Thoughts from an Email sent August 15th 2011.

Hi all

Just been thinking about that word “praise”.

In Hebrew, while worship - shachah means to “bow down, head to the ground”, praise is yadah and is related to two words: the word for "hand" - yad i.e. holding out the hand, acknowledging the strength of God, and the word for "knowledge" - yada - we know in part, we need to know God more.

See Psalms 138 v 2-4 below


I will worship toward your holy temple, and praise your name for your lovingkindness and for your truth: for you have magnified your word (i.e. your communication) above all your name.


In the day when I cried you answered me, [and] strengthened me [with] strength in my soul.
Click here for other verses in the Old Testament that also use that word for "strengthened". They remind us in the New Testament of how Jesus was strengthened by an angel as he prayed for the bold determination that would do the Father's will, sweat coming like blood as he prayed against sin. Also a reminder of the widow and her bold persistence as she cried out for help to an unjust judge. And the boldness of Peter and the early disciples before the Jewish Council.


All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth.

The other Hebrew word for praise, used frequently in Psalms, is halal - to make a clear show or spectacle in sound/colour, to boast, to rave, to celebrate as a knockout.

First seen in Genesis 12:15 in reference to Sarah - when Pharaoh's captains saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.

Now in Greek, the word for praise is ainos — a victory-song or story, brought by poets/performers in a public arena that proclaimed the renown of the one named on that special occasion (with all of its wonder), and often an enigma, a riddle to an unitiated listener.

Thus in Isaiah 45:15, when it comes to people seeing God it says


 Truly you are a God that hides yourself (keeps yourself secret), O God of Israel, the Saviour.

but when it comes to God's communicating with people, in Isaiah 45:19 it says


 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not to the seed of Jacob, Seek you me in vain (an empty place): I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

and in Acts 17:24-28, where Paul preaches in Athens


 God that made the world and all things therein , seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands;


 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things;


 And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation;


 That they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after/make contact with him, and find him though he be not far from every one of us:


 For in him we live and move and have our being as certain also of your own poets have said For we are also his offspring.

Becoming true "poets":

"Become imitators of me as I also am of Christ - the Anointed one", Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1 - As his healing anointing has rubbed off on me as I follow him, so - Draw close - Imitate me - enabling that anointing to rub off me on to you.
"The better the poet (performer), the more he imitates (his subject), and the more he imitates the less he speaks like a poet (playing a part a hypocrite)" Tasso on Aristotle's Poetics XXIV, 1562.


Check out the psalm Jesus was quoting in Matthew 21:16 below

And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did and the children crying in the temple, and saying Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased

And said to him, Do you hear what these say And Jesus said to them, Yes; have you never read Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings have you perfected praise ? (i.e. framed the victory-song)

The quote is from Psalms 8:2


Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings have you ordained strength because of your enemies, that you might still the enemy and the avenger.

And so praise, strength, boldness, the wonderful story of God, is ordained as coming out of the mouth of children (those too young to talk properly).

Yes, the story took me back to Sunday School and that old Aussie “Fruit Salad” chorus we used to sing, some of you may know it / remember it, found the lyrics on the web

The old old story it is forever new
The old old story Praise the Lord tis true
That Jesus died for me as well as you
I love the old old story

When the roll is called up yonder
I’ll be walking in the King’s highway
Tell me the old old story
I love Him better every day


I will make you fishers of men
If you’ll only follow me
Now none but Christ can satisfy
And there’s no other Name for me


Every day with Jesus
Is sweeter than the day before
Every passing moment
I love Him more and more
Jesus saves and keeps me
And He’s the One I’m waiting for
Every day with Jesus
Is sweeter than the day before.

Mine mine mine mine
Jesus is mine
Mine when I’m weary
Mine when I’m dreary
Mine mine mine mine
Jesus is mine
Jesus is Mine for ever mo-o-ore

Can you wonder at the people being envious
When they see that we’re as happy as can b-e-e-e
For the glory of the Lord is all around us
We’re as happy as the birds
Upon the tree … Tweet Tweet
Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah for my sins are all forg-i-i-ven
Very precious is Jesus
And my heart’s a little Hallelujah he-ea-ven.

Bye and Bye we'll see the King
Bye and Bye we'll see the King
Bye and Bye we'll see the King
And crown Him Lord of all

And if we do not crown Him Lord of all
And if we do not crown Him Lord of all
And if we do not crown Him Lord of all
We do not crown Him Lord at all.

Blessings Steve

Stephen Williamson Computing Services Pty Ltd