Monday, January 18, 2010

Him, Who? Part II

In my last article, I began a series that I will be continuing in this one on how we see in Scripture that God is to be worshiped for who He is and what He has done. This may seem obvious to some to be the case, but often the logistics of doing that are taken for granted by only answering the questions, "Who is God?" and, "What has He done?". To be sure, those are certainly a part of this question. Something most people don't give much thought to, however, is what God is called in Scripture, pertaining to who He is and what He has done. In other words, the Bible gives us examples as to how God's people have worshiped Him, specifically by certain names. It is my hope that through this series we might understand who God has proven Himself to be in Scripture, not simply for the knowledge itself, but so we can then apply these principles to the ways in which God has proved Himself to us, for the purpose of writing our own worship and/or choosing the texts of our worship in such a way that is personal and genuine.

In Genesis 14:19-20, we see the blessing of Abram by Melchizedek. The act of blessing, a concept largely forgotten in modern culture, is a petition by one party that is made to God, that He might show favor upon another party, or it is a bestowal of favor to God Himself. We use blessing so flippantly, especially in response to a person sneezing, that we forget its meaning. A blessing is always a solemn, memorable moment. Consider what it is to bestow the honor of God's favor unto someone. This is not something to be done or understood lightly. In this particular blessing, the first of two parts, God is specified by the status of "Most High." This most certainly is a reference to the authority of Elohim (God's personal name used in this blessing), because it is followed immediately with the distinction that He is Possessor and Creator of heaven and earth. The second part of the blessing is a giving of favor unto God out of gratitude for delivering Abram from his enemies. We see the watchword structure of "Him, who," in the second part of verse 20, which is the reason I wanted to point out this passage. Notice that God is not simply worshiped non-specifically in response to His deliverance, but is named as the God who delivers enemies into the hands of His people. The recitation itself of the act of God is an act of worship.

In the Christian life, we all have victories from time to time. Sometimes they occur in the sports arena, other times in the business world, and often they occur in spiritual areas. When God provides such victory, we must always be quick to bring worship to Him, who is identified as the one who brought the victory.

-Mark Whitaker, Minister of Music and Worship, Interim Minister to Students

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