A “HALAL” TYPE OF PRAISE
“And when the trumpeters and singers were joined in unison, making one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and other instruments for song and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever, then the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14).
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORSHIP AND PRAISE?
It has been said, ‘Worship has to do with ESTIMATION. Praise has to do with ARTICULATION.’ You can worship God without a sound. Praise, however, is articulation of the atoning heart. When we praise God, we give vent and voice to our heart of worship.
The Bible encourages us, exhorts, even COMMANDS US to ‘Praise the Lord’. So, what is PRAISE? “Oh, that’s easy. Praise is three fast choruses we sing to start with on Sunday mornings. Then worship is three slow ones we sing after that!” Is that right? No, it’s not.
In the New Testament, the words praise, worship, glory, and honour are ALL translated from one Greek word “doxa“. Its’ base meaning is GLORY; it’s where we get the word “doxology” from.
‘MAKING A JOYFUL NOISE TO THE LORD’
Don’t say, “I’m praising silently this morning.” You cant’ “praise” silently. You may be “worshipful,” you may be “adoring,” but “PRAISE” requires something from us: ACTION or VOICE!
BREAKTHROUGH PRAISE [2 Chronicles 5:13-14]
The scene portrayed here was at the opening and dedication of Solomon’s Temple and a time of celebration. There was “halal“, a higher form of praise, in the Hebrew language, was present; in one voice, in thanks and praise. After, then the cloud of glory showed up!
Praise secures God’s manifest presence.
When was the last time you saw the glory of God in such an awesome way, that people were simply UNABLE to proceed with ‘business as usual’; doing “church stuff”, or the last time God took over the order of service? I have been in those services and it makes me hungry for them because of what I’ve experienced. All sense of time is lost and God orchestrates His own meeting. I am not talking about NOT PREACHING, which always gives primary place to the Word of God. What I am praying for and expecting is the glory of God demonstrated in such a way that our prepared song lists get forgotten, announcements are completely left out, Church runs overtime and NOBODY CARES. It’s because the praise is so effective, the preaching is so anointed, the gifts of the Spirit are flowing that NO-ONE knows what God’s going to do next. The glory of God is in this HOUSE!
There comes a time of breakthrough for true believers and in this passage of 2 Chronicles, we read the Shekinah glory, GOD’S MANIFEST PRESENCE is linked with people praising Him.
Don’t you know in Psalms 22:3, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.” PRAISE secures God’s manifest presence!
GOD TAKING HIS ‘RIGHTFUL PLACE’ IN OUR MIDST [2 Chronicles 5:13-14]
As His people begin to praise and magnify Him in their midst, God begins to take His rightful place among them. He becomes ‘enthroned’ as His name is exalted. This seems to be exactly what happened in the Temple that day, ‘when the song was raised in praise to YHWH.’ The TEMPLE was filled with the cloud of God’s presence; God taking His place in the midst of His people.
What I have discerned from the Scriptures, there is no reason not to expect this sort of thing happening in the present day. There comes a ‘big but’…, ‘we must notice God dispensed with taking up His residence in limiting geographical locations with the advent of the New Covenant.’ Now, He comes to dwell within the true believer so that each follower is a reflection of the old tabernacle and Temples, which were built to house Him in the Old Testament.
PRAISE SECURES VICTORY [READ: 2 Chronicles 20:15-22]
On this occasion, ‘Praise became the song of the supernatural.’ Do you need a victory in some area of your life? Instead of focussing ALL the time on that situation, on that mountain, START TO PRAISE HIM! God inhabits our praises!
PRAISE SECURES UNBURDENING
“To grant [consolation and JOY] to those who mourn in Zion–to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of PRAISE instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit–that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3 AMP).
I was pouring over my notes on the topic and my spirit was reminded of an old cartoon character, that wherever he went, there was a rain cloud over him. Since I couldn’t remember his name, I researched [Googled the name] on the web. His name was Joe Bfstplk from the famous “L’ il Abner” comic strip by Al Capp. I used to read it every Sunday morning when I was a kid.
We can get a defeated attitude when we feel like that cartoon character. The Bible tells us “put on the garment of PRAISE, for the spirit of heaviness,” or, in other words, “EXCHANGE THAT SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS FOR PRAISES.”
WORSHIP AND PRAISE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
We are living in a day in which God is inviting us to enter into a deeper dimension of His presence; beyond what we could even imagine. JESUS said to the Samaritan woman who He met,
“A time will come…indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshippers. God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth (reality)” (John 4:23-24 AMP).
And Paul echoed the truth (Phil 3:3) that the Church is “…the true circumcision who worship [rather “minister to” or “serve” – Strong’s Greek number 3000] God in spirit.”
The woman of Samaria’s emphasis was ‘where worship was to take place’ (John 4:20). Where the idea behind her statement was the external religious right being performed through sacrifices and offerings on the ‘alternative’ hill, rather than at the Temple by the Jews.
But Jesus corrected her in the Biblical account. Geographical location wasn’t important, neither were any external physical rites being performed if, inside man, there was no worship. It was certainly important where worship took place but that meant true believers should depend no longer on external religious observances but on the matters of the heart.
To be a true worshipper of YHWH, you won’t just worship God in spirit but also in the full and true revelation of who God is; the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, the Son of God:
“He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3 AMP).
BREAKTHROUGH CAN AND WILL HAPPEN
How many of you reading this would like to see…
1. BREAKTHROUGH in some circumstance/situation?
2. BREAKTHROUGH in your Christian experience/life of faith? Either feeling dry and thirsty; seem to be a ceiling over your level of worship and praise.
3. BREAKTHROUGH in our church’s corporate expressions of praise and worship (Psalm 71:14)?
Let me leave you with the breakthrough of POWER and PRAISE, the Halal or Hallelujah Praises:
READ: Psalm 150, (The paraphrase as follows…
VS 1 – Praise Him if you’re here, praise Him if you’re there.
VS 2 – Praise Him if He’s done THIS for you, praise Him if He’s done THAT for you.
VS 3-5 – Praise Him if you can play any kind of instrument, praise Him if you can just crash a cymbal.
VS 6 – Finally–if you don’t fall into any of the above categories-IF YOU’RE BREATHING WILL YOU PRAISE HIM?! He’s worthy of it!).
1 Peter 2:10 (The very reason for the church’s being); If we do not praise Him, the very stones would cry out. If we do not praise Him, we won’t know the tremendous power of breakthrough that it brings. I don’t know about you, but I’m NOT going to let any rocks out praise me!