה lift up His face to you and give you peace!