This story of Manasseh gets me every time. A lot of people point to the conversion of Paul to exemplify the incredible mercy of God, but this.
I think it’s important to note the strange things people do when they don’t fully weed out their past issues.
“Nevertheless the people still sacrificed in the high places, although only to the LORD their God.” (33:17)
The people shifted to worship the LORD, but did so in the way they knew how to worship idols.
Sometimes I wonder about the way we worship the LORD, nowadays, in church. I don’t at all want to come off condemning or critical, I’m just thinking out loud here. No fully formed opinion. It’s crazy to me how much people fight about how to worship. It’s a very sensitive subject.
Maybe passages like this is why. We don’t want to be our own authorities about how to worship the LORD. We do, and we don’t (mostly don’t like it when we notice others doing it).
Carly has experienced something I have not, which is churches who don’t allow instruments. In fear that we may somehow worship the LORD in a way He hasn’t prescribed, we sometimes over correct and paint ourselves into weird corners.
It shouldn’t be like how we worship other things. Music, itself, is powerful, and sometimes a popular complaint is that a worship service can look too similar to a Coldplay concert. Or maybe we get down on ourselves because sports get us much more excited than the LORD does. I don’t think we are meant to carry shame around about this, I think the West is just way too far removed from the way the LORD prescribed worship in the Torah to know what’s Biblical and what’s cultural.
Maybe it’s not bad to be both? It’s tricky. We want to bring devotion to the LORD, and we only know certain ways to bring devotion.
Here are some verses commonly used as indicators for worship:
- “Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.” (Psalms 2:11)
- “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array.” (Psalms 29:2)
- “Worship the LORD in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth.” (Psalms 96:9)
- “Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.” (Psalms 100:2)
- “Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, With the lyre and the sound of melody.” (Psalms 98:5)
- “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises to our God on the lyre,” (Psalms 147:7)
- “Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.” (Psalms 33:2)
- “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
- “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
How do you worship the LORD? Have you ever given it much thought? How do you tend to worship other things (on purpose or otherwise)? Ask the LORD for His way He’d like to be worshiped and glorified in your life. It probably has something to do with obedience, but obedience about what?