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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Weight of Worship

by Brad Houchin
A few years ago, I took a Hebrew class to begin learning the Hebrew alphabet and some basic root words used in the original Hebrew language.  It was very fascinating to me that a word read in scripture today could translate back into one of several Hebrew words.

My teacher/mentor for the class showed me an impacting illustration.  He pulled two large coins out of his pocket that I did not recognize and put one in each of my hands.  As I held the coins, he asked me to lift up which one I believed to be of highest value.  I made the right choice and lifted the one that was heaviest.  He then began to talk to me about the word “kavod”.  It is one word that “glory” translates into from the original Hebrew language.

Psalm 29:2 “Give unto the Lord the glory (“kavod”) due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

“Kavod” in a simple definition means heaviness or weighty. So, I was correct when I held up the heavier coin as to which one was of greatest value.  At the time it was simply a guess, but it made sense to guess the way that I did.

The definition of "glory", is not a picture of being burdened with a heavy load or exhausted from carrying a large weight, rather it is the picture of something that we lift up and respond to with the highest value over everything else. The word "glory" has taken on new depth for me since the day I held those two coins and learned about “kavod”.

As we write this month about worship being one of the “7 Spiritual Marks of Spiritual Health” in life and ministry, I want to bring “kavod” into our thinking. I believe it is vital for our worship to be on target, responding to God with our worship.  The "kavod" of God should be the motivating factor behind our every action.

Pause for a moment and reflect on what you hold up in highest value.  This needs to be an honest reflection.

Is God in this highest place in your life?
Does your worship of Him truly picture a response to His “kavod”?

Luke 21:1-4 tells the story of the widows offering, “As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

I believe that too often it is easy to worship God when we are comfortable, just as it can be easy to give some money away out of our wealth. There is a message for us to ponder in this story that I believe directly relates to worship and “kavod”

God is asking us to give our all in worship. Not just what we are comfortable giving Him. He wants everything. It is then, that our worship of Him becomes “kavod” (heavy, weighty) holding Him up at the highest place. Not because we live a blessed and comfortable life. Not because we have a great worship band in our church or even a great church. He wants our worship to be just like that of the widow who gave everything she had, because he is everything we need. 

Worship is one of the "7 Marks of Spiritual Health" in life and ministry.  The RM team will be writing about all seven.  This month, Nelson, Brad, and Jeff are writing on worship.  Please feel free to comment and join in on the conversation.

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