Praise and Worship
By Helen Norvell
I wanted to study the contrasts between Saul and David, so I started reading 1 Samuel. I read through chapter 7 but for some reason, the Lord kept drawing me back to the story of Elkanah and Hannah.
If you have read the book, then you know that Elkanah was a godly man. He had two wives, Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was barren. Elkanah and Hannah were very dedicated to God. However, Hannah was persecuted by Peninnah for not being able to bare children.
Hannah brings her broken heart to the Lord and asks Him for a son. She says if God will give her a son, she will dedicate him to the Lord for the rest of his life, after she has weaned him. God grants her request. She gives birth to Samuel. When she has weaned him, she completes her vow to God. She takes him to the temple and hands him over to Eli the priest for service in the temple for the rest of his life. She then prayed, or maybe sang a hymn of praise and worship to the God of Heaven. This is where the Lord kept bringing me back to 1 Samuel 2:1-10.
“Then Hannah prayed and said, My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. (2) There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides you, nor is there any rock like our God. (3) Boast no more so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed. (4) The bows of the mighty are shattered, But the feeble gird on strength. (5) Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, But those who were hungry cease to hunger: Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she who has many children languishes. (6) The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. (7) The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. (8) He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and He set the world on them. (9) He keeps the feet of His godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. (10) Those who contend with The Lord will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, the Lord will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed.”
I was stuck here. I read and reread this hymn or prayer over and over again. I wrote it down. What is God telling me? I had to do some soul searching. Do I give the Lord the praise and worship He deserves from me? When He answers my prayers do I just say, “thank you Lord”, and go on my merry way? After much soul searching and prayer, I have to say, “shame on me”.
During this time of reflection I remembered a church service I had the privilege of participating in. To this day it is still the best sermon I have ever heard. A missionary, (I love missions) spoke for 45 to 55 minutes. The whole sermon was scripture. Christ in the Bible. There was no expository, just scripture. He quoted from Genesis to Revelation and back again. Everyone was on their feet with hands raised in worship. I was not standing because I had been in a car accident and was confined to bed for months. I saw this sermon on TV. I could however raise my hands in worship. God’s word is powerful! Doesn’t He inhabit the praises of His people?
So do I just worship Him in a church service? No I don’t, but do I worship Him as I ought to? I believe this is what the Holy Spirit was teaching me. I should worship and praise Him continually. Always have a heart of worship. Praise Him for who He is. The Almighty God, the Creator, the All Powerful, the Protector, the Keeper, the Judge, the Maker of Kings, the Promise of the King of Kings, and so much more.
Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. I give Him praise, honor and glory, for He is worthy to be praised.