The second area where Israel was wired for worship was their possession of the worship service or the service of worship. Israel was wired for worship because they were told how to do it. The word for worship in Romans 9:4 essentially means the service of worship, or the performance of religious rites or rituals as part of worship. In the history of Israel, this means the sacrificial system. Exodus 29:43-46 is clear about that system as being linked to their relationship to God. God describes how the sacrifices will be prepared, etc., and in that context he reveals how he will meet with Israel. Jesus, when speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 says, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:22-24 ESV) What a privilege to be a Jew, knowing that God has given to your people the means to come to him.
This principle is amplified in Jesus when in John 14:6 he says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through me.” Jesus as the one way to the Father fulfills the OT teachings that show the exclusiveness of God’s claim, like the curtain that prevented access to God’s presence from all except the Levitical high priest. Jesus is the only “way” to God (Acts 4:12), and he alone can provide access to God. Jesus as the truth fulfills the teaching of the OT and reveals the true God. Jesus is the life who fulfills the OT promises of “life” given by God (11:25–26), having life in himself, and he is thus able to give eternal life to all those who believe in him (John 3:16). Worship, because of Jesus, then takes on a completely new meaning.
Read Romans 12:1-2. ” I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
When you see the phrase, “spiritual worship”, Paul is using the same word he used in Romans 9. This word is only used twice by Paul in the NT. Here, and in 9:4. Get this. Let this sink into your mind. The service of worship in the Old Testament was meant to mediate the relationship between God and man. Now, the mediator has come to us in Jesus Christ and he is the way, the truth and the life. Now, worship is not something that gains relationship with God, but because I have already gained relationship with God I offer a service of worship, and that service of worship is…me.
Israel was wired for worship because they were told how to do it. Because of Christ, our lives are now lives of worship.