God Seeking Worshippers
By Horatius Bonar
For ages before God sought a temple, he had been seeking worshippers. He could do without the former, but not without the latter. His first sanctuary was but a tent; and three thousand years had elapsed before he said, Build me a house wherein I may dwell. Yet all this time he was seeking for worshippers amongst the sons of men. By man's sin God had lost the worship of earth, and he had set himself to regain it.
1. He wants LOVE. Being the infinitely loveable God, he asks love from man-from every man; love according to his worth and beauty.
2. He claims OBEDIENCE. For his will is the fountainhead of all law; and he expects that this will of his should be in all things conformed to.
3. He expects SERVICE. The willing and living service of man's whole being is what he claims and desires,-the service of body, soul, and spirit.
asks for WORSHIP. He does not stand in need of human praise or prayer; yet he
asks for these, he delights in these, he wants the inner praise of the silent
heart. He wants the uttered praise of the fervent lip and tongue. He desires
the solitary praise of the closet; and still more the loud harmony of the great
congregation; for "the Lord loveth the gates of
It was of "worship" that the Lord spoke so much to the woman of Sychar. To Nicodemus he said nothing of this; nor indeed to any others. It was in regard to "worship" that the Samaritans had gone so far astray, therefore he speaks specially of this,-even to this poor profligate. He spoke to her of "the Father," and of "the worship of the Father" (John 4:21); reminding her that God was a spirit and that "they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." And then he adds these memorable words, "the Father seeketh such to worship him."
It was of
the difference between outward and inward religion, between the real and the
unreal, between the acceptable and the unacceptable, that he spoke to the
I to worship God? man asks; but he answers it in his
own way; as all false religions, and indeed some true ones, have done. On
certain sacred spots, he says, where some man of God has lived, where some
martyr's blood has been shed, where the footsteps of good men are recorded to
have been, which have been consecrated by certain priestly rites,-there and
there only must men worship God. God's answer to the question, Where am I to
worship God? is, EVERYWHERE: on sea and land, vale or
hill, desert or garden, city or village or moor,-anywhere and everywhere. For
certain purposes God set apart Sinai for a season, and then Moriah; but not to
the exclusion of other places. And even these consecrations are at an end.
Sinai is but the old red granite hill,-no more,-where now no man worships.
Moriah is but the old limestone platform, now desecrated by false worship.
"Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this
mountain, nor yet at