In his bestselling book the Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren makes a simple statement, “It’s not about you.” While these words resonate with us, based on our lifestyle, is this really true? Is it not about me and you? Our largest technology provider, Apple Inc. designed its global brand on a contrary message. Biting the Apple strikes an ancient impulse that runs deep in our hearts and minds. It’s all about me, myself and I. We adore our devices – the iPad, iPhone and the iPod. We own, value, cherish, maybe even worship them. Whether Android or Apple, we use our devices to live the iLife.
The technology that improves our lives, points towards a deeper impulse that has plagued humanity for thousands of years. “iWorship-it’s all about me.” In iWorship we adore the devices – our traditions, cultures and religious rituals. We own, value, cherish, maybe even worship them. In iWorship we send a contrary message that we adore the objects of our worship instead of God, who should be worshiped.
A Biblical example of iWorship is found in the story of Cain and Abel (Gen. 4). We believe that Cain’s offering of fruit was unacceptable to God because it didn’t include an animal or blood sacrifice. However, the story reveals that God also made another distinction between Cain and Abel’s worship. Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain a tiller of the ground (Genesis 4:2). A keeper means, “A person charged with the responsibility for the preservation and conservation of something valuable.”* Abel was a steward. Abel lived knowing everything he managed belonged to God.
Cain was a tiller. The word tiller in the Hebrew abad means, “To work, to serve, keep in bondage, worshiper.”** Instead of being a steward like Abel, Cain worshiped his fruit. So while Abel was a steward of his sheep, Cain was a worshiper of his fruitful devices. This was iWorship. Cain’s offering was all about him! Cain’s ability to produce fruits clouded his judgment and desire to offer God pure praise. Are we a bit like Cain today? Do we produce cherished fruits in our worship that may cloud our judgment or desire to offer God praise? If so, what can we do to avoid a tendency towards iWorship-it’s all about me? See you again next week as we continue our journey to discover the Wonder of Worship!*Random House Dictionary Unabridged, Dictionary.com s.v. “Keeper” (accessed December 7, 2007). **The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon, (accessed December 5, 2007).