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.

Genesis 22:5  (KJV)

Whenever we talk about worship, what comes into our minds are songs, styles of songs, instruments, bands etc. It's however worth noting that worship is not just about music. It is much more than music.

The first time that the word worship is mentioned is in Genesis 22 - that hallmark passage where Abraham is called by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. The chapter begins by saying, "It came to pass that God did test Abraham." This request was truly a test for Abraham, a trying of his faith to prove his genuine love and devotion for God. God spoke to Abraham and said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about" (Genesis 22:2). That's one heck of an ask, isn't it?

In Abraham's case, it was the thing most dear to him. Many years before, God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars and he would become a great nation and all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. Isaac represented God's promise to Abraham. And now God said, "Give me your son. Sacrifice him as a burnt offering to me." This is actually the first time the word love is used in the Bible as it talks about the love a father has for his only son- and yet the father is being asked to sacrifice the son.

The word translated "worship" means to "bow down; to prostrate oneself before a superior; to humble oneself before God." Abraham uses this word in the midst of the most difficult trial he ever faced. He was in the deepest valley of his life, yet he saw the experience as a time of worship. Now here is the first use of the word worship.

Abraham was taking his son to offer him unto the Lord. Abraham didn't use the word sacrifice though. He said he was going to worship. What does this tell you about biblical worship? Worship is about God first. True worship means that nothing should come first before God in our lives. That's what this story is about. This is what God was testing Abraham about. God wanted to know, "Is there anything else before me, even the son I have given you?"

Hebrews 13:15-16 True worship begins with one entering through the door "who is Jesus Christ" before entering the door of the church. Without going through Jesus then we cannot worship in truth and in Spirit. A revelation of who God is makes us have real worship as opposed to a superficial one.

In conclusion, true worship comes from a heart that says, "God, there is nothing I will hold back from you. You have full access to my life." True worship is more than a song, it involves sacrifice. It means we will give to God whatever he asks of us. Worship is used to describe the act of a man who would put God first before everything. Worship was used to describe a man who would hold nothing back from God. So maybe anything short of that is just lip service.