pixabay.comnext, we need to offer praise unto God as we enter into His presence. a synonym for praise is worship, and it means “to honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power.” the KJV Dictionary has two definitions of praise, one as a noun and one as a verb. this reference denotes that praise, though it can describe an inanimate word of the English language, should be offered in our actions. we are to commend; to applaud; to express approval of worth or steps on a personal level. praise is extolling in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works. our motive for worship should be to honor God.

crosswalk.com lists eight words most often used for praise in the Bible.

Hallah – “Hallah” is the most common word for praise. this word means to boast, brag, or rave about God even to the point of appearing foolish. not unlike people who attend football games and shout and scream for their favorite team. “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live…” (Psalm 63:3-4).

Yadah – we have already talked about means to worship with extended hands. “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord” (Psalm 134:2). (Psalm 43:1-5; 134:2; 2 Chronicles 20: 1- 21; Nehemiah 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:8)

Barak – used to denote blessing. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). (Judges 5:1-2; Psalm 72:15)

Tehillah – means to sing or to laud. “Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises” (Psalm 22:3). (Exodus 15:2; Isaiah 61:3; Deuteronomy 10:21) Tehillah involves music and singing-especially singing. Singing is vital to the worship of God. There are over 300 Bible mandates to sing. This word suggests God himself is a song of praise.

Zamar –  means to pluck the strings of an instrument. “For the director of music. Of David, the servant of the Lord. David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and the hand of Saul.” “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge… I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies” (Psalm 18:1-3). (Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 18:1-4, 46-50; 68:1-4; Ephesians 5:19) Zamar speaks of rejoicing.

Todah and Shabach – “Todah” means to shout or to address with a loud voice, including an attitude of gratitude for God’s promised deliverance even while we are still in need. todah praise has faith and assurance that is well even before the victory comes. “Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit… When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—All day long they twist my words; They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life. Record my misery… Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me” (Psalm 56:1-12).

“Shabach” also means to shout or address in a loud tone.

Hallelujah – is the premier word for praise in the Bible. hallelujah transcends the languages of the world. it is not translated; it is transliterated. “Hallel” means to boast or to brag on, to make a show, even to the point of looking ridiculous. “Jah” is the short form of the name for God. hallelujah is the spontaneous outcry of one who is excited about God. it is used only 24 times in the Old Testament, all between Psalm 104 and 150. it is reserved for times of extreme exultation. the word hallelujah is used only four times in the New Testament, all in Revelation 19:1-7 (Dr. Roger Barrier, 8 Hebrew Words for “Praise” Every Christian Needs to Know, https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/8-hebrew-words-for-praise-every-christian-needs-to-know.html, Apr 26, 2021).

in giving praises to the Lord in various forms, i want to list a few examples and scripture to go with the idea. we can use our voice in speaking – Psalm 34:1 says, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” we can shout – Psalm 27:6 says, “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.” singing – Psalm 47:6 says, “Sing praises to God, sing praises to our King, sing praises.” we can praise God by our posture in bowing – Psalm 95:6 says, “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” we can dance – Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.” next to using our voice, the most known way to praise is with our hands. we can play instruments – Psalm 33:2, 3 says, “Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” we can clap our hands – Psalm 47:1 says, “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” and finally, we can lift our hands in worship – Psalm 63:4 says, “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands” (Newman, Stephen M, Nine Expressions of Worship, https://www.experiencingworship.com/articles/general/2001-6-nine-expressions-of-worship.html, Jan 23, 2020).

to be continued.

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