Theology of Worship

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Sara Norris, A153 Intro 2 Worship Prof K Sanders 21 February 2012 Theology of Worship: Old, New & Now Worship is homage; it is an attitude and activity designed to recognize and describe the worth of a person (969 Ryken).” The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery could not have said it better; worship is something that comes from within a person and is active and alive, a lifestyle. The need to worship is inbred, intuition and something we cannot escape… we were made for it. Worship is the result of an encounter, an experience, a motive or a desire. It brings life to the idea of there being a higher power that has control over everything. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words worship comes from the Greek proskuneo, meaning “to make obeisance, do reverence to” many things, but for our main purpose it the reverence shown to God. Worship as a noun can mean reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to anything that is regarded as sacred; as a verb it is used when feeling an adoring reverence or regard for any person or thing. As Christians the one and only recipient of our worship is God because he is worthy of it. For many years the Tabernacle was the pinnacle of the worship experience for any Jew; and perhaps even more so for the countries around it, since it was so rich and beautiful. But before having the building, the Tabernacle was a caravan displaying the Glory of God to everyone. According to Yehezkel Kaufman, “The tent [Tabernacle] then is a priestly-prophetic

vehicle with the prophetic, the oracular predominating. The lustrations performed in the tent are designed to make it fit for divine revelation, for law-giving, for judgment, for guiding the people through the desert (184).” The Tabernacle then came to symbolize the center of the Jewish worship culture, important to the point of governing their moral and judicial codes of conduct. In the desert wanderings the Israelites had proof of the Lord being with them during the day in a pillar of cloud, and at night with a pillar of fire (Ex 13:21), but God wanted them to really feel His presence so that they would stop complaining so much, so He gave Moses directions in Exodus 25 to make a sanctuary for Him. The Israelites had just witnessed the Hand of God move mightily on their behalf; the “Exodus” from Egypt was a worldwide phenomenon, everyone knew about it and did not want to have any problems with them. God had confidence in His chosen people, not so sure about the confidence they had in themselves to accept and acknowledge the importance of their role to the world. But, continuing with the Tabernacle, let us discuss the rituals and people involved in making and maintaining it. Exodus 40 discusses the setup of the Tabernacle and also the appointing of Aaron’s line, Moses’ brother, as the High Priesthood of Israel, “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations (40:12-15).” Having a dynasty of sorts to handle the most sacred and influential position meant that

God was staying with Israel for the long haul. When Aaron and his sons where anointed, the favor of God came upon the family, and the priesthood was established. No one else could fake it into the Tabernacle’s affairs. All the priests were from the tribe of Levi, no priest could come out of any other tribe. There were two rooms to the tabernacle - the Holy Place and the Holiest of Holies. Only the high priest was allowed to go in the Holiest of Holies. The artists used for the making of the different pieces distributed throughout the Tabernacle, were inspired by God to make each a beautiful masterpiece. The Holy...
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