Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Old Testament Informal Worship...

This is taken from Seminar Yesterday... I learnt alot...will post the rest in the coming weeks

Numerous studies have been done on worship in Ancient Israel there is a however a tendency for them all to fall into the same familiar structures with does what we have done today, they examine the holy places e.g. temple, altars and sacrifices or in other words of a biblical scholar “holy places, holy people and holy seasons”. But Robin Rutledge in this chapter of the book ends importantly with two clearly different places or acts of worship, which have been largely ignored, prayer and worship. He considers these are of enough importance to place them in the same chapter as the more formal types of worship. These elements are key and central to the nature of the Old Testament and especially in the Pentateuch and throughout the Psalms where we see King David’s worship of God through and through. The systemic problem of recent studies on Old Testament Worship is that they focus solely on these important elements of formal worship but ignore or give little time too the other elements of Old Testament and this is my task today. For us to consider the other forms of worship in the Old Testament and what they teach us about worshipping God and the theology of Old Testament worship.

Many Christians have inherit a floor in their biblical model of worship. Many skip over the Old Testament thinking that all they did was sacrifice and go to the temple with all their orders, rules and regulations that govern there worship and therefore think that now Jesus came that this has been done away with and now we can worship however and wherever. In my tutorial David my thinking on Old Testament was challenged and shaped dramatically because I realised I skipped the OT and went straight to the New Testament so many times but there is richness in the Old Testament. In my seminar today we are going to focus here on 5 elements out of many I could have choose to give an overview of Old Testament Worship and the model for it.

So here is a brief reminder of what worship in the OT is. Pierce says of worship it is ‘the relational phenomena between the created and the Creator, which finds expression in both specific events and lifestyle commitment.’ Worship in the Old Testament is an act of reverence and homage before the holy God, one whose worth is at the centre of all we do. Three main verbs firstly hwh (hawah) which means ‘bow down’ (Exodus 34:8), second verb is ‘sgd’ which also means ‘bow down’ but is only ever used in the meaning of bow down to another human (Is. 44:15) and finally the third verb is ‘bd’(abad) which means to serve Psalm 100 gives a great example of this use of the word.

What we see is that the Old Testament use of the worship language is that as a whole it tends to be drawn and taken from other realms and even the worship language is metaphorical language itself. There is an important theme of worship being the correct lifestyle choices as expression of worship because in ANE it was expected that the King would expect a certain lifestyle choice from his people.

The 5 areas I will focus on are Prayer, Music and Singing, Dancing, Life Style and Meal Times. All of these are not obvious avenues of Old Testament Worship but are important strands a larger more over arching view of worship in the Old Testament

to be continued...

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