HCF Core Values
A High View of God
A High View of God – We value God far above everything for He is the most worthy and valuable being that exists. It is imperative to see Him as He really is, the Creator of everything and paragon of all virtue, the Almighty God. It is our utmost desire to glorify God by pursuing a high view of God. To know God and to love Him is the all-consuming passion of our lives. The continual proclamation of His character and nature is a fundamental element in our worship. In fact this is the definition of worship, to ascribe worth to God and to see, comprehend, experience and exalt the glory of God.
We value God far above everything for He is the most worthy and valuable being that exists. – To say that God is most valuable is an understatement. In fact, God is what brings definition to value. In other words to say that we value God, is to say that we esteem Him, that we estimate Him to be most worthy of our adoration, our praise and even our worship. This is obviously because He is the definition of that which is good, honorable and worthy of high esteem. As the scripture says,
Exodus 15:11 – 11 “Who is like Thee among the gods, O LORD? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? NASB
Therefore we esteem God above everything else because He is so high above, or so much more worthy than anything else because everything else derives it value in relation to God because He is the standard for what is good or worthy of esteem, in fact He is the creator of everything. Things derive their value based on the purpose for which they were created.
Revelation 4:11 – 11 “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.” NASB
Why is God worthy to receive glory and honor? Because at His will they “exist and were created.” Nothing has its existence except at the will of God. Nothing has its being, except by His design and continued Providence. God deemed it fit and good to create the world and mankind upon it, how could we do anything less than pay Him homage as the high and lofty One. Indeed, anything less than esteeming God above everything else is entirely sinful, in fact this is the definition of idolatry and a violation of the first commandment;
Exodus 20:3 – 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. NASB
More than this, sin in actuality is a failure to glorify God or a failure to properly esteem Him. In fact the very nature of sin is PRIDE, it is self-exaltation. It is to say that our will and our desire is of greater value than God’s will or God’s desire. Rather than esteem Him as Lord and Master(who He truly is), when we sin, we esteem ourselves and our own personal authority as higher than God’s. This is the definition of sin, to transgress the law, character and will of God.
Romans 1:18-22 – 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. NASB
Therefore we see the great importance of valuing God for who He is, and honoring Him and giving Him thanks for the gracious gift of life He has given us. The utmost importance of this issue cannot be stressed enough and it is made crystal clear in the scripture…
1 Chronicles 29:11-13 – 11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O LORD, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name. NASB
It is imperative to see Him as He really is, the Creator of everything and paragon of all virtue, the Almighty God. – Because God is what brings value and definition to all things, we therefore see the necessity to have a proper estimation of God and who He is, and by this gain a proper estimation of everything else that exists, including ourselves. When we see God for who He really is, we see everything in the universe with that proper esteem that they possess because of the purpose for which God created them.
Proverbs 16:4 – 4 The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. NASB
To say that God is the creator of all things, is too say that everything in the entire creation is dependent on God and His continued providence for its existence. Mankind is dependent on God for our life, our breathe, our food, indeed God is the great Sustainer of life. Apart from His continued providence everything would return to the dust.
Acts 17:24-25 – 24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; NASB
Job 34:14-15 – 14 “If He should determine to do so, If He should gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, 15 All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust. NASB
More than this, He is the “Almighty God.” This is to say He possesses “all the might.” God possesses all power. God is infinite in power and therefore does whatever He pleases. He does not wait for the approval of men before He acts. Any power that is in the creation is granted by God. God had the creative power to make the universe from nothing, and He sustains the same universe by His power. He has power over life and death and every other thing. He made all things with a very purposeful will, and He possesses the power to execute His divine will and bring His intentions to an expected end. His creation is just a small example of his mighty power.
John 1:1-3 – :1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being NASB
Col 1:16-17 – 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. NASB
What do we mean when we say that God is the “paragon of all virtue?” This is to say that everything that is good is good because it is in accord with God and His approval ofit. Goodness is that which God approves. Therefore God is the standard of what is good and virtuous. In other words, all things derive their virtue in relation God. All virtuous characteristics flow from the very character of God who is the original virtue or goodness that is in the world.
James 1:17 – 17 Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. NASB
Be it love or kindness, patience or gentleness, beauty or radiance, holiness or purity…all of these virtues find their origin in God for He is the height, or paragon of goodness.
Ps 145:9 – 9 The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. NASB
Ps 36:6-8 – 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. 7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.
Good Christian, what should your response be to such statements as these? May I suggest humility…….or thanksgiving……even your highest praise! He is worthy of it, and you can take that to the bank!
