I read this passage this morning in Genesis 24: Then the man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. The text is part of the story in which Abraham's servant comes across Isaac's future wife, in direct answer to the servant's prayer for guidance. With gratitude toward the Lord, the man bowed to the ground -- right there in broad daylight, in the open for everyone to see -- and he worshiped.
I stopped reading as I considered the scene. And I felt a little uncomfortable.
I am often reluctant to say out loud in public (how much less, bow the knee!), "Praise the Lord" when God answers one of my prayers. And I know Christians who won't even bow their head in a restaurant in thanksgiving for their meal. Some won't even genuflect in Church.
Why is that? Do I think, in the deep recesses of my mind, the answer to prayer could have simply been a "coincidence"? Or am I embarrassed to give praise to God aloud in the presence of friends or strangers because I fear what they might think of me?
It is true, Abraham's servant lived in a culture in which people did not think twice about worshiping openly. Is that my excuse, that our culture has degenerated to a place where worship is something we do only in private, so I capitulate to my culture instead of to my God?
And I can't help but think of the words of Jesus: For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:38).