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Gen. 22:1-14 QUALITIES OF GENUINE WORSHIP

Intro: Ill. principle of “The Law Of First Mention. (Ill. Satan, Gen. 3; Egypt, Gen 12.) First mention of the word “worship, v. 5, in the Bible. This passage sets the standard for what genuine worship is all about.

The word “worship means, reverence or devotion for a deity. It comes from Anglo-Saxon word weorthscipe, meaning worth ship. Means ascribing worth to a person or object.” When we “worship God, we are saying God is worthy of all my love, my attention and my devotion. He is worthy to receive all that I can give Him.

The word translated “worship in verse 5 comes from a Hebrew word that means “to bow down, to prostrate oneself. In the New Testament, worship comes from a word that means to kiss the hand in a token of reverence. It was used to refer to “a dog licking his master’s hand. It is an image of absolute love and complete trust and devotion.

Ill. People have some strange ideas about worship. Something that can only be done in church. Going to a church and sitting quietly while religious exercises are conducted. A time of singing, preaching, testifying and shouting. Ill. We really worshiped Sunday! Why, our preacher didn’t even get to preach! Did genuine worship take place? Ill. Our service Sunday was so sublime. The minister’s words were so touching, everyone left the service uplifted and encouraged. Was that genuine worship?

In these verses, we are allowed to see genuine worship fleshed out. In this terrible time of testing, Abraham shows us what worship truly is. I want to examine these verses and preach about the Qualities Of Genuine Worship.

 

I. v. 3 GENUINE WORSHIP IS SUBMISSIVE

   Ill. The context – God’s command was hard, hard and unbelievable. Yet, it was absolutely clear! God said “Go, worship and sacrifice your son. Abraham did not hesitate; he did as he was commanded! Ill. He did not seek excuses, he got up early and he went, v. 3.

   A true heart for God is marked by obedience, John 14:15, 14:21. Nothing says that we are His and that we love Him by doing what He tells us to do, 1 John 3:22-24; 5:2-3.

   Worship is not only something a person does; worship is what we are! Every obedient moment of our lives is an act of worship. (Ill. Attendance, tithing, witnessing, praying, studying the Bible, praise, etc.)

 

II. v. 2 GENUINE WORSHIP IS STEADFAST

   Abraham’s life is marked by worship. Ill. His altars and his worship. In fact, Abraham had just finished a time of worship at Beersheba, Gen. 21:33. He was enjoying a time of blessing and prosperity and he worshiped God. He worshiped the Lord when times were good. In this passage, things take a turn for the worse. God and His ways are not making sense, but Abraham still worships Him!

   Ill. Easy to worship God when things are good. Not so easy when hard times come! Genuine worship looks beyond the crisis of the hour and sees a God Who is worthy of worship regardless of how life is going. Genuine worship sees a God Who is in control of all the situations of life and it bends the knee to Him. Ill. Rom. 8:28; Psa. 37:23; 2 Cor. 12:7-11. Ill. Far too many people are looking for an excuse not to worship. Genuine worship sees the hand of God in all of life and loves Him through the good and the bad.

 

III. v. 5 GENUINE WORSHIP IS SEPARATED

   When they arrived at the mountain, Abraham separated himself from every worldly care and went to worship. Abraham came ready to worship and he let others take care of worldly matter.

   Genuine worship shuts the world out and separates itself unto the Lord. Too often our worship is contaminated and controlled by the world. Genuine worship should be the first priority of our lives. We should do nothing else until we have worshiped Him! (Ill. Jesus – Mark 1:35; 6:46; John 6:15) (Ill. Psa. 5:3) (Ill. I am too busy not to pray!)

   Ill. Worldly concerns contaminate our public worship too. Church is not the place to catch up on gossip; do your nails; figure your checkbook; show off your clothes; fix your hair; talk to your neighbor; look for fault; cause trouble, etc. when we enter this place we should come for the sole purpose of worship!

 

IV. v. 5-10 GENUINE WORSHIP IS SACRIFICIAL

   This worship was going to cost Abraham very dearly. He was called to give up the Son of Promise, Isaac. Notice how God makes the demand, v. 2. Ill. Abraham’s response – He never waivers! He gathers what he needs and he goes to do what the Lord has asked of him. He is willing to sacrifice everything he has and everything he has been promised at the command of God. He holds nothing back!

   Genuine worship is costly because it requires us to make sacrifices. Things like time, plans, pride (Ill. Sarah – Would she have understood?), pleasures, secret sins, etc will all have to be taken to the mountain and placed on the altar. That is why so few genuinely worship. It is not cheap! (Ill. All some will give is the cheap variety. They get what they pay for!)

   Genuine worship requires that everything of value be placed on the altar and given to God, Ill. John 4:23-24; Rom. 12:1-2.

 

V. v. 5 GENUINE WORSHIP IS SECURE

   Abraham did not know all that was going to happen, but he went up that mountain expecting a miracle, and that is just what he received. (Ill. Heb. 11:17-19) He knew that his worship would not be in vain!

   Genuine worship does not understand all of life. It is not pleased with every twist in the road. Genuine worship gives itself unreservedly to God, in spite of the things it cannot comprehend, and it bows before Him in the face of everything. Genuine worship knows that its earthly expression is merely practice for what will be perfected in Heaven.

   Genuine worship bows before God because it realizes Who God is, what God has done and where the road of faith will end up. Genuine worship knows that the real miracle is that it is allowed to worship in the first place!

 

Conc: What made all this possible was Abraham’s availability, v. 1. He was in his place, listening for the voice of the Lord and he was ready for worship. God is seeking genuine worshipers, John 4:23. Is your worship genuine; or does it need work?

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