Saturday, March 17, 2012
GREATLY PRAISING THE GREAT I AM!
Shalom family! Tehillim/Psalm 147:1 “Praise Yah! For it is good to sing praises to our Elohim. For it is pleasant – praise is fitting.”
How many of you often struggle to really praise יהוה? And I mean really praise Him with your all? We are to be a praising people who are offering up continual praise to Elohim, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, and so tonight I want us to be reminded to not neglect our giving of praise to our Mighty Maker, יהוה our Elohim. In a message tonight called, “Greatly praising the Great I AM!” I want us to look at a magnificent Psalm of praise! Please turn with me to Tehillim/Psalm 145 (read).
This beautifully constructed masterpiece of Dawiḏ “A Song of Praise of Dawiḏ”, which some translations tend to leave out and in the Hebrew is תְּהִלָּה לְדָוִד meaning, ‘Tehillah of Dawiḏ’. Now the word תְּהִלָּה tehillah Strong’s H8416 means, ‘praise, or a song of praise’ and comes from the word הָלַל halal Strong’s H1984 which means, ‘to shine; to be boastful; to be clear; to make a show; to rave; be foolish; to celebrate; praise, cheer, brag or extol, i.e., extol the greatness or excellence of a person, object or event.’
Tehillah carries the meaning of thanksgiving or speaking positive words about the excellence of another and often these words are in the context of being sung. It also gives the meaning of the act of general or public praise. Tehilla also speaks of that praise which comes forth from the heart – certainly something that Dawiḏ understood how to do, because He understood who it was He was praising! What is interesting to note is that although this word, tehillah, although used around 57 times in Scripture, is only used once as a title of a Psalm – here in 145. The plural form of this, Tehillim, from which has come the traditional Hebrew name for the book of Psalms - ‘SeferTehillim’ or ‘Book of Praises, and many regard this is the crown jewel of praise by Dawiḏ which is a grand hymn of praise for יהוה the Great King and His majestic reign and gracious acts-including the deliverance of His people. It serves as the closing frame of the five prayers of Dawiḏ seeking rescue from wicked enemies as seen in Tehillim 140-144.
This Tehillah of praise is well constructed and is in the form of an alphabetic acrostic, with each succeeding verse beginning with a succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet-with the exception, according to the Masoretic Text, of the letter נ nun. Verse 13 begins with a מ mem and verse 14 with a ס sameq, skipping the letter נ nun however the Dead Sea Scrolls have revealed that they contain a verse between 13 and 14 containing the letter נ nun and renders the translation as added by more recent translations as “Elohim is faithful in all His words and kind in all His works”. Be that as it may, despite many different theories as to why or why not this line is in or out, what we see here is a wonderful Tehillah of praise for a Mighty Elohim and I would like for us to look at some key words contained herein that will expand our understanding of the great praise that is due to the Great I AM!
Dawiḏ declares straight up “I exalt You, my Elohim, o Sovereign and bless your Name!”
The root word used here for אֲרוֹמִמְךָ “arumimcha” - ‘I exalt you’ is רוּם rum Strong’s H7311 which means ‘to rise, raise up, be high and lifted, exalted’. Dawiḏ is declaring that He lifts up and exalts Elohim – this is whom he is praising – Mighty Elohim and declares that he will abundantly bless his Name forever and ever!!! The word ‘forever’ in Hebrew already emphasises permanence and everlasting, continual and never ending praise, yet he adds the word translated as ‘ever’ emphasising that his praise and ability to bless the Name of the Mighty Elohim will last for eternity.
Our praise shall be as eternal and everlasting as the Elohim we praise – in whom there is no end!
Luqas/Luke 1:33 “And He shall reign over the house of Ya’aqoḇ forever, and there shall be no end to His reign.”
Just as there shall be no end to the reign of Messiah, so shall there be no end to our praise of Him!
This is the one thing that we have been called to do now that we will continue to do in eternity, and we are to praise Him here and now as we sojourn, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in!
Tehillim/Psalm 35:28 “And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness, Your praise, All day long.”
Can you declare this as Dawiḏ does? All day long – bless and praise and speak of His righteousness?
