7 Hebrew Words For Praise: “Tehillah”
- Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises (tehillah) of Israel. (Ps 22:3)
- Rejoice in the Lord, o ye righteous, for praise (tehillah) is comely for the upright. (Ps 33:1)
With this message, we will complete and wrap up our series on the 7 Hebrew Words for Praise. As I said with the last message, my hope is that we’ve all been challenged, encouraged, and helped to understand the praise and worship of God isn’t just something we do…it’s what we were created for. We’re all created to bring glory to God. We’re all created to worship Him, and we know the Word says that if we don’t He will cause a rock to praise Him. I don’t know about you, but I’m in full agreement with the words of the old gospel song: “Ain’t no rock gonna cry out in my place.”…Amen!?!
So, let’s see what God is going to say to us as we close out this series, and what He has in mind for us through this last message.
I would like to thank all of you who have been patiently bearing with me through this series. I appreciate all of you who continue to follow along even though I’m not writing as frequently as I did last year. I’m enduring a new season of life, and working at becoming a reliable employee. I have seen my efforts have good results for my store, and I hope that eventually that will translate in to promotion and prosperity…but how many of you know that we rely upon God for promotions, raises, and accolades…Amen!?!
Anyways, let’s see what tehillah means, and how we say it…
Tehillah is derived from the word halal and means “the singing of halals, to sing or to laud; perceived to involve music, especially singing; hymns of the Spirit.
This word is pronounced T-HHIHL-ah, teh-i-lla, or te-hil-la. I suppose that’s not extremely helpful is it. So…let’s talk more about what this word means, and how it relates to us when it comes to worship.
So, Psalm 34:1 clears up this word and worship for us, doesn’t it. “His praise (tehillah) shall continually be in my mouth.” Do you know what that means? It’s just like we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. That verse simply says that we’re to “Pray without ceasing.”, and Psalm 34:1 says that His praise shall “continually be in my mouth”.
Can I tell you that I don’t walk around all day long saying: “My Precious, Heavenly Father”, and say some long prayer that never ends. I walk around often, and I’ll have something on my mind or heart…and say something like: “You know, Lord, I’m tired today…I need Your strength…thank You for being with me.” or “Lord, I just want to tell say I love You.” or ‘Lord, help that person.” Can I tell you that God loves it when we talk to Him like He’s our friend, and not when we talk to Him like He’s some kind of distant dictator who has no interest in a personal, intimate relationship with Him!?!
We’ve talked about this before, and it’s interesting that we’re talking about this in context of not just prayer, but praising God, too. Can I tell you that everything we see is a reason to praise God? Thank You, Lord for the birds, the grass, the trees, the sun, the rain, the moon, the stars, my dog, my life, my health, my family, my wife, my children, my husband, my parents, my grandmother who prayed over me, for the Bible, for my computer, my phone, worship music…can you see how our praises for Him can and should be continually in our mouths!?!
Just like we can walk around praying without ceasing…we can walk around praising God without ceasing too, Amen. Praise and prayer are necessary in the daily life and walk of the believer. Let’s take a moment to think about the things that we’re suppose to do daily. We have a list…don’t we!?! God’s kind of given us a “honey do” list, hasn’t He? For those of you who are married, like me, we all know what the honey do list is…don’t we.
Let’s take a look at the Lord’s honey do list.
- We’re to pray without ceasing.
- We’re to pick up our cross daily.
- We’re to search the scriptures daily. (that’s daily time in the Word).
- We’re to have His praises continually in our mouths.
- We’re to do all that we do for the glory of God, and not man…every day.
- We’re to love our neighbors, enemies, and ourselves…every day.
- We’re to walk out our own salvation…every day.
- We’re to examine ourselves…every day.
How’s that for a list. Those are things we’re suppose to do every single day. I can admit that some times…I don’t do any of those things in a day. I can admit that some days I do some of them. I can also admit that there are a lot of days where I don’t do enough of them. I’m sure we all can admit we don’t spend enough time reading the Word of God, can’t we. I know we can admit we don’t walk around praying or worshiping without ceasing…but that’s part of that taking up our cross daily and walking with Him daily.
I can admit I have days where I don’t feel like doing any of those things. Come on, are we all so super spiritual that we can’t admit that we don’t read the Bible, pray, or worship God like we should?
Can I get back to something I talked about in a few messages during this series? The subject of being judgmental is coming back to my heart. I’m sure there’s more that I could add to our daily list of things we’re to do, but one thing I’m sure wouldn’t make that list is pointing out the flaws in other believers lives. You know, I look at that list, and I’m convicted that I even think I have the time to take a look at someone else’s life…anyone else get that conviction?
There’s enough in that list right there for me to not have any time at all to focus or judge someone else’s walk with God. It also goes to show that if we’re doing those things daily our focus will not only be upon our own lives…but upon God…and that means if our focus is on us and our own walk with God then it won’t be on what everyone else or anyone else is doing.
The one thing that I have found is that when I’m focused on what everyone else is doing…God will actually ask me what business is it of mine. Being judgmental is one of those things that God will immediately correct me on…especially being in ministry. Why? It’s not my job. It’s not my job as a pastor to pass judgement upon someone else’s life. It’s not even my job as a Christian. My job as a Christian is to make sure that MY life is worthy of God, and if I’m honest with you…there’s enough of my daily life that ISN’T. So, what in the world gives me the time or the right to look at your life, and judge it.
