The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 190 of 210
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We might pause here to reflect on the English word "worship" which conveys
adoration, honour, homage, reverence, and veneration. Its use in the old days was not so
restricted as it is now. Wycliffe translated John 12: 26 "If any man serve Me, My
Father shall worship him". This sentence now appears in the A.V. "If any man serve Me
... him will My Father honour".
In Luke 14: 10 we read in the A.V. "Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have
worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee". The word is derived from the
Anglo-Saxon with the sense of "worth" or "worthy".  Worship might be rendered
"worthy-ship" or an acknowledgment of worth. We see this connection as we read
Revelation 5: 12:
"Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and
riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing",
and in verse 14:
"And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and
worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever."
So, in worshipping God, we ascribe to Him greatness as Creator; power, glory and
majesty, etc.
We have mentioned shachah, but another Hebrew word also occurs many times. It is
abad which, although sometimes translated worship, is more often given the sense of "to
serve". If we made a detailed study of the use of these two words, we would encounter
the problem of the association of these words. If we refer to An Alphabetical Analysis
(part 5, pp. 416-435; pt.7-pp.376-392; pt.10-pp.367-374), we find that Charles Welch
has studied the problem in depth. We quote from page 382 of Part 7:
"We will not, therefore, be dogmatic, but so far as we have investigated, it would
seem that there is not a single passage in the O.T. where `serve' and `worship' come
together when the context is concerned with the worship of God! On the other hand,
there are nineteen references where the two words come together in connection with the
worship of other gods."
Space does not permit us to study the implications of these facts but we content
ourselves with a quotation from page 383:
" the observing of the feasts of the Lord, and the sabbaths, it is reiterated that `ye
shall do no servile work therein.  `Servility' and `worship' cannot be thought of