It is customary protocol to greet a dignitary from another country with a gracious and respectful bow, as a sign of honor and respect, and if it is royalty, extend even greater courtesy. This is most certainly true when it pertains to receiving the Ecclesiastical ruler of a Church, like an Archbishop or Pope; which can even consist of kneeling and kissing his ring. But when it comes to showing reverence to the King of Kings and LORD of Lords, do we fail to show the utmost piety in our worship on Earth as opposed to what those angelic and other supernatural beings perform majestically before the very throne of our God and Creator in Heaven?
Psalms 95: 6
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
1 Kings 8: 54
And so it was, when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the LORD that he arose from before the altar of the LORD; from kneeling on his knees with his hands and with his hands spread to heaven.
1 Chronicles 29: 20
Now David said to all the assembly, “Now bless the LORD your God.” So all the assembly blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the LORD and the king.
Ezra 9: 5
At the evening sacrifice [worship] I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God.
Ephesians 3: 14
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ [Yeshua Moshiach].
Revelation 4: 9-10a
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down [on their knees and prostrate themselves] before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever.
Revelation 7: 11
All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell down on their faces [prostrated themselves] before the throne and worshipped God (Cp. Revelation 11: 16; 19: 4).
COMMENTARY: In many churches, blessing the LORD consists of clapping your hands and testifying or speaking in tongues about the goodness of God, or some ‘other’ faith expression; generally speaking. Say what you will about Muslims, but the one thing that they have right is kneeling and prostrating before God [Allah]. Of course, in the Christian Church there is the ‘altar call’ where several believers will come forward and with a contrite spirit, kneel in the presence of the assembly [congregation] and make a confession before God whereas the elders, deacons or pastor will pray for them and lay hands on them.
There are many Biblical references which mention about “bowing” but it would seem unlikely that it would not be from on our knees as opposed to just standing and bowing your head. Of course, this study is not a treatise to mandate this practice because that would be ‘legalism’ but rather it is intended to cause one to reflect on the holiness and goodness of God and what should be our response in gratitude to His glory and grace as demonstrated in our public devotions [worship services].
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
November 19, 2011