Tehillim/Psalm 44:8 “In Elohim we shall boast all day long, and praise Your Name forever. Selah.”
All day long people may twist your words (Tehillim/Psalm 56:5) or you may be plagued all day long (Tehillim/Psalm 73:14) and may even be reproached all day long (Tehillim/Psalm 102:8), but will you bless and praise His Name all day long?
Dawiḏ declares that Elohim alone is great and greatly to be praised! The word for ‘great’ is גָּדוֹל gadol – Strong’s H1419 and means, ‘great, highest, mighty, marvelous’ and he says in:
Shemuʼĕl Bet/2 Samuel 7:22 “You are great indeed, O Master יהוה. For there is none like You, and there is no Elohim but You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”
We serve a great Ěl who must be greatly praised!!! The word used here for greatly is מְאֹד meod – Strong’s H3966 which carries the meaning of, ‘muchness, abundance, diligently, exceedingly, excessive, fully, immense’. I think we get the picture here!!! Our diligent praise for our Great and Mighty Ěl must be in abundance and exceedingly immense which continually grows and grows in intensity as His greatness is unsearchable!
Romiyim/Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of riches, and wisdom and knowledge of Elohim! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!”
In verse 4 we clearly see the call for us to heed the responsibility of passing on the necessity of great praise to the next! Each generation needs to ‘catch’ the intensity of the praises of the last and echo them with and urgency of passing this passionate and zealous praise to the next, and so we have a responsibility here and now to make known His Greatness and this is not done in silence! The word used in verse 4 for praise is שָׁבַח shabach – Strong’s H7623 which means, ‘to laud; to praise; commend; congratulate; to address in a loud voice; proclaim; make exuberant statements as to the excellence of someone’. It is also used in:
Tehillim/Psalm 63: 3 “Because Your kindness is better than life, My lips do praise You.”
Shout aloud His praises! How sad it is when so many are seemingly afraid to give a shout offering to יהוה! In Tehillim/Psalm 117:1 the Hebrew word ‘shabach’ is translated into English as ‘extol’ which gives the meaning ‘to praise highly’. In other words – lift up your voice and praise! And this is what is done generation to generation – but how will the next generation know how to lift up their voice and praise of the preceding one does not show them!!!
We are to lift up our voice and praise and we are to ‘declare’ His mighty acts! The word for declare is נָגַד nagad – Strong’s H5046 meaning, ‘make known, announce, declare, publish and stand out boldly in opposition’. We are to be a bold and loud people who praise and declare His works and acts – are you doing that? For starters, in order to do that you need to know just what His works and His mighty acts are!!! If you do not know Him and His word you cannot lift up your voice with boldness and praise and this is the responsibility we carry in ensuring that the next generation will do the same! Sadly we have inherited lies and so there has been a large gap in the ability to exceedingly and boldly praise יהוה, which we now as a people must take up the responsibility in restoring this awesome and great privilege and responsibility, aměn!
In verse 5 the repeated word for declare is not the same but rather is שִׂיחַ siach – Strong’s H7878 meaning, ‘talk, meditate, sing, speak’ and the basic meaning of this verb seems to carry the picture of rehearsing or repent or go over a matter in one’s mind and is used in reference to silent reflection on the works of Elohim, and so we see that we are to not only have the silent reflections and meditations but we are also to rehearse aloud His works. As the world battles for the attention of the mind through ever increasing tactics of very attractive and ever increasing forms of media persuasion, we need to realise just how important it is for us to be renewing our minds daily, guarding against the danger of being conformed to the patterns of this world and at the same time we need to make our voice of praise and the declaration of our lips heard with great passion and zeal so that the next generation are not lured away by the fleshly attraction of the world!
Who says praising יהוה and declaring His mighty acts is boring? We have a huge responsibility in showing that it is far from it, but rather it is a great joy and delight and far better that the fleeting passions the world has to offer – and it is up to us to live it and show it!
We are to be a praising, singing and declaring people – verse 7 tells us that the righteous sing of His righteousness. The word used for sing here is רָנַן ranan – Strong’s H7442 and means, ‘to give a ringing cry!’ That is to ‘cry for joy, cry aloud, joyfully sing, shout for joy or sing aloud for joy’! I often think that we, at times, read these verses without recognising the intensity of the passion and love for Elohim that Dawiḏ had and lack the fire for praise and singing and declaring that he had, hence the need for me to expand on the meaning of these most powerful words that ought to bring alive the desire to praise and shout aloud to our Great King!
