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The Worship of Revelation

I decided to sit down and take the time to do a word study in Revelation. As I read through the book looking for each mention of “worship” I also noticed that the word “repent” is used again and again. I’ll look more deeply into that at a later time.

For now, I was focusing on the word “worship.” I found that word 23 times in my ESV version. Here are those locations:

Revelation 4:10, 5:14, 7:11, 9:20, 11:1, 11:16, 13:4 (twice), 13:8, 13:12, 13:15, 14:7, 14:9, 14:11, 15:4, 19:4, 19:10 (twice), 19:20, 20:4, 22:3, 22:8, and 22:9.

22 times the word means this, in the original language:

4352. proskuneó ►

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance


From pros and a probable derivative of kuon (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore) — worship.

There is but one verse that differs in Revelation: Chapter 22, verse 3. Here, “worship” means:

◄ 3000. latreuó ►

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

serve, do the service, worship

From latris (a hired menial); to minister (to God), i.e. Render religious homage — serve, do the service, worship(-per).

I had just been reading in Jeremiah (last week) the following verse:

Jeremiah 13:10 | “This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship (i.e. bow down to/fall down flat before) them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing.”

*Serving and bowing down are linked here.

I was also reading in Luke 4:5-8 the following:

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship (i.e. bow to/lay prostrate before) me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship (i.e. bow to/lay prostrate before) the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

*Again, serving and bowing are linked.

All through Scripture we see “bowing down” and “serving” tied together. They are intrinsically linked and will be a part of our experience, with Jesus, for eternity, I’m sure: along with many other things like work and fellowship, teaching and singing, art and agriculture.

I think it’s interesting to note that Revelation 15:4 and Revelation 22:3 are making a reference to what we will be doing forever, when we are near to God: one is about the ‘prostration position’ (15:4) and the other is about ‘serving’ (22:3). They go hand in hand all through Scripture, it would seem: bowing and serving. This is an image of humility and servanthood, of course.

Now…For a while it has bothered me a bit that the reference to worship includes that statement about a ‘dog licking his master’s hand.’

◄ 4352. proskuneó ►

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance


From pros and a probable derivative of kuon (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore) — worship.

“What is that all about, God?” I have asked – many times. No reply. Today, however, (8-12-16) I had some thoughts go through my mind about what this may mean. In our culture it would be a put-down to think that we’ll be licking someone’s hand, right? We are far too enlightened for such a thing, right? We’re a brilliant people! We lick no one.

But. I began to think about how when a master comes home from work, a dog will run up to lick his master, overjoyed that he just came home. “Finally! We are together again!” If we view it this way – as a word picture – it helps to set the image for how we might respond when we are finally face to face with the one who saved us, by a brutal death, from the grips of satan’s lair. Our loyalty will be clear, as a dog’s loyalty is clear to his master. We will know who we are clearly – not through a dark glass but rather, through a clear one. We will be overjoyed – like a dog is overjoyed at the return of his master – that we will (Often? Sometimes?) fall down flat in a prostrate position of humility and gratitude. Some might say that this position of prostration is mental/spiritual: not literal. My opinion is that Revelation implies it is both.

“We’re together! At last! Finally! I’ve waited for so long! Where have you been?! I have missed you so much! I’m complete now! I’m whole! I’m with my ‘Master’!”

In conclusion, I am less confused about the dog reference now: just as a dog is thrilled when his master returns home, so we shall be thrilled when we are finally home – with our Lord and Master – ready and willing to serve Him forever: doing whatever He asks of us, for the betterment of everyone around (because His ways are always best).

Our minds really cannot fathom what it will be like to be near LOVE and PERFECTION for all of eternity. What we do know, from Revelation, is that there will be no more tears – no more pain – no more death. And that won’t be because of anything we have done. It will be because of the Triune God who willed this all to happen before He set time in motion and placed humans inside His time table.

Knowing more fully what we have been spared from: Humility and Servanthood will be in order – and we’ll happily and joyfully, willingly oblige.

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Published by Shara Weiss

Shara is a writer, social media marketer, content provider, and marketing consultant. In addition to the work she does alongside Rick, she has run since 2009. Shara has a background in education, early childhood, teaching, ministry, and volunteerism.

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