T. D. W. Muir

Genesis 22:4-5. In this portion we have the first mention of the word “worship” in the Scriptures, and it is connected with the giving up of Abraham’s son. In Matthew 2:8 we have the first mention of worship in the New Testament.

Abraham believed that God was able to give him back his son from the dead, and God loved us so that He was willing to give up His only Son. It is a trial to any one to give up his only son by sickness and death, but Abraham calls that supreme sacrifice an act of worship. This gives us a clue to what worship is. Worship is not merely singing or praying, although these may be in it. Worship is giving. Now we may sometimes give things that cost nothing, as we give to a man at the door an old pair of pants, but Abraham gives everything and calls it an act of worship.

“And we will come again to you.” And so it is with the gifts that we give to God. We never give anything to God but what we get it back again with increase. Abraham gave up Isaac and God gave him a seed in number more than the stars of heaven and the sand of the seashore.

And then we have in the New Testament a sample of what worship is. They are called “wise men,” and so they were. They did not know the Scriptures for they went to Jerusalem instead of to Bethlehem; but it was natural that they should seek Him in Jerusalem for they were looking for a King. “Where is He?” Not an “it” but “He”. Then Herod called some that knew the Scriptures, but they had no heart to take a step to find Him. They could give chapter and verse, but they had no heart for Him of whom they spake. Just as many today who have prophecy have no heart for Christ.

And when the wise men got to Him, others were there—Joseph and Mary—but they had eyes only for the Lord Jesus. What they gave was “all for Jesus,” not a portion for Joseph and Mary. But when Christ gets His due others are not the losers.

These two Scriptures give us the two-fold aspect of worship—the gift of the Father of His Son and our gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.