In Hebrew, 'halal' is one of the many words translated 'praise'. Its specific meaning is, "to laud, to celebrate, or to boast".
'Yadah' is another form of the word praise, coming from the Hebrew root 'yad' or 'hand'. Yadah means, literally, "to worship with extended hands". (Sidenote. Parents - - think of the first time your child reached their arms for you. That wonderful feeling is the same God gets when His children reach for Him, except of course, exponentially more for us than we as earthly parents could feel for our earthly children. Lifting our hands shows our friendship, surrender, and need.)
'Barak' (not Obama) means "to declare God as the origin of power for success, prosperity, and victory." Aka.... Acknowledge that God is the reason for our successes.
'Shabach' means "to shout or commend loudly." Think of football games. Baseball games. World cups. People shout and yell, rooting for a bunch of guys in jerseys who professionally hurt other people. If we can get excited about that, we can sure as heck get excited about the Creator of the freakin' UNIVERSE! Can I get an Amen!!! (Seriously. Out loud. Shabach.)
'Gil' means "to circle in joy". To accompany your loud Amen, how about some movement of those hips.....
Sometimes I wonder how to praise God. My bible study this morning was such a great reminder that we have the perfect workbook on praise -- the Psalms. All of these versions of "praise" are mentioned in ONE PSALM ALONE! Psalm 150 is a beautiful depiction of what it is to worship God.
Why worship? Why give praise? Why cry out with thanksgiving and adoration?
1) "God loves to work with the background music of praise and worship." - John Courson's Bible Commentary. Job 38:4-7
2) The world was created to praise God! Revelation 4:11
3) The world will climax with the crescendo of praise. All creation is waiting (romans 8:22), and will break out in praise eventually at the return of Jesus Christ (every knee shall bow...)
4) God Himself dwells in a place of praise. We inhabit where we are most comfortable.... like our homes..... God's comfortable place is in praise. Psalm 22:3
5) Praise = entryway to God's presence. Psalm 100:4.
6) Praise is prescription from divine Physicial to help us overcome despair and depression. Isaiah 61:3. Instead of complaining or analyzing, spend an hour honoring and worshiping.
7) Praise is a powerful weapon in overcoming the wickedness of Satan. After the fall of "Lucifer" or Satan and 1/3 of the heavenly hosts, when we praise, it reminds them of what they once were and can never be again. Thus, they flee.
8) Praise brings about liberation. When we praise, we are set free from sin and selfishness. Acts 16:25,26 and Jonah 2:9,10.
I often find myself leaning on the need to spend hours upon hours in the Word in order to know God, to study Him and read commentaries and listen to various sermons. While all of these things, I believe, are good things, the gateway to God's presence is through adoration, praise, lifting our eyes, the thanksgiving that comes with remembering the cross. I myself lack in doing these things. My prayers consist of "help so and so" or "God if it is your will...". What about "THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR A, B, AND C?!?" What about "God I PRAISE you!" These prayers are where we should be starting when seeking after God - when drawing closer to Him.
I was really encouraged by this study this morning and hope somebody somewhere has been encouraged as well.
Holy Bible: Psalm 150
John Courson Commentary Bible: A Topical Study of Psalm 150 (for pretty much this entire post. Thanks John.)