Monday, September 24, 2007

Seven Ways to praise God

Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I am so thankful for the great day we had yesterday at First Assembly. God challenged, changed, and refreshed His people. He is a good God who is worthy to be praised.

In today's blog, I would like to give a brief review of the message that I preached in our services yesterday entitled, "Seven Ways to Praise God."

Let's start off thinking about the Children of Israel. They were a people who lived in a continual state of God's supernatural provision. This provision was tangible, for they could see these blessings every day with their own eyes.

Let's assume that the Israelites numbered about 3,000,000 people, which is what many Bible scholars estimate. In that case, do you know how much manna was needed to feed the children of Israel in the wilderness? One scholar has estimated that they needed 4,500 tons of manna every day! If this is true, and if you take into account that God fed His people every day for 40 years, this means 65,700,000 tons of manna supernaturally appeared on the ground over a period of forty years!

This manna appeared so regularly, so faithfully, so "day in and day out," that after a while, the children of Israel didn't even think too much of it anymore. Supernatural provision became so commonplace among them that they forgot how supernatural it was and began to accept it as a normal, regular occurrence. During those forty years, young children were born and grew up thinking it was normal for 4,500 tons of manna to appear each morning out of thin air (see Exodus 16)! Can you imagine that? They were so used to the blessings of God; they failed to develop an attitude of gratitude. We have blessings every day that I'm afraid we take for granted. In the Old Testament of the Bible, there are seven Hebrew words that tell us how to praise God. Let's look at each of them today:

1. Towdah (towdah), it's the sacrifice - Praising God in spite the fact your world is in a vice - It's praise that pushes through the wall of all adversity - An offering that flows to heaven in our time of need. By way of application, it is apparent in the Psalms and elsewhere that it is used for thanking God for "things not yet received" as well as things already at hand.

Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise (TOWDAH) Regardless of your circumstance, whether it is good or bad, God is GOOD. Praise takes our focus off of our problem and places it on our good and faithful God. This first way to praise God tells us that in EVERY situation we can and should praise God. It is sacrificial praise. But for there to be a real sacrifice, something has to die. So, when we offer this sacrifice of praise, we die to our: fears, worries, doubts, anger, offense, frustrations, aggravations, and we put our focus on God above everything else that is pulling our attention away from God. That is TOWDAH.

2. Yadah (yadah), that means to lift your hands (lift your hands) - In response to what the Lord has done throughout the land - An outward sign of what's inside for all the world to see. This is the demonstration of our love and submission to the Lord by the raising of our hands. Lifting your hands to the Lord in total submission and devotion.

Psalms 63:4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

Psalm 7:17 I will praise (YADA) the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Daily, we should pause long enough to lift our hands towards heaven in YADA worship. When we do, we are declaring our total submission, devotion, and surrender to God and His plans.

3. Barouch or Barak (barouch), that simply means to bow - In the awesome presence of the Lord and all His power - To just be overwhelmed' cause you hardly can believe - That you've been given favor by His Holy Majesty. It implies a continual, conscious giving place to God, bring attuned to walking in the Spirit. At times it is translated as BLESS.

Psalm 72:15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised (BARAK).

Psalms 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

Every day we need to make sure we offer BARAK praise to God. This is where we kneel, or bow before Him in His presence. It is amazing how this will quiet your heart in the midst of a storm.

4. Shabach (shabach), it is what we call the shout. It's praise that's given way before the answer comes about. A loud adoration, jubilation, and shout proclaiming with a loud voice the glory, triumph, mercy and love of the Lord.

Psalm 117:1 "O praise (Shabach) the Lord all ye nations: Praise (Shabach) Him all ye people."

It is the shout of faith. As the children of Israel were marching around Jericho and her walls, they were told to shout for God had given them the city. They began to shout, BEFORE the walls fell down. They shouted praise unto God before they saw the answer. That is, again, the shout of faith.

5. Zamar (zamar) Means TO SING WITH INSTRUMENTS, A SONG OF PRAISE. It also means, to touch the strings or parts of musical instruments and to make music.

Psalm 57:7 ....O God my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise (ZAMAR).

There is power in praise and worship music. I love to pray while listening to CD's of praise music. I keep it in my truck, and regularly sing while going down the road. It is amazing how godly music can lighten your heart. King Saul learned the importance of praise music when he was king. He would have a heavy, dark spirit come over him and he would call David to come before him and play on his harp music of praise to God. Listen to what would happen:

I Samuel 16:23 (MSG) After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted.

Yes, there is power in praise and worship. If you are battling in your mind and spirit right now, why don't you take the time to turn on some praise and worship, and begin to offer ZAMAR praise to God, and feel yourself calm down in the wonderful presence of God.

6. Halell (halell), Halal is a primary Hebrew root word for praise. Our word "hallelujah" comes from this base word. It means "to be clear, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to rave; to celebrate.

Ps 113:1-3 Praise (halal) ye the Lord, praise (halal) o ye servants of the Lord, praise (halal) the name of the Lord.

Ps 150:1 Praise (halal) the Lord! Praise (halal) God in his sanctuary; Praise (halal) him in his mighty expanse.

This is the celebration praise. If you have repented of your sins, asked Jesus into your heart, and are developing a relationship with Him, that is something to celebrate. Every day, we should celebrate the fact that we were on our way to hell, but now I am on my way to heaven. That's good news, and that is SHOUTIN' GROUND!

7. Tehillah (tehillah), A spontaneous new song. Singing from a melody in your heart by adding words to it. Singing straight to God. This type of praise takes some time. It is where you set aside your watch, phone, schedule and just wait in God's presence. What a time of refreshing this brings into your soul.

Psalm 22:3 Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises (tehillah) of Israel.

My prayer is that beginning today, that we all make sure to praise God in all seven of the abovementioned ways. For God truly is deserving of all of our praise! Blessings!

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day!

Pastor Rusty


marylinda said...

such a timely message for me ... I have proven the fact this week that if you praise God for who He is and not what He has done or not done the burdens of your life are lifted up to Him and releases you to do His work ... You cannot be about His work carrying all that baggage ... oh my goodness what a yoke destroying revelation ... thank you for your faithfulness in preparing God's word for us...

Aaron said...

I didn't realize that the last type of praise (Tehillah) was actually praise to the Lord. It is refreshing to sit alone in the early morning before anyone else gets up and offer Tehillah "praise" to the Lord. You can best listen to the Lord at this time as well!

Aaron said...

I didn't realize that the last type of praise (Tehillah) was actually praise to the Lord. It is refreshing to sit alone in the early morning before anyone else gets up and offer Tehillah "praise" to the Lord. You can best listen to the Lord at this time as well!