Have you ever wondered why God created the universe? For what purpose did God create man? Was it because He was bored or lonely? Nope! Psalm 19:1-4 and Psalm 148:1-5 give us the answers.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4a (NIV)
“Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights above. Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His heavenly hosts. Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you shining stars. Praise Him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at His command they were created.” Psalm 148:1-5 (NIV)
God created the universe and mankind to worship, praise, glorify, and honor His name. The sun, stars, mountains, and oceans do not literally speak and shout out His glory but they do proclaim His existence. Only a deceived fool denies there is a Creator.
There are 7 Hebrew words for Praise. The first of the seven is HALLAL. Our word hallelujah comes from this root word. It means, to be clear, to praise, shine, boast, show, and celebrate. We can boast of God’s glory and still not sin in pride. As children, we are taught that bragging is wrong. It’s a call for people to admire us as much as we admire ourselves.
Boasting in the Lord is not the same as boasting in one’s self. Instead of drawing attention to ourselves, we draw attention to Christ. This boasting is a call for people to admire Him as much as we admire Him. We are seeking praise—for Christ’s worth. It demonstrates how much we value Him.
“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23 (NIV)
The second Hebrew word of praise is YADAH and its root meaning is to worship God with an extended hand, to lift the hands. Many of us practice this type of praise when we lift our hands during the musical worship before a church service or teaching.
“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:15 (NKJV)
“Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” Psalm 63:4 (NKJV)
TOWDAH is the third Hebrew word of praise. It literally means an extension of the hand in adoration. When read in the context of the Psalms and elsewhere, it is used for thanking God, both for things not yet received and for those things already in hand. Consider the story of the nobleman whose son was sick. He implored Jesus to heal his son and took Jesus at His word when told, “Your son lives.” (John 4:46-43)
“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright
I will show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23 (NKJV)
“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.” Romans 40:20 (NKJV)
The fourth Hebrew word of praise is SHABACH, which means to shout, to address in a loud tone. Worship can be in a quiet assembly but it is also perfectly fine to shout our praises to the King.
“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to god with the voice of triumph!” Psalm 47:1 (NKJV)
“Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!” Isaiah 12:6 (NKJV)
BARAK is the fifth Hebrew word of praise and it means to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration. When was the last time you got down on your knees in prayer to thank God and give Him praise?
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” Psalm 95:6 (NKJV)
“Then David said to all the assembly, ‘Now bless the Lord your God.’ So all the assembly blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the Lord and the king.” 1 Chronicles 29:20 (NKJV)
The sixth and seventh words of praise are both musical in context. ZAMAR means to pluck the strings of an instrument, to sing, to praise, a musical word largely involved with joyful expressions of music with musical instruments. TEHILLAH means to sing or to laud; perceived to involve music, especially singing; hymns of the Spirit or praise.
“Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 1 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV)
“But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3 (NKJV)
Since we were made to glorify God, He equipped our bodies to praise Him at any moment. We are all living and breathing musical instruments! Hand claps and finger snaps are great percussion instruments and of course, we have the ability to sing. Today, lift up your voices and sing His praise. He is worthy to be glorified and honored.
“Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 96:1 (NKJV)