Psalms 96:4-6 – 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
It is therefore imperative that we as Christians learn to esteem and value God and His glory above all things! We must give our minds to the contemplation of God, our strength to the service of God, entrust our souls to the care of God, and give our hearts to the love of God! He is to be chief among our affections and first in order of importance. To do anything less is foolishness and self-destruction! Shall we seek life and its fulfillment in every place except from the place it comes, God? Shall we look for love in all the wrong places when all the while the scripture tells us that “God is Love!” Indeed love and fulfillment can be found in God, and Oh how willing He is to grant it. But friends, He must become our passion, He must become the center of our lives, our marriages, our families and our churches! We must be God-centered! Listen friends…… the universe revolves around God and His purposes, not ours
1 Corinthians 10:31 – 31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. NASB
It is our utmost desire to glorify God by pursuing a high view of God. – This is to say that we value worshipping God above all other endeavors because God has defined this as our highest priority. We must therefore value God above every other thing. He is worthy of exaltation and praise. This is the reason we were created. It is to glorify and exalt the majesty and glory of the Living God! This is the highest activity that can be performed and the most fulfilling thing that can be done. It is the only thing that fills the natural void in the heart of man. It is the first and great commandment and the great goal of God in history. It is for Him to be worshipped according to the splendor of His majesty, which is higher than any other thing. He must therefore be supreme in our affections, and the thing to which we ascribe value and worth. We are to worship God!
Psalms 96:7-9 – 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. 9 Worship the LORD in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth. NASB
God does everything He does for this end. That is for the sake of His Glory! Consider this quote from Pastor John Piper from his book “Let the Nations be Glad”;“God is central and supreme in His own affections. There are no rivals for the supremacy of God’s glory in His own heart. God is not an idolater. He does not disobey the first and great commandment. With all His heart and soul and strength and mind He delights in the glory of His manifold perfections. The most passionate heart for God in all the universe is God’s heart.”
Friends, if God’s great delight is the beauty of His glory, what do you suppose should be ours? The bible is plastered with such statements which describe the passion of God for His own Glory. Here Isaiah makes it crystal clear.
Isaiah 48:9-11 – 9 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off. 10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another. NASB
The Lord says He will not yield His glory to another. Indeed mankind has been commanded by God to “give Him glory” and worship His holy name. Indeed there is coming a day when the whole earth will be filled the knowledge of God’s Glory!
Habakkuk 2:14 – 14 “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea. NASB
More than this, every man and woman will give an account to God for either their worship of His Glory or the failure thereof.
Philippians 2:9-11 – 9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NASB
Dear friends, God will have His glory from His creatures. The question is will we glorify Him willingly and be the receivers of His blessing, or will we glorify Him on that dark Day of vengeance when He will take it forcefully, and thus be numbered with those poor souls who will be recipients of His jealous wrath and shut out from His presence eternally?
2 Thessalonians 1:7-12 – 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; 12 in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. NASB
Oh dear Christian, live your life in such a way as the Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in you and you in Him! This is the great purpose for which we were made. How then will we arrive at this place of glory you ask? We will pursue it! We will seek the glory of God with everything that is within us! We lift up our eyes to heaven to gaze upon the loveliness of His manifold beauty, and worship Him with humble and pure hearts of devotion and love! We will esteem God, and love Him, and seek the honor of His great name in all that we do! And so the Apostle prays for us…
Ephesians 3:14-21 – 14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filledup to all the fulness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. NASB
To know God and to love Him is the all-consuming passion of our lives – Having discussed the fact that we were created by God, and this for His purposes, it becomes evident that we have a specific role in God’s creation to fulfill. This is the great purpose of life which God Himself has defined for us, having made us for this very reason. Therefore one might ask, what purpose is it for which I was made? Or, what is my purpose for existence and how has God defined the priority of my life? This can be clearly seen in 1 John….
1 John 5:20 – 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. NASB
Here the scripture declares that Christ has come and given understanding “in order that we may know Him.” Here we see that we exist to know God, and this John says, “is eternal life.” To know God IS eternal life!
