The Worth Of Worship

The etymology of our English word “worship” as spoken in the days of William Shakespear was actually pronounced “worth-ship.”

It’s derived from the old English word “weorp” which means to assign worth to someone. The online dictionary of etymology defined it as “significant, valuable, of value; valued, appreciated, highly thought-of, deserving, meriting; honorable, noble, of high rank; suitable for, proper, fit, capable.”

“Ship” from the old English word “sciepe” speaks to the idea or quality of being or condition…power, position, office, or skill.

Worship, therefore, assigns honor, praise, and glory to Him who is worthy and who is valued. Thus, the Psalmist proclaims:

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
–Ps. 96:8-9

When we attend worship services on Sunday, we’re (hopefully) doing much more than just attending church. Or enjoying fellowship. Or meeting an inner-most emotional need. We are recognizing God’s worth. Acknowledging His significance. Honoring His position. Proclaiming His Divine attributes. Praising Him for His mighty works. And prostrating ourselves before Him who is worthy of our adoration.

In his book, Concise Theology, the English-born, Canadian theologian, J. I. Packer offered this insight. “Worship in the Bible is the due response of rational creatures to the self-revelation of their Creator. It is an honoring and glorifying of God by gratefully offering back to Him all the good gifts, and all the knowledge of His greatness and graciousness, that He has given.”

Worship, Packer further observed, “Involves praising Him for what He is, thanking Him for what He has done, desiring Him to get Himself more glory by further acts of mercy, judgment, power, and trusting Him with our concern for our own and others’ future well being.”

“Learning from God is worship too,” Packer writes. “Attention to his word of instruction honors him; inattention is an insult. Acceptable worship requires “clean hands and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:4) and a willingness to express one’s devotion in works of service as well as in words of adoration.”

Literally, the worth of worship is demonstrated in the worth of Him who is worshiped.

“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
–Rev. 4:11

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

1 Comment

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One response to “The Worth Of Worship

  1. Pingback: Weekly Recap: June 24-July 1 | ThePreachersWord

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