By Buel Hallpike
(Note: All Scripture quotations are shown in blue italics. Unless otherwise indicated, they are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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The entire universe attests to the existence and greatness of the Creator. Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power Rom 1:20. The Psalmist affirmed: The heavens declare the glory of [Yahweh]; and the firmament shows His handiwork Ps 19:1.
In spite of the abundance of infallible evidences, there is a reluctance in man to Give unto [Yahweh] the glory due to His name Ps 29:2. The majority of people have generally neither glorified Him, nor have been thankful, but have allowed their foolish hearts to be darkened, preferring man’s explanations of the origins of the planet and of our species than to accept that Yahweh is the Creator, as stated in the Bible. Many who admire the grandeur of the universe cannot acknowledge the grander meticulous hand of the 'Architect' who not only designed it, but who by Himself also brought all these things into being. Such persons are happy to give honour to dignitaries and to celebrate the achievements of outstanding personalities who they hardly know, and who generally do not know them or have had no impact on their lives. However the Sovereign One who created us, knows us by name, provides for us, and in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28), often gets only a token or no recognition.
Persons are easily elated when witnessing extraordinary feats of fellow mortals, but feel some inhibition to attribute praise to the Creator for the unparalleled and amazing wonders of the universe. How can man shower adulations upon other creatures of clay and pay so little respect to the Potter who made these earthly beings? Or by what process has man deduced that the things created are of more value than the One who created them? It is because the [ruler] of this age has blinded [those] who do not believe 2 Cor 4:4.
Psalm 100 commands all people of the earth to make a joyful shout to [Yahweh] (verse 1) and to come before His presence with singing (verse 2) for It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves (verse 3b). Hundreds of Scriptures admonishing us to praise, bless, extol, magnify, worship, honour and exalt Yahweh, signify the importance that Yahweh attaches to us expressing our adoration of Him and our acknowledgement of who He is.
Let those of us who know that we are His people and the sheep of His pasture (verse 3c) freely enter into His … courts with praise (verse 4). You who see, know, believe in and have experienced the awesome creative power of the only true Elohim must not cease to praise Him, for from the rising of the sun to its going down [Yahweh’s] name is to be praised Ps 113:3.
Do not be like those whom Satan has deceived and are unable to praise Yahweh. Start praising Yahweh. Bless [Yahweh] ... and [let] all that is within [you], bless His holy name! Ps 103:1.
WHAT IS PRAISE?
Praising Yahweh is to offer recognition, adoration, honour and glory to Him for who He is and for what He has done. The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible identifies seven Hebrew words that are used in the Old Testament and are translated as ‘praise’ or ‘bless’. These are:
1.Yadah (yaw-daw) 3034 which is a primary root, and means literally to use or hold out the hand or to revere or worship with extended hands. It suggests a total involvement of one’s self in praising.
Ps 9:1 I will praise You, O [Yahweh], with my whole heart.
2.Towdah (to-daw) 8426. From 3034. An extension of the hand; avowal or usually adoration; a sacrifice of praise, thanksgiving offering.
Ps 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
3. Halal (haw-lal) 1984; a primary root and means to be clear, to shine, hence to make a show, to boast; thus to rave, celebrate; sing, or to be worthy of praise.
It is from this root that we have the universal word 'halleluYah' (often incorrectly rendered as 'hallelujah') and literally means praise-you-Yah.
Ps 35:18 I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.
4. Tehillah (teh-hil-law) 8416. From 1984 laudation; specifically a hymn. The occasions where this is used suggest a spontaneous outpouring of praise from the heart.
Ps 40:3 He has put a new song in my mouth––Praise to our [Elohim].
5. Barak (baw-rak) 1288 Primary root. To kneel; by implication to bless Yahweh as an act of adoration.
Ps 34:1 I will bless [Yahweh] at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
6. Zamar (zaw-mar) 2167. Primary root. To touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, that is, play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music: - give praise, sing forth praises, psalms.
Ps 57:7b I will sing and give praise.
7. Shabach (shaw-bakh) 7623. Primary root; to address in a loud tone; to pacify as if by words, commend, glory.
Ps 63:3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.