John 17:3 – 3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. NASB
In other words, God is the source of life and to know Him is to be connected to Him in such a way as to be tapped into His life, which by nature is eternal. This is to say that the quality of God’s kind of life is eternal, it lasts forever, and we who know Him become mutual partakers in this everlasting life. A quote form Albert Barnes expands on the word “KNOW” here in John 17:3…
“The word know here, as in other places, expresses more than a mere speculative acquaintance with the character and perfections of God. It includes all the impressions on the mind and life which a just view of God and of the Savior is fitted to produce. It includes, of course, love, reverence, obedience, honor, gratitude, supreme affection. To know God as He is, is to know and regard him as a lawgiver, a sovereign, a parent, a friend. It is to yield the whole soul to him, and to strive to obey His law…”
Therefore to know God is to live! It is to enjoy that highest quality of Life and experience fulfillment to the utmost capacity. This is why we were made. It is to see and enjoy all of God’s wonderful virtue and to praise the glory of His name and savor and experience the enjoyment of Him. A quote from Pastor John Piper expresses this value of ours very clearly;
“We love God. He is our great Treasure, and nothing can compare with him. One of the great old catechisms says, “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” That is the One we love. We love the whole panorama of his perfections. To know him and to be loved by him is the end of our soul’s quest for eternal satisfaction. He is infinite; and that answers to our longing for completeness. He is eternal; and that answers to our longing for permanence He is unchangeable; and that answers to our longing for stability and security. There is none like God. Nothing can compare with him. Money, sex, power, popularity, conquest – nothing can compare with God. The more you know him, the more you want to know him. The more you feast on his fellowship, the hungrier you are for deeper, richer communion.”
In contrast to “knowing God and enjoying Him” we see that those “who do not know God” will be the subjects of His vengeance and shut out from His presence.
2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 – 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed NASB
The person who does not know God is not connected to the life of God and is indeed perishing, they are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). This is more biblical evidence that the priority of life is to know God and obey Him. In fact, knowing God is inextricably tied to obeying God. As the scripture declares….
1 John 2:3-6 – 3 And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him ,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. NASB
Therefore if we know God, we will keep or obey His commandments and His love and divine character will be perfected in us. This IS eternal life, to become mutual partakers in the life of God by knowing Him.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 – 23 Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, “declares the LORD. NASB
Let us therefore press on to know the Lord as Hosea exhorts us…
Hosea 6:3 – 3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.” NASB
This value of ours could further be described by idea of loving God. This Jesus says is the great commandment…
Matthew 22:36-40 – 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” NASB
This, says the Lord, is the “great and foremost commandment.” In other words, this is what is MOST important in life, the main thing, the first thing, the great thing, the foremost thing, the thing which is front and above all others. Jesus says “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” The entire Old Testament, all 39 books, all 929 chapters, 23,214 verses, all 590,439 words says Jesus “depend on these two commandments.”
Mark 12:33 – 33 and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. ” NASB
Much more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices, more important than all our religious endeavors, more important than anything else in all the world, is this foremost commandment. What then is this first priority?, it is to LOVE GOD. To love God says Jesus, is the reason why we were made. In fact Jesus shows the importance of this in many ways as in Luke 14…
Luke 14:25-27 – 25 Now great multitudes were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. NASB
There will be no rivals in God’s kingdom for His esteem and devotion. Jesus says unless He is more important than everything you have, including your family and even your own life, you CANNOT be His disciple! This is why the commandment states, you shall love the Lord your God “with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” This means that we are to love God with everything that is within us. It means we are to devote to Him everything we own and every part of our life.
- with all your heart – this speaks of our emotions, our inner being is to be wholly devoted to God with strong affection
- with all your soul – This means, to love God more than our life, to be willing to give up your life to him, and to devote it all to his service; to live to him, and to be willing to die at his command.
- with all your mind – We are to love God with our intellect, with all the powers of our mind, bringing memory, thought, imagination, reason, judgment, and all our mental powers, as willing subjects to bow at God’s feet in adoration and love. To love His Word and His gospel more than we do the vain thoughts of our own minds, the entertainment, comedy and communications of the world, and to give firstfruits of our time unto the meditation and worship of God.
- with all your strength – with all the faculties of soul and body. To labor and toil for his glory, and to make that the great object of ALL our efforts.
Therefore if we value God because He is supremely valuable, then we must love Him with a wholehearted devotion which manifests the true love that we do have for Him. Good Christian, can we look at your life and see the evidence of your love for God? Or is something in your life competing with Him for your love and devotion? Only when we come to love God with our whole being will we be truly satisfied. Only then will we be content and fulfilled! This is the purpose for which we were made.
Deuteronomy 10:12-14 – 12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? NASB
The continual proclamation of His character and nature is a fundamental element in our worship. – As we have discussed, we have a very high view of God. Therefore it only follows naturally that we must learn of Him. Because God is incomprehensible in so many ways, it is a constant endeavor to learn of all the glorious attributes of God. God is glorious. His glory consists in the overwhelming and overflowing beauty which stems from the sum total of all His attributes working together in perfect harmony. God is perfect in His holiness, justice, wisdom, power, grace, mercy, and love. As the scripture declares…
Deuteronomy 32:1-4 – ” “Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; And let the earth hear the words of my mouth. 2 “Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As the droplets on the fresh grass And as the showers on the herb. 3 “For I proclaim the name of the LORD;Ascribe greatness to our God! 4 “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. NASB
God is so magnificent, so awesome, so wonderfully mysterious that it will take us many ages and ages to experience the glory of His riches. His resources and His attributes are inexhaustibly vast.
