How We Worship God
By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy,
and before all the people I will be honored. (Lev. 10:3)
In 2 Samuel 6:1-7 we are given the story of David and the Israelites bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. We are told that “David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God” and that they “carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab." David and all the Israelites were celebrating and dancing and singing as they moved the Ark to Jerusalem. The Israelites are worshipping God. They are worshipping and praising him for all their victories and for what God has done for them in delivering them from their enemies. The English word worship , which we use to translate the Hebrew word shachah and the Greek word proskuneō, comes from the Old English worth-ship, which mean to ascribe worth to something or someone. Thus, when we talk about worshipping God, we are talking about approaching God, treating God, in a way that ascribes to him the worth that he is deserving of. When David decided to move the Ark of the Covenant, which is the very throne of God (6:2), the Israelites are not ascribing worth to God. Like other kings in that day and age, God had commanded that his throne never be touched by anyone, and that it should be carried with poles upon the shoulders of the priests (Exod. 25, Num. 4). Thus, the first mistake the Israelites make is by placing the Ark upon an ox cart. The second mistake is when the ox cart begins to stumble and Uzzah reaches out his hand and touches the Ark. At that point God had enough and strikes him dead to send a message to all of them—when it comes to the worship of God, when it comes to how you treat God, how you approach God, it is not about how you feel; it’s about what God has commands. As God told Aaron, through Moses, after killing his two sons for offering strange fire, “By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honored.”
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