LESSON SEVEN - TRUE WORSHIP
Lesson Goal: Our
goal in this lesson is to better understand from Scripture what true
God-pleasing worship is.
1. Read Amos 5:21-24--"I
hate, I despise your religious feasts; I
cannot stand your assemblies. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings
and grain offerings, I will not
accept them. Though you bring
choice fellowship offerings, I
will have no regard for them. 23
Away with the noise of your songs! I
will not listen to the music of your harps. 24
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness
like a never-failing stream!
the time this book was written, many of the Israelites were keeping the
external rules and regulations of the Law of , but were living very
immoral lives and oppressing the poor.
a. What was Allah's attitude towards
those who kept the different external religious laws but oppressed the
b. According to verse 24, what did Allah
desire most from His people?
c. Can a person please and satisfy Allah
by keeping external religious rules and regulations while at the same
time committing injustice and oppression? Why or why not?
2. Read 1 Samuel 16:6,7--When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely Allah's
anointed stands here before Allah." 7 But Allah said to Samuel,
"Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected
him. Allah does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the
outward appearance, but Allah looks at the heart."
this passage the Prophet Samuel has come to Prophet 's home at
Allah's command to anoint the next king of Israel. On seeing the
impressive figure of 's older brother, Eliab, Samuel immediately
assumes that this must be the person Allah wants anointed as king.
a. Was Eliab actually the person Allah
had chosen to be king?
b. According to verse 7, what does man
notice and judge by?
c. By contrast, what does Allah judge by?
d. Is man's external judgment or Allah's
internal judgment more accurate?
3. Read Hosea 6:4-10-- "What
can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears.
5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
I killed you with the words of my mouth;
my judgments flashed like lightning upon you.
6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of Allah rather than burnt offerings.
7 Like Adam, they have broken the covenant--they were unfaithful to me there.
8 Gilead is a city of wicked men,
stained with footprints of blood.
9 As marauders lie in ambush for a man,
so do bands of priests; they murder on the road to
Shechem, committing shameful crimes.
10 I have seen a horrible thing
in the house of Israel. There Ephraim is given to prostitution and Israel is defiled."
a. How is the people's behavior described
in verse 7?
b. According to verse 6, is Allah more
concerned that people have a real and living relationship with him and
be merciful and kind to others, or that they practice external obedience
to laws such as the sacrificial law?
c. The Book of Proverbs was written by
Prophet , Prophet 's son. Read Proverbs 21:3--To
do what is right and just is more acceptable to Allah than sacrifice.
How much agreement would you say
there is between this verse and Hosea 6:6?
4. Read Matthew 23:23,24--"Woe
to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a
tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the
more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You
should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You
blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
a. What was the attitude of the Pharisees
and teachers of the law towards tithing? NOTE: In the law of ,
the tithe was 1/10th of a person's income.
b. What was their mistake?
c. According to Isa's evaluation, what
were the more important and crucial matters of the law?
d. Does Isa tell us here to disregard
5. Read Matthew 6:1-6,16-18-- "Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness' before men, to
be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in
heaven. 2 "So when you
give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do
in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the
truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the
needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so
that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done
in secret, will reward you.
5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love
to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by
men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But
when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,
who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will
16 "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for
they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the
truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put
oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to
men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your
Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
a. What three religious actions are
described in these passages?
b. What are we told to avoid in these
c. What is the term used to describe
those who do their religious deeds in order to be seen and praised by
d. During the time of Isa, what group was
especially guilty of this error? (See Matthew 23:1-5--Then
Isa said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 "The teachers of the
law and the Pharisees sit in 's seat. 3 So you must obey them and do
everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not
practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on
men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to
move them. 5 Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their
phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long.)
e. In your own situation where you live
today, describe briefly how common this error is and among which group
it is most prevalent.
6. Read Luke 18:9-14-- To
some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on
everybody else, Isa told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the
temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The
Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `Allah, I thank you that I am
not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax
collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13 But
the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to
heaven, but beat his breast and said, `Allah, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
14 I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified
before Allah. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who
humbles himself will be exalted."
a. In this story was the worship of the
Pharisee accepted by Allah? Why or why not?
b. Was the worship of the tax collector
c. Think about those who might have been in
the temple together with the Pharisee and the tax collector. Whose worship
would they most likely have concluded was more acceptable to Allah, the
Pharisee's or the tax collector's? Why?
d. What relation do you see between your
answer to question 'c' above and what we looked at in 1 Samuel 16:6,7?
7. Read Luke 21:1-4-- As
he looked up, Isa saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple
treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put
in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of
their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live
a. How much did the poor widow place into
the temple treasury?
b. In man's eyes, who seemed more worthy of
praise - the rich men who gave large amounts of money or the poor widow
who gave just a tiny sum?
c. In Allah's eyes, who was worthy of more
honor - the rich donors or the poor widow? Why?
8. Read John 4:19-24-- "Sir,"
the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers
worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we
must worship is in Jerusalem." 21 Isa declared, "Believe me,
woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this
mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know;
we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time
is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the
Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father
seeks. 24 Allah is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and
a. The true worshiper must worship the
b. In the Luke 18:9-14 passage, which
person was worshipping in the Spirit? . Which person was
worshipping in the flesh? . Thus, what do you think the phrase
"worship in the Spirit" really means?
c. The Pharisees described in Matthew
23:1-5 were seeking after whose honor and glory - Allah's or their own?
Would you say the Pharisees were worshipping in truth or in
What do you think it means to worship Allah in
d. How would you describe the opposite of
worshipping Allah in Spirit and truth? In other words, what would
worshipping in falsehood and in the flesh mean?
9. According to your own observations, how
much similarity is there between the worship of the Pharisees of Isa's day
and much of the religious acts done today? Explain your answer.
10. In your own opinion, what are the
characteristics of God-pleasing worship?
11. How would you answer the person who
asks you, How do you worship Allah (prayers, fasting, etc.)?
12. Reflect on your own worship practice.
Are there any elements of hypocrisy and the flesh in your worship? What
should you do to remove them?
TO MEMORIZE - JOHN
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come
when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth,
for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit,
and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."