Combining the meanings of these Hebrew words into a definition, we could say praising Yahweh is a clear, heart-felt, joyful, enthusiastic, expression of celebration or adoration of Yahweh that can engage our whole being in communicating to Him the honour, glory and respect that He deserves. This expression may be through words, music, songs, or the physical outpouring of one’s self for example by the use of the hands or in kneeling. It may sometimes involve sacrificing the way we feel, so as to continually exalt Yahweh above our circumstances. It can be, but is not necessarily loud, vigorous and spontaneous, as when David danced before Yahweh on recovering the ark from the Philistines, or it can be a humble acknowledgement of who Yahweh is. Praising Yahweh is not reserved for occasions of communal worship. In fact praising is a personal, sincere expression of homage to Yahweh, whether or not there are others present.
WHY PRAISE HIM?
Psalm 22:3 says of Yahweh: You are … enthroned in the praises of Israel and in 1 Sam 2:30b Yahweh said: those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.
There are tremendous personal benefits to be derived by having Yahweh enthroned in our midst and honouring us, but it is not the reason to praise Him. Praising Yahweh is not about the benefits we may experience as a by-product. It is all about Him. We should praise Yahweh not for what we may gain by doing so, but simply because of who He is. Even when your circumstances tell you there is no personal reason to praise Him, He is still worthy of your praise.
Why then should Yahweh be praised? It is impossible to give an exhaustive list of all the reasons why Yahweh deserves to be praised. With limited knowledge and expression we cannot begin to explain the virtues of this Infinite, unfathomable, incomprehensible, indescribable and infallible Elohim, who is the Creator of everything that exists. In this lifetime we are unlikely to know all the reasons why Yahweh should be praised. For now it is sufficient to praise Him, for the little we know. Here are some basic reasons why we ought to praise Yahweh:
Praise Him for Who He is
Over all beings He is Our Elohim Ps 100:3; Judge Ps 96:10,13; King Ps 47:2; Helper Ps 121:2; Preserver Ps 121:7-8; Shepherd Ps 23:1; Father Isa 63:16; Deliverer 2 Sam 22:2; Saviour Isa 43:3; Healer Exod 15:26; Cleanser Jer 33:8; Sanctifier Exod 31:13; Comforter Isa 51:12; Redeemer Isa 49:7 and Rewarder Heb 11:6.
Praise Him for His Attributes
He is incomparable 2 Sam 7:22; Inscrutable (wholly mysterious or impenetrable) Isa 40:28; Invisible 1 Tim 1:17; Unchangeable Mal 3:6; Unequalled Isa 40:13-25; Unsearchable Rom 11:33,34; Infinite 1 Kings 8:27; Eternal Isa 57:15; Omnipotent (All-powerful) Jer 32:17,27; Omnipresent (Ever-present) Ps 139:7-12; Omniscient (All-knowing) 1 John 3:20; Good Ps 73:1; Holy Rev 4:8; Impartial 1 Pet 1:17; Just Ps 89:14; Long-suffering Exod 34;6,7; Love 1 John 4:8,16; Merciful Lam 3:22,23; Truth Ps 117:2; All-wise 1 Tim 1:17; Righteous Deut 32:4; Perfect Ps 18:30; Forgiving, but not clearing the guilty Num 14:18.
Praise Him For What He has done and is doing
1) His Creation
There is nothing in the universe that is not a product of His creation - He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion Jer 10:12.
Yahweh speaking through His prophet Isaiah said:
"Thus says [Yahweh], Who created the heavens, Who is [Elohim], Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: 'I am [Yahweh], and there is no other'" Isa 45:18.
Such awesome wisdom and power that brought everything into being is greatly to be revered. No praise is too high; no honour is too noble; no worship is too excessive, for He is the Creator. Let all creation give honour to Him. Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of [Yahweh], for He commanded and they were created.
Praise [Yahweh] from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths; fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word; mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all cedars; beasts and all cattle; creeping things and flying fowl; Kings of the earth and all peoples; princes and all judges of the earth; both young men and maidens; old men and children. Let them praise the name of [Yahweh], for His Name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven Ps 148:2-5; 7-13.
Yes "You are worthy, O [Yahweh], to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created" Rev 4:11.
