|Posted by Lorraine Serra on May 4, 2010 at 6:40 AM|
Swing your partner round 'n round, bow to the right, bow to the left. Stoop to pick up a coin, pat a dog, speak to a toddler, pull a renegade weed.
Bow for the curtain call on that spring musicale. Stoop to reach the vaccuum under the bed. Bow and extend your hand as you greet a head of state. Stoop to pick up the dirty socks in the middle of the floor.
Bowing and stooping each involve a change in posture, but they have very different significance.
To bow is to acknowledge someone else, as in a greeting or in appreciation. Clearly a movement which indicates deference and respect.
To stoop is more task-oriented. In order to get the job done, it is a necessary adjustment to our posture.
The Bible has many references to bowing before a king or prince, even falling prostrate before the Lord God Almighty. I'm not sure which came first, the action or the word "shachah", translated " to bow, to stoop, to bow down as an act of reverence, submission, homage, to worship." (Strong's #7812)
But one thing is clear: to bow as a sign of worship brings into focus our reality before God: His greatness in contrast to our lowliness, His everything-ness before our nothing-ness.
Not a culturally popular position today in our world of science, technology and higher education. However, who among us can compete with the power of a volcano erupting in Iceland? With earthquakes in Haiti and Chile?
What act of science or education can produce a daffodil, a hummingbird, a blazing sunset or the tenderness of forgiveness?
What is behind the longings of the human heart for connection, approval, to be better than we are? The Great Designer, the Intelligent Creator of the Universe, has written eternity on our hearts. The observable evidence is all around us. He has loved us with an everlasting love, poured out His love through sacrifice, through beauty, through humbling displays of power.
Indeed, there is reason to bow down low before this One who speaks and the mountains melt like wax.
Exalt the Lord our God, and worship (bow) at His footstool (the earth) for He is holy.(Psalm 99:5) Let us put aside our stooping tasks today and adjust our position to honor and exalt the God who made us, who forgives us and draws us into relationship through his son, Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Lord, that the more I humble myself and submit to Your leadership, the more You lift me up!