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What is Worship?

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

QUESTION: In genesis 22vs 5, this is the first mention of the word worship in the bible. There was no singing or instruments. What is then worship? Taking in consideration of the verse I have mentioned?


First of all, we are not told whether music was made or not. We are not told what he did as he went yonder to worship. He simply said he was going to worship…so we cannot say that he didn’t sing or play any instruments. However, a better way to understand this is to look at it this way:

First, Worship is a lifestyle (Exodus 23:25), but in the context of Genesis 22:5, we can try to picture what he did when he went yonger to worship (since we are not told). And in doing so, we can picture one or more of the following:

  • Lifting up Holy Hands
  • Praising God by his words
  • Singing or Praise God with sound made from the mouth
  • Praising God with sound made by clapping his hands, stumping his feet, body, dancing, etc.

He could have done one or more of the above and made music that sound like what we would normally make with musical instruments. He also could have had a timbre or harp or any other instruments which he used to worship.

What is Worship?

Whether musical instruments were mentioned or not, worship can be anything we do to Glorify God. There is Solemn Worship (Songs of Solomon 1, 6, 8:4) and there is High Praise (Psalm 149:6). We can see this throughout the bible, which gives us a clear picture of what worship or praise entails or looks like. For example, David, a man after God’s heart, danced with all his might – this was worship.

Therefore, in worship, you can choose to use instruments, use your whole body or to just use your mouth or hands or feet. Worship is Reverence.

How We Worship God

Your Turn!

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