In my study for Ruth 2, I ran across an interesting scene that has something to teach us about what the word worship means. I probably will not have time to put this into the sermon, so I’ll write it here.
In this scene, Boaz has just shown great kindness and godly character in protecting and providing for ruth. Watch how she responds.
Ruth 2:10 – Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
Ruth is humble and amazed. She prostrates herself before Boaz as a sign of respect and gratitude. And that is the focus of what we are to see in her action. But the language that is used will teach us a truth about worship.
The Hebrew word for bowed there actually is often translated worship. Ruth is not worshipping Boaz as we think of religious worship. ?She is giving him honor as a response to his character and actions.
The reason I point out that the word for worship is used here is that this is precisely what we do when we worship. When we see the character of God revealed in Scripture, we perform actions to honor God. We show that God is great and that we are submitted to him. We bow before God and demonstrate that he is our Lord. That is worship. We perform acts to honor God, to show that we surrender to God. We sing, pray, give, respond to sermons, participate in Lord’s Supper, and all the rest in order to show that God is our King and we are grateful to be under his rule.