And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. (2 Chronicles 20:18, NKJV)
The remainder of the passage (2 Chronicles 20:19-30) tells us that the people continued in worship and used worship and praise as their defense against the enemy! The nation of Judah stood and watched as God confused her enemies who turned on one another killing each other. The nation then took the spoil and continued in praise for the victory provided by the LORD God. With the heart of worship we too can be victorious. We worship because we recognize the victory comes from the Lord, not ourselves, thus an attitude of being poor in spirit.
We observe how Jehoshaphat and the people respond in worship. When the prayer was answered through the prophetic word proclaimed by the prophet Jahaziel the response was worship. True worship is worship done with a heart that is poor in spirit. The king bowed his head in complete surrender to the Lord God with his face to the ground in complete humbleness. The people followed suit as they bowed before the Lord, worshiping the LORD.
Bowed his head in the Hebrew is a verb meaning to bow down. It means to bow one’s head in reverence and worship and is always followed by the verb to worship. It means to bow down, to kneel. This is an act of worship in which the worshipper kneels in reverence and in humbleness to the Lord. The head is not seen as looking up to God but rather it is in the position of non-recognition, or submissiveness, because the moment is all about the Lord and not about the self. With his face to the ground Jehoshaphat was in total submission. Kneeling is showing reverence. This is poor in spirit.
Jehoshaphat’s attitude is that of being poor in spirit. He is not trusting in himself. He is showing that his faith and obedience is to the Word of God and Jehoshaphat had an attitude of thanksgiving for the promised victory. Jehoshaphat truly believes he has heard from the Lord and is showing his faith through his worship. The victory has not come yet, but with the declaration of God’s prophet it is believed as a certainty. We too should be poor in spirit and praise our God in worship, forgetting ourselves and kneeling before Him in utter submission of His will as it is revealed to us moment by moment, day by day.
Meditate upon the following passages:
Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire came down and the glory of the LORD upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the LORD, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3, NASB, emphasis added)
Then the man bowed down, worshiped the LORD. (Genesis 24:26, HCSB)
And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the Israelites, and that He looked [in compassion] upon their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped. (Exodus 4:31, Amplified, emphasis added)
Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped. (Job 1:20, HCSB)
Oh come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker [in reverent praise and supplication]. (Psalm 95:6, Amplified)
Spend time each day in worship, true worship as one who is poor in spirit. Remember what God has done in your life, what He is doing in your life now, and what he will do in your life in the future. Humbly acknowledge that you play no part in His success and it is all Him. This is true worship.