It is often very easy to see in the world how so many will give a ringing cry and shout aloud for their ‘sporting heroes’ – just look at a rugby or soccer match and see how the ‘fans’ will scream and shout and get all ‘dressed up’ to shout and scram for their heroes. Many will even know all the stats of their favourite players and talk about them to others, while when it comes to praising and giving a ringing cry of joy for יהוה they suddenly lose their tongue, which simply reveals what is in the heart! We are to be a people who are willing to give a joyous ringing cry for our wonderful Maker and Creator, clothed continually in garments of righteousness and praise!
In the verse 7-9 as well as 17 we see some very illustrative words of the personality of יהוה, which certainly brings us clarity as to who we are to be greatly praising:
We see words such as:
Goodness; righteousness; compassionate; patient; lovingly-committed and good to all!
His goodness is the object of our praise and it is His goodness that ensures us of His doing things right, reflected in His justice and righteousness being the foundation of His throne. His righteousness speaks of His steadfastness of not deviating from His decreed standard and He is patient and compassionate toward us:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:11 “See, we call those blessed who endure. You have heard of the endurance of Iyoḇ and saw the purpose of יהוה, that He is very sympathetic and compassionate.”
Tehillim/Psalm 86:15 “But You, O יהוה, are a compassionate Ěl and showing favour, patient and great in kindness and truth.”
He is patient and good to all:
Kěpha Bet/2 Peter 3:9 “יהוה is not slow in regard to the promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward us, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Dawiḏ continues to strengthen his cause for praising Elohim in declaring the superiority of יהוה declaring the splendour of the reign of יהוה, the Mighty Elohim who has made all and that all creation will praise Him. This Tehillah certainly reveals to us what was upon the heart of Dawiḏ. There is a link between what in on our hearts and what is expressed from our mouths – we speak what is upon our hearts. There are many who love to talk about sport and the latest results, while others love talking about their careers or the latest fashion trends or money or even the weather! If you want to know what someone holds dear to their hearts – in other words ‘what they care about’ then just listen to their speech and hear what they passionately talk about.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 16:23 “The heart of the wise gives discretion to his mouth, and he increases learning to his lips.”
If our hearts are set on wisdom and praise, our mouths will speak and declare accordingly and if they are set on others things that will certainly come out too!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:23 “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the sources of life.”
Let me simply tell you that this is a fact: If our hearts are filled daily with יהוה’s presence and His Living word as we eat our daily lawful bread, then we would not stop talking about Him to others – what is on your heart?
Verse 12 speaks of our urgent need to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts – now to do that our hearts need to be filled with His mighty acts and to have our hearts filled we need to be digging in and studying and meditating upon His Word – being filled with the witness of His mighty Acts.
In verse 14-16 we see the provision of יהוה and how He is powerful and awesome and is tender and focused upon our needs. He upholds or supports the falling – in other word’s we can lean on Him, and when we do we are sure not to fall, as He carries our burdens and satisfies our desires. Verse 16 puts it beautifully: Opening Your hand and satisfying the desire of all that live! He has not withheld His Hand from us – He has extended His Hand and opened it up before us and extended His loving-commitment toward us that we may be satisfied in Him.
יהוה is lovingly-committed in all His works and that is a great assurance for us for eh remains steadfast in His commitment to His love toward us and will not break His covenant with us – this we can be sure of and we are called to guard loving commitment
Hoshěa/Hosea 12:6 “Therefore, return to your Elohim. Guard loving-commitment and right-ruling, and wait on your Elohim continually.”
He is lovingly-committed and He expects us to be too and our ability to praise, sing and declare His Name and His mighty works continually will equip us in striving to guard loving commitment and right ruling.
Verse 18-19 reminds us how יהוה is near to us – he is near to those who call upon His Name and we need to declare this to remind us of this fact – as we draw near to Him, He draws near to us! When we call He is there – when we call upon Him in Truth that is!!! Many are calling upon Him in vain – let us not do that but as we guard loving-commitment and right-ruling then we are well equipped to walk in Truth and are able to call upon Him who is near!
