Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Positions of Praise

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Positions of Praise  - Submitted by Kay Crumley

While searching for sources for thanksgiving or praise verses for devotionals I came upon a list of 7 Hebrew words for praiseI have divided the list and will share them in two devotionalsI hope we will gain understanding of the “how” of praise in this study. 

Much like the word love in our language is used for many forms of love we have one word, praise, that has many variations in scriptureI am finding that we are taught to praise God throughout the Bible but there are many Hebrew words translated to the one word - praise.   

These four words describe the attitude or posture we are to have when offering our praise or thanksgiving to GodI have no training in languages so am no expertI am basing this information on research I have done online for the Hebrew words and their meaning as well as scriptural references that support the conclusions. 

Hebrew words for praise 

Towdah – thanksgiving offering of sacrifice that is pleasing to God, an audible thanks to God. An example of Towdah praise might be - My heart overflows with praise to God and for his promises. I will always trust in him. The Mosaic law set procedures to be followed for the Israelites to make thanksgiving sacrifices to God that would be pleasing to Him in Exodus 27 you can read about the construction of the bronze alter for burnt offerings. The Psalmist describes this kind of praise, the reason (to glorify God) and the results (God’s salvation).  

Psalm 50:23 The one whooffers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one whoorders his way rightly I will show thesalvation of God! 

We find in the New Testament that sacrifices of animals are no longer required but are replaced with those who have accepted His Lordship, become Christians, to offer ourselves as a sacrifice by giving ourselves to complete obedience to Him as Paul wrote in Romans. 

Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers by the mercies of God,to present your bodiesas a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. We are called to make a choice to live for Him, that is possible only by the mercy with which the Holy Spirit works within us. 

Yadah – hands to God in Praise and Thanksgiving. An example is praise in which we raise our hands in an outburst of spontaneous gratitude for what God has done. Exodus 17 describes the Israelites becoming angry with Moses and wanting to return to Egypt because they didn’t have enough waterMoses cried out to God who then provided water from a rock when Moses hit it with the staff that God used as evidence of His presenceThis followed a war with the AmalekitesThe Israelites fought them successfully as long as Moses held his hands up to God  

Ex 17:11 Whenever Mosesheld up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 

We can apply that to our own lives today, as long as we are obedient and seeking God, we will be able to preserve within the battles we faceWe may not always see success, but we will always have God to see us through life’s battles.  

1 Tim 2:8 I desire then thatin every place the men should pray,liftingholy hands without anger or quarreling. Paul, in his letter to Timothy, instructed that believers should pray to the One Savior who is the Savior of all men, both Jew and GentileThey should not quarrel among themselves but instead, in unity, lift their hands to God to offer His praise. 


Shabach – to raise a holy roar; testimony from one generation to anotherThe example is for one generation to praise (shabach)Your works to another, and our lips shall cry out Your mighty acts.  

The writer of Psalm 47 opens with exhorting the people to ‘get rowdy’ for GodThis is written to the choirmaster.  

Ps 47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! 

He follows with listing reasons why to shout praises to GodGod is the Most High, feared by all kings of the earth because He had subdued them in battleHe loves His chosen people.   

Isa 12:6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah listed many reasons that we should praise the Lord in songs of joyHe is our strength, our defense, and the Lord of our salvationHe alone is worthy of our praise. 

Barak – to kneel, to bless, to be blessed. An example of this kind of praise it to place special authority and respect on someone else. This is how David spoke to the Lord when he sang, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name (Psalms 103:1)."  

When Moses came face to face with God on the mountain and told that He is full of grace and mercy, abounding in love, and faithfulness there was only one thing Moses could do.    

Ex 34:8 And Moses quicklybowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. 

While we don’t come face to face with God in the physical sense, we do have His Holy Spirit living in usIs that not reason to feel as Moses did, overcome with humility and praise for our awesome God? 

David wrote this poem to be sung, for the choirmasterHe listed the characteristics of God, that He hears our prayers and hates sinBecause of God’s steadfast love, David, like Moses, has no other option but to bow before Him in praise and fear.   

Psalm 5:7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. 
I willbow downtoward yourholy temple in the fear of you. 

Do we have that great reverence for our righteous and merciful God that leaves us no other option but to bow before Him in worship?   


Summary of ways to Praise Him 

Towdah – sacrifice of thanksgiving pleasing to God 

Yadah – lifting hands in Praise 

Shabach shouts of praise, a holy roar 

Barak – bowing in humble thanksgiving/worship 


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