Monday, March 16, 2009

Old Testament Informal Worship...Lifestyle

Lifestyle- The hyponym of worship

Sacrifices and offerings are no longer required. But what we can learn about the theology of worship in the Old Testament by what lies behind Israel’s worship. All the things covered today have hyponym’s of a much greater principle which is where I would like to end today. The conclusion in my study of informal worship is that the superordinate of worship is lifestyle. All we have discussed and talked about today rely on the very fact that worship in the Old Testament is about a lifestyle of response to what God has done for us. This is our act of worship.

There are many other examples of informal worship but all of them rely on the fact that worship is lifestyle. Worship’s primary goal is the creation of a community in reponse to Yahweh. Yahweh has created a people and there worship must live out what it means to be his people. This defines our theology of worship and defines the Old Testament understanding of worship. As I have said previously although sacrifices and offerings in the Old Testament are no longer required but what we can learn from the Old Testament is that behind the lives of the worship of the people of the Old Testament was a commitment to a worshipping lifestyle as a community and as individuals.

Pierce points to 3 important elements of worship, firstly the two Hebrew terms means bow down, paying and homage. And the other meaning to work or serve. These two words are used in juxtaposition to each other to demonstrate the bibles interplay between lifestyle and liturgy. The second point is that so many prose sections are embedded with Psalms (Exod 15, Jud 5 etc), is suggestive of a close link between God’s actions, our actions and our praise of him. Thirdly, the diversity and pervasiveness of worship, eother in pratice or expression, throughout the entirty of the OT corpus suggests that it cannot be limited to only one part of life.

All of these factors point to the very heart of worship in the Old Testament as displaying God as in high, exalted position and his people below him. All I have talked about in my posts are all centred on the very nature of worship being a lifestyle, whether in temple or at the altar, whether in sacrifice or surrender, whether by singing or praying. Worship is much greater concept of living our lives as community the way God called us to.


Anonymous said...

hi, thanks for the reminder that even in the OT, worship was meant to be a lifestyle.

perhaps offerings ARE still required, just a different one: our bodies - as a living sacrifice (Rom 12).

which seems to tie in nicely with the whole idea behind worship as a lifestyle IMHO =)

ali_johnson said...

yeah great tie that idea of a strand that carries that theme of lifestyle throughout the grand narrative of the bible. Thank you for that!

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