Verse 20 gives the reminder of the assurance that יהוה preserves or is the keeper of all those loving Him, and as we all know what loving Him is – but I will remind you anyway:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands.”
He preserves those who loving Him and destroys those who are not – that simple!
When Sha’ul told Corinth that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up I believe he was referring to a greater truth than what is taught in error today as you hear many will say that all the learning we do on the Torah walk will just puff us up and we lack love. Well as we see that Scripture is clear – love is not merely an emotion but rather is an ability to guard and obey His commands and so here what Sha’ul was saying is this – if you just get knowledge and do not walk in that knowledge then it will puff you up, whereas love for elohim is the application or the doing of the knowledge that we gain through meditating upon His Good Word!
Dawiḏ ends this Tehillah with a bold reminder that his mouth will speak the praise of יהוה - that is His praise – not our own – we speak His praise and all flesh must bless His set-apart Name – forever and ever!!!
Are you greatly praising the Great I AM?
I want to end with showing what words are linked with the Name of יהוה in this Tehillah, as a summary of who we are to be praising and why:
גָּדוֹל יהוה - ‘gadol Yahweh’ – The Great יהוה (Verse 3)
חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם יהוה – ‘ḥanun v’raḥum Yahweh’ – Gracious and Compassionate יהוה (Verse 8)
טוֹב־יהוה - ‘toḇ Yahweh’ – Goodness of יהוה (Verse9)
יוֹדוּךָ יהוה – ‘yoducha Yahweh’ – We praise you יהוה (Verse 10)
סוֹמֵךְ יהוה - ‘somech Yahweh’ – יהוה upholds/supports (Verse 14)
צַדִּיק יהוה - ‘tsaddiq Yahweh’ – Righteous יהוה (Verse 17)
קָרוֹב יהוה – ‘karoḇ Yahweh’- יהוה draws near (Verse18)
שׁוֹמֵר יהוה – ‘shomer Yahweh’ – יהוה is the keeper (Verse 20)
תְּהִלַּת יהוה – ‘tehillat Yahweh’ – praise of יהוה (Verse 21)
I hope that as you read through this tehillah that you will be greatly encouraged to be greatly praising the Great I AM.
This Tehillah is certainly a song of praise that can lift our hearts into praising Him and it has been customary for many to actually pray or recite this 3 times a day! I am not telling you to do that, but I do believe that as we meditate on these words we will grow in our ability to boldly sing, praise, declare and exalt the Name of the Most High – no matter where we are or what we are going through for we serve and praise a great, gracious, compassionate, and righteous El who upholds us, keeps us and in near to us when we call for He is Good and His loving-commitment endures forever!
Praise is an integral part of the body for which we all must partake in and it carries great significance in regards to the completeness of the service of the House!
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 9:25 “And three times a year Shelomoh brought burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he had built for יהוה, and he burned incense with that which was before יהוה – thus gave completeness to the House.”
3 times a year (Feasts times) slaughter and peace offerings were brought giving completeness to the House. So much so that we see in the next chapter:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 10:1 “And the sovereigness of Sheḇa heard of the report of Shelomoh concerning the Name of יהוה, and came to try him with hard questions.”
She saw the witness of Shelomoh and witnessed the completeness of the House through its service and function and she saw the standard of excellence displayed in the service of the House of Elohim, which resulted in her praising יהוה!
We need to take up the responsibility of bringing the excellence of pure worship and praise in service to יהוה back into the body that is being built up in Messiah as we let the praises of our King and the voice of joy and gladness be heard!
In speaking of what will once again be heard in the House of יהוה, we see in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 33:11 “the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who are saying, “Praise יהוה of hosts, for יהוה is good, for His kindness is forever,” of those who are bringing the offering of praise into the House of יהוה. For I shall turn back the captivity of the land, as at the first,’ declares יהוה.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:15 “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.”
Let us greatly praise the Great I AM and let others witness and see the completeness of the House being rehearsed daily, that may result in many turning to and praising יהוה!
ARE YOU GREATLY PRAISING THE GREAT I AM?