2) His Salvation Plan
When Adam and Eve disobeyed Yahweh and were driven out of the garden, neither they nor Satan had derailed Yahweh’s plan. Yahweh knew before the foundation of the world exactly what the first couple would have done, and had a plan in place for the redemption of mankind through His Son Yahshua. Peter tells us in 1 Pet 1:20 that Yahshua was foreordained [for this purpose] before the foundation of the world. Therefore at the correct time in Yahweh’s timetable, He sent His Son to die in our place. [Yahweh] so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16. This was an essential part of Yahweh’s plan that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in [the Messiah], both which are in heaven and which are on earth––in Him Eph 1:10.
The Son of Yahweh became a son of man that sons of men can become sons of Yahweh. In this life the transformation will begin for those who believe in and are disciples of Yahshua. But that is not all. Beloved, now we are children of [Yahweh]; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is 1 John 3:2. We shall be changed and our inheritance will far exceed anything we could imagine. As it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which [Yahweh] has prepared for those who love Him" 1 Cor 2:9.
We do not have to wait until we meet Yahshua to join the countless throng in saying: "[HalleluYah]! For [Yahweh Elohim] Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory" Rev 19:6b-7a. When we consider the privilege Yahweh has given to us, mere mortals, by investing such a treasure in earthen vessels in whom He can manifest the excellent greatness of His power (2 Cor 4:7), how can we fail to burst forth in rapturous praise and thanksgiving to Him? What is more, Yahweh, the Everlasting Elohim, Omnipotent Creator and Sovereign is coming to a new earth to tabernacle with us! [He] will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things [will] have passed away Read Rev 21:1-4.
With this assurance how can you ever lack exuberance in praising Yahweh? Praise Yahweh for His great and marvellous plan to redeem fallen man. Praise Him for the matchless love He has bestowed upon you, a sinner condemned to die. Praise Him that He chose to open your blinded eyes and to lead you into His paths of truth and righteousness. Praise Him, for eternal life is within your grasp and if you are true and faithful will become a reality for YOU! HalleluYah!
Praise Him For His word
Since creation Yahweh’s word has been powerful. Through His word light shone to dispel darkness; the sky was made; the waters and the land were separated; the earth produced vegetation; the sun moon and stars were formed to give light, to separate day and night and to mark the seasons; the sea brought forth fish and the earth living creatures; and birds were created (Gen 1:1-25).
The prophets of old spoke the authoritative word of Yahweh and through it performed great deeds and declared Yahweh’s prophecies and promises that have/will come to pass.
Josh 23:14 Not one thing has failed of all the good things which [Yahweh] your [Elohim] spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.
Isa 55:10-11 As the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
The word of Yahweh is described as pure Ps 19:8; restraining Ps 119:11; perfect Ps 19:7; sure Ps 111:7,8; truth Ps 119:160; right Ps 33:4; enduring 1 Pet 1:25; effectual Isa 55:11; sanctifying Eph 5:26; inspired 2 Pet 1:21; living and penetrating Heb 4:12.
It is compared to a lamp or light Ps 119:105; fire Jer 5:14; hammer Jer 23:29; seed Luke 8:11; sword Eph 6:17; and a rock or firm foundation Matt 7:24.
The word can heal Ps 107:20; make free John 8:32; illuminate Ps 119:130; bear witness John 20:31; produce faith Rom 10:17; and make wise 2 Tim 3:15-17.
Yahshua the Word of Yahweh, became flesh and dwelt among us John 1:14. Yahshua demonstrated the power of the word in transforming lives, triumphing over all opposition including Satan, raising the dead, healing the sick, calming storms, and making significant prophecies, most notable of which is the Book of Revelation. [Yahweh] who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds Heb 1:1-2.
Through the pure, undiluted and authentic word of Yahweh lives have been and are being transformed, hope has replaced despair, knowledge has displaced ignorance and light has dispelled darkness.
Our best expression of praise to Yahweh for His word is to live by it. Practise what it says, and in so doing glorify Yahweh who condescended to reveal His truths to us. Praise Yahweh for the written word, including His prophecies and promises. Praise Him for His Word that became flesh, and which, today, is still being made flesh in transformed lives. HalleluYah!
Other reasons to praise Him
He is worthy to be praised Ps 18:3
We are commanded to worship Him: you shall worship [Yahweh] your [Elohim], and Him only you shall serve Matt 4:10. You shall love [Yahweh] your [Elohim] with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength Deut 6:5. Praising Yahweh is an expression of our love of Him, and is not an optional extra.