I said this in the first message. Now where does the Bible say that we’re to go around beating people over the head with their failures. If it does, and you can show me where that verse is…then I will be glad to change what I’m writing…but the fact is…God doesn’t give us the right or place to judge other believers…because He’s not hiring for the job. That is HIS job, and HIS job alone.
For those of you on Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else being judgmental and having a critical spirit over what someone is doing…what are you doing that can be judged? Matthew 7 is very clear about how we are to be careful when we pass judgement upon others because the same judgment we pass is going to be used against us.
Listen, I don’t know about you, but I have enough that I can judge myself upon. I don’t have time to look at your life, and point out the speck in your eye because mine is full of logs, beams, and specks of my own. I also don’t need you to point out the logs, beams, and specks in my eye…that’s not your job…it’s God’s.
The Bible tells us to pray for one another, love one another, to bear with one another, and no where does it say judge one another. We’re allowed to judge the fruit of someone’s life in order to make a wise decision as to whether or not they ought to be a part of our lives…but just because their fruit may show we ought not hang out with them…still does NOT authorize us to judge them…we’re to judge their fruit.
You know, there are many who talk about loving people, and then I see tweets about how they can’t believe so and so could do such and such. Hypocrite…what are you doing that someone is saying I can’t believe they’re doing such and such? Better yet, what are you doing that Jesus could ask why you’re doing such and such. The Holy Spirit has something to say to all of us right here…right now…are you ready!?!
We ALL live in glass houses…and that means NONE of us ought to be throwing stones. The ONLY ONE worthy of throwing a stone said: “Where are your accusers? There aren’t any? Well, neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
Friends, listen to me. That list is by no means an exhaustive list of what God expects of us on a daily basis, but what it says to me is that I have plenty to keep me busy. It tells me that I have enough to do within my own daily walk with God to take time out to make a judgement of yours…and I have also found that some of the things I can point out in judgment of your life…I am doing or not doing also. Remember the old “If you point at someone you have three fingers and a thumb pointing back at you.”?
So, now let’s get back to praying without ceasing, and the praises of God continually being in our mouths. We have so much to be thankful for as Christians that just praising God continually could, would, and should take all day. We should be praising God from sun up to sun down. I know, I don’t do that either, but I should. We should be praying from sun up to sun down. I know, I don’t do that either, but I should. Between those two things I should be too busy to worry about what you are or are not doing…because just upon those two things God has enough to convict me upon. Then, I have the nerve to add it judging someone else…how dare I? How prideful is that?
You know, Paul wrote pray without ceasing. He didn’t say that we should or might think about or ought to pray without ceasing, did he? Do you know what that means? It means by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Paul gave us a commandment that’s just as serious as Jesus’ commandments to love God and to love others. Paul said: “Pray without ceasing”. Friends, that’s not a suggestion…it’s a commandment. I believe the same thing can be said of David’s saying that God’s praises shall continually be in his mouth.
Listen, we all would like to be known by God as David was, wouldn’t we? I know I would. For those of you who don’t know, David was called by God as a man that was after the pursuit of His own heart. You know why God said that? Because David was a worshipper. David praised and worshipped God with that Halal which is brought back here in this word…”Tehillah is derived from the word halal and means “the singing of halals.” David was clamorously foolish about his praise and worship of God, and he did so continually. If we want to be known by God as a person after His heart…don’t you think we ought to act like the person who God named as a person after His heart? I don’t know about anyone else, but I do.
All of us as Christians ought to desire to be “Christ-like”. Many of us, myself included ought to want to imitate the greats like Paul, Peter, John, and David. If we want to be mighty men of faith…we ought to be like Peter and get out of the boat. If we want to be good, strong disciples we ought to want to strive like Paul to know nothing save Christ Jesus, and Him crucified. If we want to have love be the primary fruit of our lives, then we ought to learn how John loved, and see why Jesus tabbed John as His beloved disciple.
You see, I don’t know about anyone else, but there’s enough between praise, prayer, bible study, and focusing upon becoming a better man, pastor, husband, son, future father myself then to have time to judge you. In ministry, we do have access and the ability to be godly counsel…but that’s all we should do…counsel, pray, encourage, rebuke (only as the Lord directs), and that’s it. Let this message be a reminder to all of us, myself included, that we have enough to do every day to keep us busy, and focused on our heart, our actions, our motives, our fruit, and our lives to take the time out to focus on what anyone else is doing…Amen!?!
I believe this is the best place to wrap up this message, and this series. We’ve come full circle in that we’re back to having to take a look at ourselves, and stop looking at everyone else. I know I have been convicted through this series to make sure I have my house in order. I’m so thankful that this series has been so much fun, and with that…I will say thanks again for following along.
I think this has been a really good and fun series. I know that I’ve learned a lot from it, and I hope you have too. It’s time to close out this series, and I never like to close one without giving the opportunity for those of you who may not know Jesus to be introduced to Him. So, for those of you who have never met Him I would like to ask you to take a moment to visit the most important page on my WordPress site…the Do You Know Jesus page.
It’s going to give you some things to read, a music video to listen to, a video for you to watch, and it’s also going to give you an opportunity to make the most important decision of your life…what you’re going to do with and about Jesus.
I hope you’ll make the decision to say the prayer, and become a whosoever who’s called upon the name of the Lord.
Blessings & Grace to you
Pastor Bryan J. Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA
“My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 16:24 (KJV)