Tag Archives: bow down

Thoughts on Worship

When you hear the word “worship,” what comes to mind? Do you automatically think of singing? The worship service? Do you imagine yourself a spectator, or are you actively engaged? 

The most common Hebrew word translated as “worship” in the Old Testament is “shachah.” Strong’s Concordance defines “shachah” as bowing down. 

  1. We see Abraham’s servant worshipping, bowing down when God answered his prayer in finding a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24). 
  2. In Exodus, in preparation for the Passover, the people bowed their heads and worshipped. 
  3. The Psalmist encourages us: “Worship (shachah) the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth” (Ps. 96:9).

“From your heroes you pick up mannerisms and phrases and tones of voice and facial expressions and habits and demeanors and convictions and beliefs. The more admirable the hero is and the more intense your admiration is, the more profound will be your transformation. In the case of Jesus, he is infinitely admirable, and our admiration rises to the most absolute worship. Therefore, when we behold him as we should, the change is profound.”

John Piper

Bowing down before the Lord is not just about our posture but about every part of us. What compels us to bow our hearts, minds, souls, and whole being before God? Is it His great love for you?  That love expressed even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us? Or is it His love expressed in the invitation to cast all your cares on Him because He cares for us?  Or is it that glorious invitation to be yoked to Him so that we can receive His rest? Or do the common graces in your life, sunshine, rain, sunsets, flowers, the many blessings, the goodness of God – do these things compel you to worship?


“Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.”

D.A. Carson

Let’s look at the idea of “bowing down” a bit more – 

Bowing down is first an act of humility. We humble ourselves before God, acknowledging his Lordship. Peter writes, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Our humility signals our understanding that God is transcendent. There is no one like Him. Jeremiah points out how foolish it is to honor idols. In his speech, he says, “There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might. Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is none like you” (Jeremiah 10:6-7).

Submission goes hand in hand with humility. When we humble ourselves, we submit ourselves in obedience to our Sovereign Lord. Jesus is the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Hebrews 5:9). In John’s gospel, Jesus teaches us that if we love him, we will keep his commandments. A few verses later, He states the corollary that we demonstrate our love for Him if we keep His commandments.


“Cause every task of your day to be a sacred ministry to the Lord. However mundane your duties, for you they are a sacrament.”

Richard Foster

So what does this mean for us in our mundane, ordinary days? We worship God when we humbly obey, even when doing our household chores, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, and other everyday tasks. We wash dishes, fold the laundry, put away the groceries in gratitude that God supplies our needs. We humbly follow as we nurture our children, loving, guiding, teaching them with patience. We humbly obey as we go to our jobs, doing our best for our employers, knowing that it pleases God when we work as if we were working for God directly. As the Apostle Paul teaches the Colossians, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). 


“He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD”

Psalm 40:3 NLT

In all our tasks, as we go about our day,
we worship God when

we act out of humble obedience to His word.


“It is the pleasing of God that is at the heart of worship. Therefore, our worship must be informed at every point by the Word of God as we seek God’s own instructions for worship that is pleasing to Him.”

R.C.Sproul

Let’s worship Him today! He is worthy, delightfully so!

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that you’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me!

Tim Hughes
Share Button