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What the book of Exodus has to say about the Worship of God

What the book of Exodus has to say about the Worship of God

What the book of Exodus has to say about the Worship of God

By John Chopores


Exodus 4:31  And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

 " then they bowed their heads,  and worshipped; adoring the goodness of God,  and expressing their thankfulness for the notice he took of them, and signifying their readiness to obey all instructions and directions that should be given them." [JOHN GILL].

" The bowing the head, etc., here, may probably refer to the eastern custom of bowing the head down to the knees, then kneeling down and touching the earth with the forehead. This

was a very painful posture and the most humble in which the body could possibly be placed. Those who pretend to worship God, either by prayer or thanksgiving, and keep themselves during the performance of those solemn acts in a state of perfect ease, either carelessly standing or stupidly sitting, surely cannot have a due sense of the majesty of God, and their own sinfulness and unworthiness. Let the feelings of the body put the soul in remembrance of its sin against God. Let a man put himself in such a position (kneeling for instance) as it is generally acknowledged a criminal should assume, when coming to his sovereign and judge to bewail his sins, and solicit forgiveness." [ADAM CLARKE].


Exodus 24:1 Ά And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.

" When a communion is begun between God and us,  it shall never fail on his side,  if it do not first fail on ours. Moses is directed to bring Aaron and his sons,  and the seventy elders of Israel,  that they might be witnesses of the glory of God,  and that communion with him to which Moses was admitted; and that their testimony might confirm the people's faith. 

…In this approach,


1. They must all be very reverent: Worship you afar off,  #Ex 24:1. Before they came near,  they must worship.  Thus we must enter into God's gates with humble and solemn adorations,  draw near as those that know our distance,  and admire the condescensions of God's grace in admitting us to draw near. Are great princes approached with the profound reverences of the body? And shall not the soul that draws near to God be bowed before him?


2. They must none of them come so near as Moses,  #Ex 24:2. They must come up to the Lord (and those that would approach to God must ascend),  but Moses alone must come near,  being therein a type of Christ,  who,  as the high priest,  entered alone into the most holy place." [MATTHEW HENRY].


Exodus 33:10  And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.

 Each house should be as a Temple to God, filled with praise and worship of God!


Exodus 34:14  For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

"Ver. 14. For thou shall worship no other god,  &c.] Than the Lord their God,  the one only living and true God,  which was the first command given to the people of Israel,  and binding upon all men:


for the Lord whose name is Jealous,  [is] a jealous God; his name and nature answer to one another; he admits of no rival or competitor in worship; he will not give his glory to another god,  or one so called,  nor his praise to graven images; and in this he is distinguished from all nominal and fictitious gods,  who have many joined with them,  and are rivals of them,  which gives them no concern, because insensible; but it is otherwise with the Lord,  who knows the dishonour done him,  and resents it,  and is as jealous of any worship being given to another,  as the husband is of the honour of his marriage bed; for idolatry is spiritual adultery, " [JOHN GILL].

" “For the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God.” — Exodus 34:14.

THE passion of jealousy in man is usually exercised in an evil manner, but it is not in itself necessarily sinful. A man may be zealously cautious of his honor, and suspiciously vigilant over another, without deserving blame. All thoughtful persons will agree that there is such a thing as virtuous jealousy.

… the word “jealous” is so near akin to that noble word “zealous,” that I am persuaded it must have something good in it. Certainly we learn from Scripture that there is such a thing as a godly jealousy. We find the Apostle Paul declaring to the Corinthian Church, “I am jealous over you with a

godly jealousy, for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” He had an earnest, cautious, anxious concern for their holiness, that the Lord Jesus might be honored in their lives. Let it be remembered then, that jealousy, like anger, is not evil in itself, or it could never be ascribed to God; his jealousy is ever a pure and

holy flame. The passion of jealousy possesses an intense force, it fires the whole nature, its coals are juniper, which have a most vehement flame; it resides in the lowest depths of the heart, and takes so firm a hold that it remains most deeply rooted until the exciting cause is removed; it wells up from the inmost recesses of the nature, and like a torrent irresistibly sweeps

all before it; it stops at nothing, for it is cruel as the grave (Cant. 8:6), it provokes wrath to the utmost, for it is the rage of a man, therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance (Proverbs 6:34), and it over throws everything in the pursuit of its enemy, for “wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before jealousy?” For all these reasons jealousy is selected as some faint picture of that tender regard which God has for His own Deity, honor, and supremacy, and the holy indignation

which he feels towards those who violate his laws, offend his majesty, or impeach his character.

… My soul be thou humbled before the Lord and tremble at his name!

I. Reverently, let us remember that the LORD IS EXCEEDINGLY JEALOUS





" The Israelites, when received into the covenant with Jehovah, were not only to beware of forming any covenant with the inhabitants of Canaan (cf. 23:32-33), but were to destroy all the signs of their idolatrous worship, such as altars, monuments (see Ex 23:24), and asherim, the idols of Astarte, the Canaanitish goddess of nature, which consisted for the most part of wooden pillars …, and to worship no other god, because Jehovah was called jealous, i.e., had revealed Himself as jealous (see at Ex 20:5), and was a jealous

God. This was commanded, that the Israelites might not suffer themselves to be led astray by such an alliance; to go a whoring after their gods, and sacrifice to them, to take part in their sacrificial festivals, or to marry their sons to the daughters of the Canaanites, by whom they would be persuaded to join in the worship of idols.

The use of the expression "go a whoring" in a spiritual sense, in relation to idolatry, is to be accounted for on the ground, that the religious fellowship of Israel with Jehovah was a covenant resembling the marriage tie; and we meet with it for the first time, here, immediately after the formation of this covenant between Israel and Jehovah. The phrase is all the more expressive on account of the literal prostitution that was frequently associated with the worship of Baal and Astarte (cf. Lev 17:7; 20:5-6; Num 14:33, etc.). We may see from Num 25:1ff. how Israel was led astray by this temptation in the wilderness." [DK].