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 will say: “Praise the Lord of hosts,
for the Lord is good, for His mercy endures forever”—and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the Lord. NKJV
Whenever I think of the phrase “sacrifice of praise” I think of a person who is struggling in the Lord, and out of that struggle, they give God praise! Even now, I have a tendency of thinking that way. But nothing could be further from the truth!
Tôdâ is the Hebrew word from which we get our English word, thanksgiving or sacrifice of praise. It is a time of dancing and singing before the Lord and not a time of mourning and struggling.
Jeremiah describes tôdâ in the key verse as a voice of joy and gladness! He depicts it as the bride and groom’s voice who say, “praise the Lord”! This sounds like a time of celebration! Not a time of struggling!
David used the word tôdâ in several of his psalms to the Lord. In Psalm 26, David stated:
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works. Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house,Psalm 26:7b-8 NKJV
And the place where Your glory dwells.
The voice of thanksgiving is the voice of tôdâ, which is also the sacrifice of praise. I believe in this rendering of the Hebrew word tôdâ, the sacrifice of praise is not a solemn occasion or an effort to praise God when you don’t feel like it. I believe the act of praise, or tôdâ, is the sacrifice! In place of bulls or goats, we are to bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord our God! Praise filled with thanksgiving for all the wonderful things God has done for us!
Asaph was given the responsibility, as a Levite, to offer praise to the Lord in the temple that Solomon built. David had assigned him and the tribe of Levites to this task to ensure that praise and worship were held day and night and on every special occasion. Asaph wrote this psalm of the Lord:
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct arightPsalm 50:23 NKJV
I will show the salvation of God.”
Whoever offers tôdâ to the Lord brings Him glory! Why? Because the voice of joy and thanksgiving is a sweet-smelling aroma before the Lord! As we offer thanks to Him for His wonderful works, mercy, and grace towards us, it brings Him glory! It’s a sacrifice He can appreciate!
Jonah recognized his foolishness while sitting in the great fish’s belly. He had done all he could to avoid God’s will and ended up in an impossible situation. Jonah wrote:
“Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy. But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.”Jonah 2:8-9 NKJV
Jonah was in a tough situation. He had messed up before God. But as he began to offer the sacrifice of praise with a voice of thanksgiving, God had the fish spit him up on the dry ground! There is power in our praise! Not the “woe is me” praise, but the praise that is filled with such thanksgiving to the Lord that things begin to change in our lives!
Whenever the Israelites needed to get back in sync with the Lord, they offered tôdâ to the Lord. This sacrifice of praise, rendered via thanksgiving, set them in the mind frame of recognizing the greatness of God! When Hezekiah became king of Judah, he cleansed the temples, restored the Levites to offering praise in the temple, and set God’s house back in order! (2 Chronicles 29:31)
When Nehemiah dedicated the wall of Jerusalem, he called for the Levites to offer tôdâ to the Lord for helping them to accomplish the task:
Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.Nehemiah 12:27 NKJV
They even formed two thanksgiving choirs to participate in the offering of tôdâ! It was a high time of celebration! And any time we stop and celebrate the Lord is a good time!
One of my favorite scriptures using tôdâ also happens to be in one of my favorite psalms, Psalm 100:
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.Psalm 100:4 -5 NKJV
I learned this verse as a young believer in the Lord. It’s a reminder to me of the way I am to enter into the place of worship, my church. I used to be a part of the praise team, and we would always discuss how we noticed when people were disengaged during the time of worship.
Since I had already made a covenant with the Lord that Psalm 100:4 would be my attitude for worship, it didn’t affect me because it was never about the people. It was always about how I wanted to approach the Lord!
Even in my time before the Lord, I spend time singing, but mostly I give Him thanks! Sometimes I seem repetitive for the things that I thank Him for, but I don’t care; I just keep thanking Him! I thank Him continuously for being a good God and Father to me. I thank Him for His hand in my life! I thank Him because I have the privilege of praying to Him! I thank Him because He has been better to me than I can ever be to myself! So, I truly appreciate that tôdâ is an expression of praise through thanksgiving because He is worthy of that type of praise from all of us!
So the next time you hear the phrase “sacrifice of praise,” understand that you are not sacrificially praising God because you don’t feel like it; it’s just the opposite! You are offering up a sacrifice that only you can give to the Lord, one of thanksgiving for all He has done and all He has been to you! He’s worthy of the sacrifice and so worthy of the praise! Wonderful Jesus!