The Berean Expositor
Volume 33 - Page 239 of 253
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The meaning of the term.
pp. 93 - 95
The first occurrence of the word "worship" in the A.V. is in Gen. 22: 5, the
significance of which will be appreciated by all who realize how near to the heart of all
doctrine is the great offering therein set forth in type. While the word "worship" does not
appear earlier, the student of Scripture is very conscious as he reads Gen. 3: that the
words of the Serpent, "Ye shall be as God", would have been no lure to our first parents
had true worship and its central significance been understood by them. Moreover, had
Cain entered into the meaning of worship, as did his brother Abel, he might have enjoyed
like acceptance with Abel, and have avoided the murderer's curse.
Those who see in Ezek. 28: something more than a reference to an ordinary King
of Tyre, may perceive that an attack upon true worship, a usurpation of Divine
prerogative, lie behind the judgment that caused the chaos of Gen. 1: 2.
Coming to the end of the sacred volume and viewing the crisis and conflict there
depicted, it can be truthfully asserted that it is mainly a conflict between true and false
worship. Worship lies in the forefront of the ten commandments and is found in every
section of the inspired Scriptures. The heart of the redeemed responds to the call:
"O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker"
(Psa. 95: 6).
Redemption, the gospel, prophecy, dispensational truth, are the outer court of the
temple of truth, but the inner shrine, the goal towards which the whole purpose of the
ages leads, namely, "that God may be all in all", is the summing up in word and in fact of
all that acceptable worship means. A theme that is so near the centre of all truth should,
therefore, receive from all who love the Lord the most earnest and prayerful attention, for
if we are right here, we have a corrective against all other evils, doctrinal, dispensational
and practical. On the other hand, if we are wrong here, we are exposed to all the assaults
of the wicked one.
In every argument or study it is a necessity that terms be defined. We must arrive at a
clear, scriptural understanding of what the word "worship" means and all that the term
connotes. The inspired Scriptures were not given in our mother tongue, but in Hebrew,
Chaldee and Greek, yet, upon examination, the English word "worship" will yield its
The meaning of the word "worship".--The reader will not need a long explanation
concerning the qualifying suffix, "ship", which is used in such words as "fellowship",
"discipleship", or in the less familiar form as in "landscape". The word worship comes
from the Anglo-Saxon weordhscipe, "worth", or "worthy", with the added suffix, and