The Scriptures are filled with many exhortations to praise, bless, worship and exalt Yahweh.
Ps 113:1 Praise [Yahweh]! Praise, O servants of [Yahweh], Praise the name of [Yahweh]!
Ps 117:1 Praise [Yahweh], all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!
Ps 135:1 Praise [Yahweh]! Praise the name of [Yahweh]; Praise Him, O you servants of [Yahweh]!
He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does Job 23:13.
He is far higher than man and says of Himself "My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways ... for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" Isa 55:8-9.
- He has always existed. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are [El]. Ps 90:2. Only Yahweh has this prestigious and unrivalled position. That alone demands the highest esteem.
The most vocal atheists cannot humble Him. Doubting agnostics cannot diminish Him. Attitudes of defiance cannot shake Him. Brilliant thinkers cannot categorise Him. Sophisticated technology cannot reach Him. Nature obeys His commands. At His voice death recoils and gives up its captives. He is far above all principalities and powers in the heavens or on the earth. He existed before man without man’s approval and does not need man’s recognition in order to continue to be. He is supreme over all - those who acknowledge Him and those who do not. Like gravity, His awesome power prevails whether or not you believe in it.
He is the quintessence of the highest and best qualities. He is the unattainable level to which neither finite man nor immortal angels can rise. He is the all-pervading, inescapable power in the entire universe. He has been and will always be without equal or rival and is worthy of our praise, For You, [Yahweh], are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all [the mighty ones] Ps 97:9.
WHEN TO PRAISE
There is never a wrong time to praise Yahweh. While we have breath and have our mental faculties we should praise Him. I will sing to [Yahweh] as long as I live; I will sing praise to my [El] while I have my being Ps 104:33. From the rising of the sun to its going down [Yahweh’s] name is to be praised Ps 113:3. I will bless [Yahweh] at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth Ps 34:1. David said in Psalm 35:28 "my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long". In Psalm 119:164 the Psalmist said: "Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments". In verse 62, he states "at midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, because of Your righteous judgments".
Praising Yahweh should be part of our daily experience and expression. It should be the prelude and epilogue of all our prayers. It should be the spontaneous overflow of our hearts that are constantly filled with adoration and appreciation of Yahweh, and the product of our minds that are continually focussed upon Him. Anytime and every time, anywhere and everywhere, for as long we live, our lives, lips and hearts should never cease to praise Him.
SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
Praising Yahweh continually means we do not pick and choose the times to praise Him. We ought to praise Yahweh whether or not we feel like doing so; whether we are up or are down, stressed or relaxed and whether it is convenient or inconvenient; for praising Him ought not to be dependent upon the state of our feelings. Feelings may vary from moment to moment, but Yahweh never changes. He will always be the Everlasting, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Merciful Creator, Sovereign, and Father who is always worthy to be praised. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to [Yahweh], that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name Heb 13:15.
You may ask, "Is it normal to ignore or escape the reality of life and appear happy in the midst of intense gloom, pain or excessive stress?" No it is not normal and it is often impossible to lift yourself when overburdened with pressures. Praising Yahweh is not about '[putting] on a happy face’ as a well-known song suggests. What is being recommended here is not to pretend that the present does not exist, and to float along on an imagined cloud of ecstasy, but rather to be vigilant that absolutely nothing will be allowed to dethrone Yahweh from the rightful place in your heart, and to take remedial action when your circumstances are the dominant factor in your life instead of Yahweh.
Sacrificial praise goes beyond praising Yahweh because of your blessing. On the contrary when you may find it difficult to "count your blessings" or you are overwhelmed, then sacrificial praise is the only praise you can give. Because praising is not about you but Yahweh, sacrificial praise is not masochistic. It is not about praising Yahweh for your suffering, but rather in spite of what you are experiencing.
Like Paul we must be always able to assert that nothing and no one shall separate us from the love of [the Messiah] Rom 8:35a. While in prison, Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns to Yahweh. The securest prison walls could not restrict them. Soldiers could not hinder them. Their bodies were shackled but their lips and their minds were free. They did not pray for deliverance. Instead they sang and praised Yahweh. Yahweh turned up. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed Acts 16:26. That is the power of sacrificial praise. The chains fell from Paul and Silas as well as from all the prisoners. You do not know the deliverance that can occur in your life and that of others when you become immersed in praising Yahweh in spite of what you are going through. Divine power comes when our praises are Yahweh-centred and not self-centred; when we are able to give praise to the Giver and not because of the expectation of His gifts.
