Jots and Tittles: Worship


Word Study – Worship

Psalms 29:2: “Worship the Lord”

Worship – Hebrew Shachah and/or Sachah

The Masorites  in 700 AD pointed the first letter up as a Shin by putting a dot to the right of the letter.  This gives a meaning of bowing down or laying prostrate.  The Masorites were not inspired by the Holy Spirit but followed oral tradition.  Many rabbis will argue that they should have pointed this first letter up as a Sine by putting the dot on the right side.  This would give a meaning of swimming or overflow.   Since these dots were not found in the original inspired version, we can say that both meanings would apply.  Worship is not only bowing down to God but letting God surround us with His love and presence so that we are overflowing with his beauty and joy.

The word can be traced to an ancient Ugaritic word “sacah.”  In graduate school I translated a Ugaritic poem about a goddess who was in love with a mortal man.  When they consummated their relationship the word “sacah” was used.  This is not to suggest a sexual relationship with God but a deep intimacy with Him.  When we worship God we allow Him to surround us with his presence and love  such that we will enter into a deep intimacy with Him.  That is what David meant in Psalms 29:2 when he said: “Worship the Lord.”

The word is spelled Shin, Chet and Hei.  In these letters we understand what happens in worship.  The Shin teaches us that God pours out his passionate love for us as we also pour out our passionate love for Him.  The Chet tells us that in this pouring out of our love we are joined and bonded together with Him and the Hei seals this worship experience with the very presence of God surrounding us.