Foundational Frameworks Part 31 - Salvation & Worship

Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
Man is a responsible agent, held to a moral standard.
Sin originates within a person, separating us from God.
God declares one righteous by faith alone, apart from works.


“Egypt was one of the most advanced versions of the pagan Kingdom of Man. It offered rebellious man a ‘home’ of his own making in God’s creation. Man appeared to have freedom to live in perfect security… In reality the apparent freedom pagan man enjoys is slavery – slavery to his counterfeit of the Kingdom of God.”[1] It is within this context of an overtly pagan dominion that YHWH demonstrates His salvation.

Exodus 14:11-18. Having “come to their senses,” Pharaoh and his army pursue the Israelites toward the Red Sea. With fear of their oppressors, the Israelites begin to complain against Moses and YHWH. There is no stern correction from YHWH because Israel is in an infantile stage and the “trust relationship” has not had time to grow. Moses tells them not to fear because they will “see the salvation of YHWH” (v.13). Verse 14 is revealing: YHWH will supply the victory, the Israelites need only to be silent and watch His deliverance. This is a perfect picture of the freeness of salvation and that our role is simply to receive that which is provided for us by YHWH alone.

In crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites are “saved” (14:30), delivered from the crucible of Egypt. Salvation means “deliverance.” “Deliverance from what?” needs to be the question we ask when speaking of salvation. The Hebrew word yāša means “be saved, be delivered; save, deliver, give

victory, help; be safe; take vengeance, preserve;”[2] a verb which is first found in Exodus 14:30.

As seen above, the context will always tell you what the “salvation/deliverance” is from. Often times, it is from sickness, physical harm or death, wicked people, or enemies. “’Salvation’ in the Old Testament is not understood as a salvation from sin, since the word denotes broadly anything from which ‘deliverance’ must be sought: distress, war, servitude, or enemies.”[3] 


Exodus 15:1-19. This deliverance gives way to worship, setting a standard for what proper worship to YHWH should contain.

True Biblical Worship contains two, and only two, elements. All else that would be brought into the worship of God does not have biblical validity. 1. Who God is. This describes His person, power, attributes, and the various names which help us to better understand Him. “Who God is,” being present tense, speaks to His unchanging (immutable) nature.
2. What God has done/will do. This includes such things as creation, His covenant(s), His deliverance and the blessing of His people, His provision in difficult times, His promises, and the excellence of His plan for history. The reason for the “has done/will do” is because of the vital role which prophecy plays in the Scriptures. Worship can look at both His past accomplishments and the future fulfillment of His promises.

We see this same idea in the book of Revelation when we are given a glimpse into the throne room of God and the worship that takes place around His throne. Revelation 4:8b, 11 both show the same contents: v. 8b shows who God is, and v. 11 shows what God has done.

When going through the Psalms, look for these two elements.

[1] Charles A. Clough, “Disruptive Truths of God’s Kingdom,” A Biblical Framework: for Worship and Obedience in an Age of Global Deception, Part III, p. 49-50.
[2] John E. Hartley, “929 יָשַׁע,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), p. 414.
[3] Nelson’s Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament, ed. Merrill F. Unger and William White, Jr. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980), p. 93.