Every one of life’s problems provides an opportunity to demonstrate who or what is your first love. The thing by which you are most absorbed, indicates your priority. By placing too great an emphasis on the occurrences of this life, you can easily displace Yahweh from His rightful prime position in your heart. The greater the distraction, the more intense is the effort required to restore Yahweh to the exalted place in your life. Praising Yahweh then with all your heart and mind and in defiance of your circumstances, is a guaranteed method of readjusting the balance. In the end, it pays real dividends as you become engrossed in Him and not your challenging situation.
When adverse changes come your way, it is the right time to fix your attention upon Yahweh who is unchanging and to worship Him. When you are not in control and everything seems to be falling apart, turn to Him and become absorbed in the only One who is always in total control and cannot fail. Quote or compose psalms of praise and thanksgiving, sing songs of praise and worship Him with all your heart. There is no better way to oppose Satan than to give praise to Yahweh when the time seems wrong. There is no nobler sacrifice you can give to Yahweh than the sacrifice of your heavy heart in praising Him. There is no more superior technique to overcome the hindrances you face than to defiantly bring your whole being to concentrate on the majesty, supremacy and greatness of Yahweh at seemingly inappropriate times. There is no more uplifting pastime than praising Yahweh, so get into the praising habit starting from now. Such a practice is more noteworthy than merely praying although it can lead to prayer, for the motivation is not to ask anything of Yahweh but to give unto [Yahweh] the glory due to His name and to worship [Yahweh] in the beauty of holiness Ps 29:2. In Acts 20:35b we are told: It is more blessed to give than to receive’, so start to practise the more "blessed" thing and freely give to Yahweh the praises and honour that belong to Him.
Accept this challenge the next time you are overwhelmed, low, troubled, perplexed, tempted or angry. Find a quiet place if you can and simply open up your heart, mind and lips unhurriedly and whole heartedly in adoration of and praise to Yahweh who was, is and shall ever be. Tell Him of His excellent greatness – the wonders He has done in the earth, sea and sky. Explore His wonderful deeds of the past and the glory that He has awaiting us. Thank Him that although He is Almighty, He sees each sparrow’s fall and hears the cry of the feeblest heart. Thank Him for His incomparable love that caused Him to send Yahshua to die in your place. Thank Yahshua for the unique sacrifice He made by dying for you that you might be forgiven and inherit eternal life. Thank Him that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Use your own words. Let it be personal from your overflowing heart to Yahweh with love. The heavier your burden the more incessant must be your praise. Let no demon of depression or defeat take up residence within you. Their purpose is to separate you from Yahweh. Become absorbed not with them but with Yahweh. When you are able to do this, it will then be possible for you to rise to the next level of being able to say with conviction that He who is in [me] is greater than he who is in the world 1 John 4:4.
With such strong faith in Yahweh, no demon will conquer you; no force can overpower you; and no problem can defeat you, for you will know beyond any doubt that you can do all things through [the Messiah] who strengthens [you] Phil 4:13. You will discover that when you give to Him the sacrifice of praise, the Holy fire of His presence consumes your offering and even your self-centredness, sending a sweet aroma heavenwards and leaving you with a refreshing fragrance of His presence. You may then wonder in amazement how the burden you were carrying was quietly replaced with the peace and joy of Yahweh. However always remember that the blessings are the by-product and not the reason to praise.
It requires maturity to be more willing to give rather than to receive. Babies receive much but do not deliberately give anything. If you want to grow up, how about shortening the shopping list you so frequently give to Yahweh and instead give to Him a ‘reason-to-praise-You’ list. Instead of ‘Help me Father’ flowing so readily from your lips, how about saying more often with all of your heart: "You are worthy, O [Yahweh], to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created." Rev 4:11. Alternatively Yours, O [Yahweh], is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O [Yahweh], and You are exalted as head over all 1 Chron 29:11.
