The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 189 of 210
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pp. 230 - 233
"O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker"
(Psa. 95: 6).
How often do we read about worship in the O.T., but the references in the N.T. are
less frequent, and there is hardly any mention of worship in the Prison Epistles.
The text we quote above is well known and contains an invitation to worship, to bow
down and to kneel before our Maker. The reason is given in the following verse "For He
is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand". Our minds
go back to Psa. 23:, "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want".
Psalm 95: begins "O come, let us sing unto the Lord", and the following verses,
leading up to our text, form a basis and the background to our worship. Let us sing, and
let us come before His presence (His face) with thanksgiving; because the Lord is a great
God. We are reminded that He is the Creator and He formed the dry land, and the sea is
His. So in our worship we come into the presence of the great God, and stand, or kneel,
before His face. We come rejoicing and with thanksgiving, and we sing unto our Lord.
The most common Hebrew word that is translated "worship" is shachah and conveys
bowing down. It occurs over 170 times. The first occurrence is in Gen. 22: 5 and is in
the context of sacrifice. Abraham was told to offer up his only son Isaac as a burnt
offering. He took two young men with them and when they were in sight of the mountain
where the offering was to be made, he told the young men to wait with the donkey, while
he and the lad (Isaac) "go yonder and worship". Thus in this first occurrence there is a
link between worship and sacrifice.
Other references containing shachah as examples are:
"And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord" (Gen. 24: 26).
"And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the
inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord" (II Chron. 20: 18).
"And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered `Amen,
Amen', with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord
with their faces to the ground" (Neh. 8: 6).
In the book of Daniel, the Hebrew word segad appears 12 times and is translated
"worship". It means to bow down or do obeisance. The phrase "fall down and worship
the golden image" occurs several times, e.g. Dan. 3: 5. A remarkable event is recorded
in Dan. 2: 46.  Daniel has reminded the king of his dream and has given him the
interpretation of it. Then we read:
"Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and
commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him."