ELEMENTS of TRUE WORSHIP: When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord: "For He is good, for His mercy endures forever toward Israel." Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off. (Ezra 3:10-13)
Cyrus, King of Persia, allowed the captive Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple as well as subsidized the journey back to their homeland. It was only by the second month of the second year of their coming to Jerusalem that they could get together to begin the work of temple restoration. When the builders laid the foundations of the temple of God, we can note some elements of true worship that we can adopt in our worship as well:
- The priests put on their priestly garments and blew their trumpets loudly.
- The Levites praised God using cymbals according the ordinance of King David.
- The priests and Levites sang responsively praising and giving thanks to God for His goodness and for His mercy towards Israel.
- The entire congregation shouted with a great shout as they praised God – the sound was heard from a long distance away.
- The older people (including the priests, Levites and heads of families) wept with a loud voice as they became emotionally carried away with the significance of the occasion as they remembered the glory of Solomon’s Temple that was destroyed.
- The younger people shouted aloud with pure joy as they could not contain the excitement of anticipation about what God was about to accomplish among them.
Our worship to God should include one or more of the above elements listed above – but the more importantly, our worship must be sincere. Worship is an encounter with the living and holy God and we should worship with reverence for God (Hebrews 12:28). In worship, we ascribe to the Lord the glory due to Him (Psalm 29:1-2), and we can worship boldly because of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (Hebrews 10:1-10). Let us be sincere in our worship to God!