Worship—Spontaneous, Unstructured, and Instinctive
Preface: This week’s lesson invites you to think of worship not only in the context of the Sabbath morning worship hour, but as a reaction to God’s intervention in your life. How can you apply the principles in the article below to your life?
Because of Joseph’s service to Egypt, the Israelites were able to live well there. However, the king under whom Joseph served died and a new dynasty arose whose king was not acquainted with Joseph. Thus the Israelites soon found themselves in dreadful conditions that plunged them into the depths of slavery. Only a miraculous intervention from God could release them. Ten plagues and a Passover later found them walking safely on dry land through the Red Sea, while their enemies were swallowed alive by “piled-up waters, hissing, roaring, and eager for their prey.”*
When the Israelites realized they had come through such an event unscathed, they “feared the Lord and put their trust in him and Moses his servant” (Exod. 14:31, NIV). They also took time right then and there to worship the mighty God who had saved them from the wrath of their oppressors. We can imagine their celebration spontaneously arising from their joy and heartfelt gratitude. Moses sang a song he composed on the spot, and Miriam, along with other women, played their tambourines and danced. Exodus 15 gives us a rich portrait of this worship service. From this portrait, we learn that worship at times can be an instinctive, unstructured reaction to God’s astonishing blessings and can include a variety of creative expressions. Other biblical examples of such worship can be found in Numbers 21:17; Deuteronomy 32;
Isaiah 26:1; Luke 1:46; Acts 16:25; and Revelation 5:9, 10. The last recorded incident of such worship is in Revelation 15:3, 4. In these verses, we read the song of the redeemed as they sing praises to Jesus Christ. Take time this week to read some of these verses and to pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to be aware of moments in your life that call for spontaneous, joyous worship.
*Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 287.