Preparing For Worship
Genesis 35:2-3, "Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, 'Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: 3 And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el, and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.' "
Jacob's servants were primarily Syrian, therefore they would have been given to worshiping false gods. In preparing to worship Jacob commanded all those with him to do two things:
First they were to put away the strange gods (foreign to Jacob) from among them. Verse four records the act of their obedience to this command. They left these items under an oak tree which was near Shechem.
Then they cleaned themselves up and put on clothes fit or suitable for worship. Personal or outward purification, is emblematic of the sanctification of the soul, this preparation for worship has been in use among all the true worshipers of God from the beginning of the world. Even a Hindu would change his garments before eating and/or worshiping. His business clothes needed to be removed before worship.
The English word "worship" is a contraction of an earlier English word which was worth-ship. To ship something means we are sending it to a specific destination. In Christian worship we are sending a message directly to God expressing how much we value, honor, and esteem Him. Indeed, we too must prepare for worship. Put on your best clothes, sing your best, praise Him in spirit and in truth, surrender to Him in all things, and pray recognizing God is majestic, powerful, and merciful.
Jacob remembered and was thankful for all the great thing Jehovah had done for him. He reminisced about the answered prayers and God's protective hand, "...I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went."
God is worthy of worship. May we always prepare ourselves appropriately to worship our Great God!
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. How do you prepare for worship? Do you prepare? What can you change in preparation?
2. Do you see a problem in today's culture with worship and dress?
3. Is there anything you can do to prepare for worship the evening before?
4. How would you measure your worship in the area of singing, praise, surrender, attentiveness and obedience?
Your Friend and HIS,