We Worship What We Know


When putting this study together it was important for us to realize that to truly know God, we must study the character and attributes that He reveals of Himself through scripture. We as created beings are not all knowing, so understanding His abundant power is beyond measure (Psalm 147:5). However, God gives His inerrant, unchanging, and truthful word to reveal Himself in ways He can be knowable. 

  • Read Jeremiah 9 23-24; 1 John 5:20; John 17:3

Throughout this study let us challenge ourselves to always point everything to Him, and not consider ourselves as being capable of these characteristics on our own. Therefore, let us study in a way as to allow God to be known and for us to merely marvel. This will allow us to be in an attitude of reverence and worship as He reveals Himself to us through His Word. 

Session 1: “If you knew the gift of God…

Session 2: Holy and Sovereign

Session 3: Faithful and Good

Session 4: Just and Longsuffering

Session 5: Merciful and Love

Session 6: “…I who speak to you Am He.”


Hebrew Context:

Worship (SHAHHAH)-

  1. The reverent love and devotion or adoration for a deity, an idol, or a sacred object. 
  2. The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed. 

Know (YADA)-

  1. Similar to our understanding of knowing but is more personal and intimate; form of relationship with another. 
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” -Jeremiah 9:23-24

Session 1: "If you knew the gift of God...

Let us start with how Jesus revealed Himself to the woman at the well. This scripture from John allows us to get a glimpse of the way Jesus pursues us, to see how He confronts us, and to show how He wants to be known. 

  • Read John 4:6-24

Prior to breaking down this scripture, read the side bar and get an idea of who the Samaritan woman was. Jesus, in His human form, was weary from His travels. He sat down next to Jacob’s well in Samaria, waiting for His divine appointment with this woman who was coming to draw water. To the woman’s surprise He asks her for a drink, as you read on the sidebar this was unusual and makes the woman distrustful to His intent. In her ignorance, she replies, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?”. She who is broken, hopeless, an outcast, and consumed by sin, is not aware that the one who comes to seek and save, is calling (Luke 19:10). Jesus simply replies, (emphasis is mine) If you only knew…

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” -John 4:10


  • When the Word or Holy Spirit (God) asks something from you, do you cheerfully respond, or do you question the intent behind it?
  • When Jesus calls for you to know Him, do you ask why?

 Let us go back to the scene here, so now a conversation is started. The woman is interrogating, and Jesus is doing exactly what He has planned all along: pursue, confront, and call to her to acknowledge and know Him. When Jesus confronts her that she has no knowledge of what God has for her, like most of us do at times, she gets offended. She comes back with what she physically sees, which is that Jesus does not have anything to even draw water with. She points out that He is lacking the tools, she does not see where He could possibly get this living water He is promising. She does not give Him time to reply before she also questions His position. She implies, (emphasis mine), “Are you greater, more powerful, or have something better than what Jacob (their father) has given them through the well that they sit by?”

How gracious Jesus is! He replies by letting her know that the water that is beneath them will not satisfy. The ones who drink from it will simply thirst again. He goes on to say that what He is offering, this living water; it is eternal, and satisfying with no need to thirst again. When the woman hears this, she is intrigued and wants to know more. How amazing would it be to not thirst again! How great would it be to not labor going to the well every day in pursuit of satisfying an earthly desire that cannot be fulfilled. 

  • Do you reject what Jesus has to offer?
  • Have you acknowledged His saving grace from trusting in Him, confessing that you are a sinner, and simply believe that Jesus Christ is the source of salvation and eternal life? If not pause here and cry out to Jesus. 

Continue reading and see that Jesus’ confrontation with the woman is coming. He stops her and starts to confront her sin. He requests that she bring her husband, when He is fully aware that she does not have one. The woman has had many and is even living at this time with a man and they are not married. Note that her reply is shorter compared to others, due to the conviction that has taken place. There is some type of humility taking place (do not miss that), because she realizes He is aware of things that there is no way He would know unless He had power to do so. Instead of seeing this as being God confronting her, she asks if He is a prophet. She senses the spiritual aspect of His power but lessens it in a way that is more palatable, that gets her closer to her understanding. She still is not aware that who is among her is vastly more powerful than any prophet. 

She does not wait for a reply yet again, and a detour is made to discuss religion rather than sin. She may find it more comfortable to discuss worship and theology rather than confess sin. She, not Jesus, points to their differences. She is a Samaritan, and worships differently than Jews. She points this out because she begins to crave more of what Jesus has to say, testing His Word against what she has been told and taught for so many years. When she seeks instruction, Christ gently begins to teach by explaining that it does not matter. There will be an hour when neither area will be a place of worship. 

He explains that there is unfamiliarity taking place. He goes on to explain that she does not even know what she worships. That through the promise of salvation given to the Jews, they worship what they know to be true. The truth that has been given through hundreds and thousands of years of God revealing it in His Word. Than Jesus says:

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 4:23-24

Let us pause here and continue this revelation in session six. To worship God, we must know Him foremost and acknowledge His Lordship and saving grace. When salvation takes place, He calls us to dive deeper into learning who He says He is. He may reveal Himself in any or all these characteristics to call one to seek Him, to truly know Him. 


Who is this woman at the well?..

1. A Samaritan

“When the nation of Israel split politically after Solomon’s rule, King Omri named the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel “Samaria” (1 Kings 16:24). The name eventually referred to the entire district and sometimes to the entire northern kingdom, which had been taken captive by Assyria in 722 BC (2 Kings 17:1-6). While Assyria led most of the populace of the ten northern tribes away, it left a sizable population of Jews in the northern Samaritan region and transported many non-Jews into Samaria. These groups intermingled to form a mixed race through intermarriage. Eventually tension developed between the Jews who returned from the worship of Yahweh at Jerusalem and established their worship at Mt. Gerizim in Samaria. Samaritans regarded only the Pentateuch as authoritative. As a result of this history, Jews repudiated (or rejected) Samaritans and considered them heretical. Intense ethnic and cultural tensions raged historically between the two groups so that both avoided contact as much as possible (John 4:9; Ezra 4:1-24; Neh 4:1-6; luke 10:25-37).” -John MacArthur Commentary Bible

2. A Woman in Shame

 During this time of the text, women usually traveled together to get water at the well. This woman traveled alone which may indicate public shame. One could assume this woman was an outcast, or even despised by the other women (justdisciple.com). As the text reveals, Jesus confronts that the woman has had five husbands and was now living with a man unmarried (John 4:17-18).

Those that have right knowledge of Christ will seek Him, and if we do not seek unto Him it is a sign that we do not know Him, Ps 9:10. -Matthew Henry



Both Jews and Samaritans recognized that God had commanded their forefathers to identify a special place for worshipping Him (Deu 12:5). The Jews, recognizing the entire Hebrew canon, chose Jerusalem (2 Sa 7:5-13; 2 Chr 6:6). The Samaritans, recognizing only the Pentateuch, noted that the first place Abraham built an altar to God was at Shechem (Gen 12:6-7), which was overlooked by Mt. Gerizim, where the Israelites had shouted the blessings promised by God before they entered the promised land (Deu 11:29-30). As result, they chose Mt. Gerizim for the place of their temple. -John MacArthur Commentary

As you read our Lord’s interview with this woman, notice how her knowledge of Jesus increases until she acknowledges the He is the Christ. -Warren W. Wiersbe 

Only those who have the indwelling Holy Spirit, and who obey the truth, can worship God acceptably. -Wiersbe

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