In these bulletin articles, we’ve been going through a list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism, published in the 17th Century. We’ve been looking at God’s law as summarised in the ten commandments and, last week, started examining the first commandment: ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (Exodus 20:3). We saw that the first commandment requires that you acknowledge God and worship him, and that includes thinking about God and remembering him. But how else can you worship God?
If God is your God, then you should esteem him in your mind. The Psalmists give good examples of how to esteem God by exalting him above everything. For example, Ethan the Ezrahite says: ‘The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them’ (Psalm 89:5-9).
Another example of God’s people esteeming God is in the song that Moses and the Israelites sang after their redemption from Egypt. They sang: ‘Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you– majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? You stretched out your right hand and the earth swallowed them. “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling’ (Exodus 15:11-13).
Similarly, if you wish to worship and glorify God then you should honour him. God commands such honour through the prophet Malachi: ‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the LORD Almighty…If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me’ (Malachi 1:6, 2:2).
When it comes to honouring God, the creatures in heaven are great examples for us to follow: ‘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. 4:9-11).
So do you worship God by esteeming him above all else? Do you worship God by honouring him?
Sadly, all our efforts to worship God through esteeming him and honouring him are feeble at best. God is supremely greater than any honour we can give him. However, if we trust in Christ, he has honoured God perfectly for us. Have you trusted in Jesus?