Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.
Genesis 8:20

After being in the ark for about six months, God released Noah from it. Verses 16 and 17 record God’s instructions: “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you-the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground-so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it.” Noah continued in his obedience and left the ark. That process is recorded in verses 18 and 19.

Then we get to verse 20: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.”

The very first thing Noah did was worship God. He didn’t celebrate with his family. He didn’t run around enjoying the space he had after being enclosed and confined in the ark. He didn’t breathe deeply of the fresh air or go exploring the “new” world they had been deposited in.

He built an altar and worshiped God.

Lord, make me so appreciative, so grateful that the first thing I want to do is worship You. I confess that I am not always at that place.

What also fascinates me about this passage is that Noah’s offering to God was provided for by God Himself. Noah offered sacrifices and worship to God from the things God had instructed him to take with him into the ark six months earlier. We have a very forward-thinking and forward-planning God. Before He shuts us in (see yesterday’s blog), He gives us everything we will need to be able to worship Him upon our release!

God knows how important our sacrifice of worship to Him is to us. Did you catch that? Our worship to God is vitally important to our spiritual life – we don’t just do it for Him, we do it for ourselves as well. It keeps us focused on who our Deliverer is. And Noah, a righteous man, wanted first and foremost to reinforce to himself and his family that God was their Deliverer. To celebrate or enjoy his release first would have been to worship the deliverance more than worshiping the Deliverer.

Is it wrong to celebrate or enjoy our release after we have been shut in? Absolutely not…but what we do first reveals our heart. Are we thankful to our Deliverer or are we just ready to enjoy our deliverance? There is a subtle but significant difference. I’m afraid I often celebrate the deliverance before worshiping the Deliverer.

But just as He did for Noah, when God shuts us in, He will provide what’s necessary for us to worship Him when He rescues us. As you appreciate successes and victories in 2009, may you remember to worship the One who gives them first. Lord, as I enjoy successes and victories in 2009, help me to remember to worship You first. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the successes and victories later.

2 Responses to “Worship First”
  1. Dan Ghramm says:

    Don’t you just love the worship scenes in Scripture. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at a few of them!

  2. Sandy says:

    You & me both. We have the wonder of the Holy Spirit but I truly think most evangelicals (myself included) lack the reverence, the “holy awe” of worship.

    And the worship scenes from the throne room of God described in Isaiah & Revelation! Wew! The best we experience here is just a grainy, monochrome version of what awaits us. Hallelujah!

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