Is this not in essence what Yahshua taught His disciples? His prayer began by giving honour to Yahweh: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven Matt 6:9-10. Yahshua was teaching His disciples the lesson we all need to practise, which is: Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Ps 100:4. After this introduction, He then made the requests but ended as He had begun in praise to Yahweh: For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever halleluYah! Matt 6:13b. Yahshua’s model ‘prayer’ was thus mainly in honour and praise to the Father, with a smaller segment for personal petitions. Is this how you pray? Let your praises exceed your requests and be much more than lip service. Let it cost you something by giving priority to Yahweh before your pressing needs. Your 'shopping list' does not demonstrate your love of Yahweh. Praising Yahweh does.
When praise is the prelude of prayer it enhances your faith and prepares you to believe Yahweh.
He who comes to [ask anything of] [Yahweh] must [first] believe that He is Heb 11:6. That is the first step in approaching Yahweh. We may think we know that He exists, but we need ever so often to reaffirm our faith in Him especially when the road is dark, we feel alone and cannot see or hear Him. Before you ask anything of Yahweh remind yourself and tell Him of who He is.
Ps 93:2 Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.
Ps 90:2 before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are [El].
1 Sam 2:2 No one is holy like [Yahweh], for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our [Elohim].
When we first remind ourselves of these things we build up our faith in Him and we are then able to have the faith that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him Heb 11:6b. The expression ‘diligently seek Him’ is referring to more than seeking Him with our petitions. When You said, "Seek My face," My heart said to You, "Your face, [Yahweh], I will seek Ps 27:8. You and your self-interest must decrease and Yahweh and Yahshua must increase.
The ability to praise Yahweh at all times is the greatest instant source of strength we can find. No wonder we are told in Neh 8:10c the joy of [Yahweh] is your strength.
Jehoshaphat king of Judah used the praising technique in 2 Chron 20. He was confronted with armies far more powerful than anything he could muster. At first he was fearful but when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to [Yahweh], and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise [Yahweh], For His mercy endures forever." Now when they began to sing and to praise, [Yahweh] set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated (verses 21-22).
When Jehoshaphat praised Yahweh, Yahweh came on the scene and routed the opposing armies. What Yahweh did for Jehoshaphat, Paul and Silas and countless others He will also do for you today. Offer your sacrifice of praise when your heart is heavy. In spite of your problems, praise Him anyway. Do not let your wall of difficulties be the obstacle between you and Yahweh. Knock it down with a tornado of praise. No problem must be allowed to interrupt your connection with Yahweh. When you cease to praise Him, you do not see Him, but only the overpowering problem that towers before you. Defeat it by getting back to where you belong – in the presence of Yahweh.
DEALING WITH TRAGEDIES
David said, "I will bless [Yahweh] at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth" Ps 34:1. One who has suffered or is suffering tragic loss may say this is unreasonable. Characters in the Bible showed great agony at the loss of their loved one. It is natural to display an outpouring of grief on such occasions and it is unnatural to try to replace the psychological or even physical hurt by diverting the mind.
The children of Israel had this same problem. Those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, and those who plundered us requested mirth, saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" How shall we sing [Yahweh’s] song in a foreign land? Ps 137:3-4 How can anyone express praise to Yahweh, when all they are experiencing is intense pain or suffering?
At such times if words came to your lips, they are unlikely to be expressing the adoration that David expressed in Ps 34:1. In fact they could be just the opposite with you giving vent to self-pity, remorse, doubt and even anger. So is praising Yahweh continually, practical in such adverse circumstances?
Daniel wrote the people who know their [Elohim] shall be strong, and carry out great exploits Dan 11:32. Daniel was referring to a special people who in the end time would be different from most others and would do amazing things. But the prerequisite was that they should really know Yahweh in a way that others did not. You can be one of those persons who will not conform to the 'norm' and in times of crisis will be strong. This is not about putting on an act. There is no appetite or strength for play-acting when you are in a crisis. Before the crisis you must first really know Yahweh. Otherwise you cannot be strong, and accomplish the extraordinary. Without an intimate and firm knowledge of who Yahweh is, you will not be prepared for life's gruesome encounters and you will be no better than others who do not profess to know Yahweh.
The children of Israel were at a point of crisis, with the menacing threats of the giant Goliath.