Ephesians 2:7 – 7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. NASB
As we have seen, this is our great duty, it is to know and to love and to worship God. Therefore we press on into a greater knowledge and understanding of His being, His character and His nature, we seek to know who God is and what He is like. As this knowledge becomes more and more clear to us, we then have a further understanding of His purposes and ways, and gain deeper insight into who we are, why we exist, and how we can glorify God. Clear knowledge of God from the Bible is the kindling that sustains the fires of affection for God. It causes us to be raptured away into the glory of God and His wonderful being. God’s greatness can hardly be comprehended but we are told again and again in scripture to tell of His wonderful greatness to the generations below us.
Psalms 145:1-5 – I will extol Thee, my God, O King; And I will bless Thy name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless Thee, And I will praise Thy name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall praise Thy works to another, And shall declare Thy mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of Thy majesty, And on Thy wonderful works, I will meditate. NASB
To make God the center of our preaching and our corporate worship is to say that we are “God-centered.” This of course would be in contrast to being “man-centered” which would be humanism. As we said last week… “He is to be chief among our affections and first in order of importance. To do anything less is foolishness and self-destruction! Shall we seek life and its fulfillment in every place except from the place it comes, God? Shall we look for love in all the wrong places when all the while the scripture tells us that “God is Love!” Indeed love and fulfillment can be found in God, and Oh how willing He is to grant it. But friends, He must become our passion, He must become the center of our lives, our marriages, our families and our churches! We must be God-centered! Listen friends… the universe revolves around God and His purposes, not ours.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 – 31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. NASB
Dear family if this be true, then God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the three in One and beauty of all of His manifold perfections must be central to our lives, and our worship! Therefore, we will continue to proclaim the attributes of God, His character and His nature on a regular basis so that we can conform our thinking to His wonderful person.
Exodus 15:11; Psalm 145:5, Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; I Peter 1:16, Psalm 99:4; Luke 19:7-8; Hebrews 6:10, Romans 11:33; I Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:10, Isaiah 44:24; Job 9:12; Jeremiah 32:17, Ephesians 1:6-7; 2:4, 7-9; Romans 3:24) (I John 4:7-8, 16; Romans 5:18; John 3:16.
In fact this is the definition of worship, to ascribe worth to God and to see, comprehend, experience and exalt the glory of God – To worship is to “ascribe worth to something.” It is to honor OR lift up and exalt something above ourselves and to savor and cherish its nature and virtues. Since God is the paragon of all virtue, then to “see and comprehend” His virtue is to ascribe worth to the MOST WORTHY things. BecauseGod is the most worthy and highest, the most transcendent and glorious of all, then the truest and highest form of worship is to ascribe greatness and glory to God.
Psalms 96:4-6 – 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. 9 Worship the LORD in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth. NASB
Revelation 4:11 – 11 “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.” NASB
This is the great priority of the pastor-teacher. It is to explain and expose the text of scripture to the minds of God’s people so that they can “see and comprehend” the glory of God and the splendor of His glorious attributes.
Nehemiah 8:1-8 – 8:1 And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the LORD had given to Israel. 2 Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women, and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4 And Ezra the scribe stood at a wooden podium which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed the LORD the great God. And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, explained the law to the people while the people remained in their place. 8 And they read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading. NASB
Consider then the “experience” of the glory of God in worship. When we are able to comprehend the glory of God by understanding the great truths about His person and nature, then we are able to experience the wonder of His mysterious and incomprehensible nature. As the Spirit of God brings illumination to the Word of God, bringing understanding to the God’s character and nature, His ways and means, and the purposes of God, we experience the “unveiling” or “revelation” of God and “partake in the divine nature.”
2 Peter 1:2-4 – 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. NASB
The benefit of true worship is the transforming process it carries out upon us. As we ascribe worth to God and value and truly treasure His attributes, we become like Him. Because these are the things that we value, if we truly value them in our hearts, then our sincere desire to possess these values will motivate us to treasure and cherish them and this will transform us into His image as the scripture clearly teaches…
2 Corinthians 3:18 – 18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. NASB
Therefore, on the basis of the fact that God is the highest and most worthy of all, and that the truest form of worship is to see and comprehend His truth, we seek to always “exalt Him” or “lift Him up.” In fact it is this that God has commanded us to do again and again, and it becomes for us the highest and most powerful benefit we can possess.