Study and Worship

Dr John D Garr wrote:

“For many centuries study has been at the very heart of the Jewish experience, so much so that much of Judaism has considered study as the highest form of worship. Humbly submitting oneself to the wisdom of God revealed in the Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures) was viewed as worship, which literally meant to “prostrate oneself” before the Eternal. The Hebrew word for worship, dg”s] (segad), means to “bow down or do obeisance to,” and it has the connotation of total submission to a superior (as the king). The Greek translation of this word, proskunevw (proskunéo), is even more graphic, meaning to “kiss as a dog licking its master’s hand.” The decision to study God’s Word in order to do His Word is a meaningful act of submission and reverence–in short, it is worship. Study carried out with this motive is the very essence of Jewish learning. This is not study in order to understand; it is study in order to do. Abraham Joshua Heschel encapsulated this Jewish approach to study by saying that the Greeks study in order to understand while the Hebrews study in order to revere. God’s Word and ways are ineffable: only by doing them does one understand them.Study of God’s Word in order to mold one’s lifestyle to that Word is also worship in the truest sense of the English word worship, which means to “ascribe worth to.” When we fully submit our lives to God’s Word, when we study what he has said with complete devotion and intensity, we do, indeed, ascribe worth to him: we worship him.”

(Full article can be found here: http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/study-the-highest-form-of-worship/)

When I first began to study the Hebrew Language the hardest concept for me to grasp from my noun based American culture is that Hebrew is a Verb oriented language. In other words, it is a language of action. So the comments from Dr. Garr above really hit home with me. We study God’s Word in order to do His Word and in doing His Word we are entering into the Worship of our Lord.

I was pondering this verse in relationship to this action oriented language…

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”(John 14:21, ESV)

What do the terms “has my commandments” and “keeps them” really mean?

The word for “has” is the Greek word “echo” and the ESL defines it this way:

“…to have (hold) in the hand, in the sense of wearing, to have (hold) possession of the mind (refers to alarm, agitating emotions, etc.), to hold fast keep, to have or comprise or involve, to regard or consider or hold as. 2 to have i.e. own, possess”. (Strong, J. (2001). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.)

This could be the idea that we see when Moses wrote these words: “See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?” (Deuteronomy 4:5–8, ESV)

Maybe whoever “has my commandments” is one who has been taught by them and they have become so much a part of their life that they possess his mind and mold his life in such a way that we reflect the Lord in our lives. Then we keep them, we act on them, we DO them, why? Because they point back to our amazing God and His amazing WORD.
When we DO God’s word we are essentially saying we TRUST what you have given to us and we are going to ACT on that trust…And that is the one who LOVES YESHUA.
He loved us first, but our love back to HIM is demonstrated in our ACTIONS OF OBEDIENCE!

So, how will I Worship the Lord in my life today?