All the men of Israel, when they saw [Goliath], fled from him and were dreadfully afraid 1 Sam 17:24.
David on the other hand said to king Saul, "Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine" verse 32. Why was young David so confident? He explained to Saul,
34 "Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,
35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.
36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living [Elohim]".
37 "Moreover" David said, "[Yahweh], who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."
Note that David in combating Goliath used the skills and weapons to which he had been already accustomed. His previous experiences including his trust in Yahweh gave him the needed confidence, when confronted with the threatening monster. David was the exceptional one out of all the children of Israel. Others fled from Goliath, while David ran to meet Goliath. You are to be one of those extraordinary persons, who Daniel said would do exploits because they REALLY knew Yahweh. Please read our article 'One in a crowd'.
What you have within will be manifested in times of crisis. See our article ‘From the inside out’. David had unwittingly made the preparations necessary to face Goliath. If he had not been trained he would have been like the others who ran from Goliath.
There is no escaping it - you too will need to be trained before you can attain victory in times of crisis. Your Goliath may be tragedy of one sort or another. If like David you will learn to bless [Yahweh] at all times with His praise … continually ... in [your] mouth, you too may find there is no situation, however desperate when you cannot Give unto [Yahweh] the glory due to His name Ps 29:2. The famous adage ‘practice makes perfect’ is quite applicable when it comes to praising Yahweh. Times of crises are not appropriate for using weapons to which you are not accustomed. With the guidelines already in this article start using every challenge you face as the opportunity to perfect and sharpen your praising technique. But always remember Yahweh is the target of your praises – not you.
We worry when we feel we can do nothing about our circumstances. When however Yahweh comes on the scene it is no longer what we can do that matters, but who He is and what He will do. When we praise Yahweh we acknowledge that He is in control, and that we are not. This was what Jehoshaphat did when surrounded by armies he could not overcome. This was the most important factor that contributed to David’s success against Goliath. David boasted of Yahweh’s almighty power. Praising Yahweh gives us something and 'Someone' to boast about even when in ourselves we are helpless. In the process it relieves us of our anxieties and the natural tendency to worry and to have self-pity. The Bible commands us not to fear but to be strong. Yahshua reprimanded His disciples when they showed little or no faith. Praising Yahweh expresses and builds our faith in Him. So begin your praising habit TODAY!
Song writers Bruce Haynes & Lee Hendrix wrote:
When everything falls apart, praise His name...
When it seems you're all alone, praise His name
When you feel you can't go on, raise your hands and say,
"Greater is He, that is within me"
You can praise the hurt away.
HOW TO PRAISE HIM
Yahshua’s whole life was in praise of Yahweh. Our praise must not be merely of our lips, hands and musical instruments, but of our hearts, deeds and lives. Marilyn Baker sings "everything that I do may it glorify you". Our whole life must be an expression of praise to Yahweh. This is the extent of our praise.
Since praise is the demonstration of our love to Yahweh there can be no set way of expressing that love. We are commanded to love [Yahweh our Elohim] with all [our] heart, with all [our] soul, and with all [our] strength Deut 6:5. David chose to express his love to Yahweh more extravagantly than any other person in the Bible. Yahweh did not condemn him for this. Then David danced before [Yahweh] with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod 2 Sam 6:14.
When Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before Yahweh, she despised him in her heart. When he returned to his house, she met David, and said, "How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!" verse 20. So David said to Michal, "It was before [Yahweh], who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of [Yahweh], over Israel. Therefore I will play music before [Yahweh]. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight (verses 21-22a).
It was not David who was punished for his unique and exuberant way of praising Yahweh, but Michal who despised him for his enthusiastic and unreserved outburst of praise. Because of this Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death (verse 23).
David wrote in Ps 103:1 Bless [Yahweh], O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! David was keen to put everything into his praise of Yahweh. Are you?
You may feel intimidated by such overt display of enthusiasm, but praising Yahweh is not a competition. Your best may seem negligible when compared with the expression of someone else. Yahweh sees the heart and it is He who decides what is acceptable and pleasing to Him, and what is not. Someone on their sick-bed lacking physical and/or mental energy cannot praise Yahweh with the gusto of a fit person, yet their feeble expression of praise may be more precious to Yahweh than the extravagant praises of someone seeking only to impress others. Yahshua took note of the poor widow who out of her poverty put in all that she had into the treasury. He will also take note when in praising Him you give to Him your best, even if you may think that when compared to others your praise is feeble.
