This question crops up from time to time and is, naturally, totally the wrong question to ask. Because what the question really means when people ask it is: ‘Why do I have to bring myself down to worship God?’ or in some cases I get the impression that people are asking: ‘why doesn’t God worship me?’
But despite it being asked from completely the wrong motives I think I’ll go ahead and answer it anyway:
“Day and night they never stop saying:
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Revelation 4 v 8 – 11
As the elder say God deserves our worship because he alone is worthy. And wrapped in with that statement is the simple fact that God is our creator.
“I am the LORD, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.”
Isaiah 45 v 5 – 7
Once again we see the fact clearly stated that because God is our creator he deserves everything from us. For if we owe our lives to him, if we owe our existence, the existence of the universe, if we owe everything he deserves everything in return.
God’s command for us to worship him isn’t egotistical, it isn’t done out of proud, it is done because if we grasp the fact that God is creator it becomes blindingly obvious that we need to worship God.
“Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.”
In this Psalm the writer lays the facts down – we worship God because he is great and worthy of all praise.
I still don’t want to worship God
Of course you don’t! For as it is written:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 3 v 23
You don’t want to worship God because you refuse to face up to how worthy he is and unworthy you are. So instead you worship idols, anything you place before God.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”
Romans 1 v 21 – 23
As Paul writes here the natural (unconverted) man does not glorify God and has exchanged the glory of God for idols. Now you probably don’t think you’ve done that but anything you place before God is an idol. That could be sex, drink, money, fame, yourself – not bad things per ce but when placed in front of God they become idols.
What happens if I don’t worship God?
“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
Romans 1 v 28 - 32
I’m pretty sure this needs no explanation.
God is worthy of our worship and yet because we are so unworthy we so often fail to grasp this.
“And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
Isaiah 6 v 3 – 5
The worship of God puts us in our place. It focuses our mind on the Most High, the King, the Lord Almighty and in doing so brings us down to the ashes. For we all ruined; men of unclean lips.
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for at his command they were created,
6 and he established them for ever and ever—
he issued a decree that will never pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the LORD.