Psalm 150:6- “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord! KJV
I was about eleven when I visited my first “sanctified” church. I went with a friend and her family to a church that was out in the country. I remember they packed food to take with us, and I thought that was unusual until we arrived. They had a morning service, a meal, and an evening service. We were there all day!
What was so memorable to me was that when the pastor got up, he asked me to read Psalm 150 out loud. I read,
Praise ye the Lord!Psalm 150:1a KJV
And suddenly the people went wild with shouts and banging on instruments. After a time, he said, “Read!” And so nervously I read the next words,
Praise God in his sanctuary!Psalm 150:1b KJV
And they erupted again! This continued for the remainder of the reading, which took quite some time to complete. Needless to say, I was so uncomfortable with this display of emotion and the length of the service that I never returned to the church again.
Unfortunately, what I saw then and believe now are so closely related to one another that I can’t help but reminisce about that day with a smile on my heart. What I didn’t know then that they completely understood is that it is always a good thing to give praise to the Lord! I think had they explained it to me beforehand (maybe they did, and I missed it), I would have been able to relate. There is just something wonderful about praising the Lord!
Praise is the act of adoration and celebration of God! It is both a noun and a verb, and in Webster’s dictionary, several key points are mentioned, which we will explore throughout this series. But for today’s blog, it is an act of adoration and celebration of God!
Blogging about prayer over the past few weeks has put me in the mind of praising God. As I was thinking of the direction of my blogs, it was easy to make the shift to writing about the power of praise. Although we use only one word to describe the many facets of praise, in the Bible, there are multiple words to express the praise that is rendered to God. Those different expressions will be my focus for the next several weeks!
In today’s blog, I will briefly discuss the different methods or ways we can praise God. Singing is a universal form of praise to the Lord. When the children of Israel crossed over the Red Sea, the first thing they did was sing praise to the Lord:
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.Exodus 15:1 KJV
As they sang, they immediately transitioned into another form of praise, the dance!
And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.Exodus 15:20 KJV
And while they were dancing, they used another method of praise, the instruments! Miriam took her timbrel and led the women into glorious praise of the Great God, their deliverer! She sang, she played, and she danced because God had done what He had promised!
They praised God for triumphing over the Egyptians! They gave Him praise for drowning Pharaoh and his army in the sea! They praised Him for gathering the waters into a heap that allowed them to cross over on dry land! They praised Him for the land that He was leading them to, to plant them as a nation! And they continued to praise Him for His strength, deliverance, greatness, and so forth!
But God didn’t stop being an awesome and amazing God to them! As they continued their journey to the promised land after they arrived and conquered their enemies, after they were established as a nation, and even to this present day, His faithfulness has not ceased to them, nor to us!
This is why, on that Sunday many decades ago, when the people heard those words in the psalm, they lifted up their voices, played the instruments, and danced across the sanctuary in praise to the God who is worthy of all of that and so much more!
Halal ye the Lord. Halal God in his sanctuary: halal him in the firmament of his power. Halal him for his mighty acts: halal him according to his excellent greatness. Halal him with the sound of the trumpet: halal him with the psaltery and harp. Halal him with the timbrel and dance: halal him with stringed instruments and organs. Halal him upon the loud cymbals: halal him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath halal the Lord. Halal ye the Lord. (Halals are included by me, not in KJV)!Psalm 150:1-6 KJV
This praise is the praise, halal. It means to boast about the Lord! It gives the picture of one who makes a show of what they are doing, as they foolishly celebrate while praising. I can assure you that to me, they looked a little foolish and definitely were acting that way! But that’s what halal looks like!
David understood this type of halal! As he and the thirty thousand chosen men of Israel headed home with the ark of the covenant,
And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.2 Samuel 6:5 KJV
They were having a hallelujah, or halal time, before the Lord. But someone who wasn’t supposed to touch the ark touched it and died. This killed the mood of praisers. They left the ark for three months with Obededom, then returned to get it. This time around, the ark made it to Jerusalem!
And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.2 Samuel 6:14-16 KJV
David really got his dance on this time! He danced with all of his might in halal to God! They created such a ruckus coming back with the ark that people gathered to see the celebration. One person, his wife, saw him praising God and despised him in her heart! And then she criticized him to his face! God was not pleased with her attitude, and she was barren for the rest of her days.
People who halal the Lord may look crazy, even like something is wrong with them. But you don’t know what God has done for that person. You don’t know the deliverance they have experienced. The miracle they have seen God do for them! You don’t know!
But you should know that God is worthy of the halal kind of praise. He is worthy of us looking like we are crazy when we praise Him. He is worthy of us garnering attention that makes people sneer at us. He is worthy of all that and more!
If you are feeling a need to get up and dance, sing, or play on timbrel, go right ahead and halal the Lord! I’ve gotten with the program and have experienced halal on many occasions! He’s worthy of the halal, so let everything that has breath give it to Him! Halal ye the Lord! Wonderful Jesus!