When we lose sight of the individual nature of praise even in communal worship, we have missed what Yahweh seeks. The command to love Yahweh with our heart, soul and strength is personal. So too is that expression of love.
Use every mode of expression you have and every aid you can find to assist you in giving praise to Yahweh. If you are not readily motivated to praise Yahweh, revisit the list of reasons given in this article under the heading ‘Why Praise Him’. Expand that list in your Bible study and print out a fuller ‘Reason-to-praise-Yahweh’ list. Have it before you when next you want to praise Yahweh. It is not enough to keep on saying to Yahweh "Praise You" or "HalleluYah" although these words are invaluable in praising. Praise Him with your understanding. Tell Him why you are praising Him. As you think of all that Yahweh is, has done and has said, let your rivers of praise flow incessantly from an overflowing appreciative heart into Yahweh’s infinite ocean of love.
When the praises that stirred within the heart of Charles Wesley were greater than his lips could express, he exclaimed, "O for a thousand tongues to sing my Great Redeemer’s praise!" Just like an overflowing river that cannot fully empty itself, so you will experience an inadequacy to exhaust all the praises that well up within you when you are overfilled with adoration of Yahweh.
The Bible shows us how we can extend our ability to praise Yahweh by a variety of outlets, methods and aids. It advocates the use of instruments, dancing, clapping, singing and a joyful noise in praising Him. If Yahweh really means everything to you, you should be able to express your adoration to Him in a way that is natural to you. Use your voice, hands, musical instruments and your strength, holding back nothing. There is no set way to praise Him, but it must be sincere and not half-hearted or under coercion. Yahshua said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks Matt 12:34. When your heart is filled with worship and praise of Yahweh, you will find the means for venting what you are feeling within.
Ps 150:3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Ps 150:4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Ps 66:1 Make a joyful shout to [Elohim], all the earth!
Ps 81:1 Sing aloud to [Elohim] our strength; make a joyful shout to the [Elohim] of Jacob.
Ps 100:1 Make a joyful shout to [Yahweh], all you lands!
Ps 47:1 Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
It is only in giving to Yahweh that we truly acknowledge His goodness and sovereignty as we are commanded. Oh, give thanks to [Yahweh], for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of [Yahweh] say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy Ps 107:1-2.
What bliss and strength we often forfeit by our preoccupation with ourselves and not with our Creator! May you earnestly desire and strive in spite of whatever you feel or may be going through, to demote yourself and enthrone Yahweh instead. Freely, regularly, spontaneously as well as deliberately, communicate to Him in your own words or even with borrowed words your heartfelt adoration.
There is no situation you can ever face that is more important than to give honour to Yahweh. There is no time that is inappropriate; no heartache so severe; no stress so encompassing; and no activity so enthralling or rewarding, that you cannot praise Him. When you rob Yahweh of praise you are also robbing yourself of His presence and power and you are carrying unnecessary stresses by being your own burden bearer. Praise Him! He is only ‘a praise’ away.
There is no shortage of reasons to praise Yahweh. Praise Him for who He is. Praise Him for His attributes. Praise Him for what He has done in Creation. Praise Him for His plan of salvation and for the prospects of spending eternity with Him. Praise Him for what He has said in His word, including His prophecies and promises that will all come true. We are not truly honouring Yahweh if we fail to praise Him as He commands us. Let us praise Yahweh!
You who fear [Yahweh], praise Him! Ps 22:23.
Praise [Yahweh]! Praise the name of [Yahweh]; Praise Him, O you servants of [Yahweh]! Ps 135:1
Praise [Yahweh], for [Yahweh] is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant Ps 135:3
Praise [Yahweh]! Praise [El] in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise [Yahweh] Praise [Yahweh]! Ps 150: 1-6.
Start the praising habit today! Praise Him with your whole being.
Bless [Yahweh], O my soul; And all that is within me, bless
His holy name! Ps 103:1
Oh, magnify [Yahweh] with me, and let us exalt His name together Ps 34:3.
Blessing and honor and glory and power be to [You] who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever! Rev 5:13b. HALLELUYAH!
©Buel Hallpike June 2008