I noticed something the other day and, of course, had to dig into it.
Is our work, of whatever kind, worshipful service to the Lord? What is our attitude as we go about our daily routine…
*in our homes as we cook, do the dishes, clean the throne, do the laundry?
*in taking care of our children, as we drive them to all sorts of activities, help with homework, wipe away their tears?
*in our jobs, doing the mundane tasks over and over, putting up with disagreeable employees or customers?
*in our schools, having to deal with cliques or mean teachers, having to sit under professors who disagree with our faith?
Are we Grumpy Frumpies or Thankful Tankfuls? Whatever we do throughout the day is our work.
So, do we praise God in all we say and do? Scripture tells us we ARE to praise and give thanks to the Lord in everything we say and do, “And whatever you do in word or deed [toil, work], do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col. 3:17 NKJV)
In the Old Testament, work, service, and worship are most often linked together. Abodah (or avodah) is a Hebrew word that means any kind of work, labor, service, or service to God.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words says, “The more limited meaning of the word is ‘service.’ Israel was in the ‘service’ of the Lord.” It is further used in connection with the tabernacle and the temple as the priests were chosen for the service of the Lord.
Vine’s further says, “Our understanding of ‘worship,’ with all its components, comes close to the Hebrew meaning of ±abodah as ‘service.’” Most often used in the books of Exodus and Numbers in regard to the tabernacle.
Abodah comes from the word abad, which also means to work, labor, serve, or serve God. It can also mean to enslave. When used in reference to God, it means to worship. God told Moses, “You shall serve God on this mountain.” (Ex. 3:12 NKJV) Meaning to worship God.
David tells us, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” (Ps. 100:2a NKJV) The NLT and NIV (and others) use the word worship.
Did Israel serve the Lord with gladness? Nooo! They were Grumpy Frumpies. And they found out the consequences.
In these two verses, the first use of abad is used in regard to God and the other in regard to enemies. Moses told Israel, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.” (Deut. 28:47-48 NKJV) Uh-oh!
Another OT word is sharath, which means to serve, to contribute to, to minister, to officiate, to attend to as a worshipper.
Sharath most often denotes service in connection with Israel’s worship. Out of 97 occurrences in the Bible, about 60 uses have this meaning. Vine’s says, “This kind of ‘service’ was to honor only the Lord, for Israel was not to be ‘as the heathen, as the families of the countries; to serve wood and stone.’”
Are you like the Israelites by not serving the Lord with joy and gladness for the abundance of everything? Or maybe that’s why the enemy is hanging around. What do you think?
Is all that you do worshipful service to the Lord? I’ll make it more personally this time: As you go about your daily work routine, are you praising God in all you say and do? Are you attending to the Lord as a worshipper?
Are you a Grumpy Frumpy or a Thankful Tankful?