Scripture References:

  • Praise (halal) ye the Lord, praise (halal) o ye servants of the Lord, praise (halal) the name of the Lord. Ps 113: 1-3
  • Praise (halal) the Lord! Praise (halal) God in his sanctuary; Praise (halal) him in his mighty expanse. Ps 150:1
  • Let them praise (halal) his name in the dance: let them sing praises with the timbrel and harp. Ps 149:3

Introduction:

I got the idea for doing this series from the current series that we’re in at New Life Christian Center.  I hope that I can do this series as much justice as my pastor has, but that’s why we rely upon the Holy Spirit…amen!?!

This series is going to cover the 7 Hebrew words for the way people in the Bible praise God, and will hopefully help us to find some ways to praise Him too.

So, without much delay, let’s get into today’s message on Halal, and see what the Holy Ghost would have to teach us about this form of praise.

Today’s Message:  “Halal”

So, what in the world does Halal mean, and how in the world do we pronounce it? 

Halal is a primary Hebrew root word for praise. Our word “hallelujah” comes from this base word. It means “to be clear, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.”

halal (pronounced haw-lal’)

Haw-lal is how we say this word, and like the description says…this is where we get the word “Hallelujah” from.  What I’d like to point out here is the actual definition of the word.  That it means to be clear, to boast, to show, to rave, to celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.” when praising the Lord.  I think that many of you who have followed me for any length of time know where I’m heading with this topic, and can pretty much guess that this is going to be more of a message full of rebuke and challenges to be more clamorously foolish about worshipping God.

You see, I am a sports fan.  I don’t know how many of you are, but I am.  I have favorite teams in many sports.  For example, being from Wisconsin I am a serious Wisconsin Badger’s fan especially when it comes to football.  I’m not as big into the college basketball scene, but am always excited when the basketball team does well. I enjoy the fun bashing during the Major League Baseball season between loyal Chicago Cubs fans, and fans of the Chicago White Sox.  In fact, I inherited the management of a Chicago White Sox fan page on Facebook.  I am also a huge Washington Redskins fan, and am praying fervently that RGIII will recover from his knee injury and have the kind of year that Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson had after recovering from his.

I have no problem with people within the church being sports fans, and in fact my problem with the church in general is that there are many who think that we shouldn’t have any interests at all outside of Jesus, reading the Bible, going to church, and trying to be this holier than thou person in the world.  Listen, if you’re so religious and pious that you can’t enjoy a football game because it takes away from your time in the Word of God…good for you, but don’t judge my love for the Lord because I watch football all day on Saturday and as soon as I get home from church on Sunday.

However, where I do have a problem is that there are people who get more excited about what their favorite teams are doing then what God has done in their lives.  They have no problem being clamorously foolish about cheering on their teams, but when it comes to praising and worshiping God…they can’t hardly even holler and “Amen” or “Hallelujah” or “Praise the Lord”.

Listen, I now live in Arkansas where there’s a lot of fanatics when it comes to the Razorbacks, and after every touchdown the fans go crazy and yell out “Woo Pig Sooie” (to me is sounds more like Woopy Doo), but those same people will be in church with their hands in their pockets, checking their watches, and complaining that the worship team is singing the same song over and over wanting them to get on with the service.

Friends, I don’t know about you, but when I think about where my life was before God took control of it, and how my life is today…there’s no way I can stand in church or even sit in my car sometimes without raising my hands in praise and being clamorously foolish about my worship and adoration of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I don’t mind the worship team singing the same song over and over because whenever that happens that means that the Holy Spirit has shown up because all of us are worshipping in one accord like they did on the day of Pentecost, and so if they only get to sing one song for an hour…then that’s awesome because God’s moving and working on people’s lives and hearts.

Don’t you know that the best church services to be in are the ones where the preacher doesn’t even have to say anything because the power of God is so heavy all we can do is worship, and pray for people cause God wants to bring healing, restoration, and breakthrough to people’s lives!?!

Listen, I’m all for jumping around and shouting when the Redskins score a touchdown (especially when they score against the Giants, Cowboys, and Eagles), but I’m equally as excited when God delivers someone who has struggled for years with depression or alcoholism or healed from some kind of illness.  I’m all for clapping like a fool when someone on the White Sox hits a home run, but I’m also all for clapping like a fool when someone accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior during the altar call.

Friends, we should never feel like we can’t enjoy some of the things of this world.  Jesus enjoyed feasts and parties.  A lot of religious folk skim over the part about the marriage feast, and we know that Jesus celebrated the Passover with the disciples…He was born during the Jewish law by the way.  So, whenever the Jews had an occasion to celebrate…don’t you know that Jesus was probably there?

I have a bone to pick with all these super religious folk who say that we can’t listen to whatever kind of music we want or watch television shows like NCIS or Criminal Minds.  I have an issue with the religious folk who say that we should be reading our Bibles all day every day and never be on the computer or reading the newspaper or even reading a book by a favorite author that’s not writing Christian books.

I don’t think that as Christians we’re to be so religious that we can’t enjoy a good book, a Garth Brooks album or even have a favorite TV show like Criminal Minds.  I think that as Christians we’re not to allow those things to have more of an impact upon our lives then the Word of God.  I think that as Christians if we’d rather do these things than read the Bible or go to church…that’s not right…but to simple chastise people because they enjoy the entertainment that the world has to offer I don’t think is right…if you feel like watching television or movies or listening to certain kinds of music is wrong for you…then that’s the Holy Spirit telling you not to do those things…but don’t you dare take what the Holy Spirit says is wrong for you…and judge people who the Holy Spirit allows for those things that are wrong for you.

The Holy Spirit has made it clear to me that I’m to be careful what kinds of movies I watch, there are certain kinds of television shows He won’t allow me to watch, there are certain kinds of music that He won’t allow me to listen to, and there are other things He will allow me the grace to do that He might not allow someone else…but one thing He will definitely not allow me to do is judge someone who is allowed to watch certain kinds of movies, certain kinds of television shows, listen to certain kinds of music, and do thing He won’t allow me to do.  Why?  Because what’s between another person and the Holy Ghost is none of my business, and for me to force what He has told me is wrong for me on someone else isn’t trying to help them live holier lives…it’s me being spiritually proud and trying to force my beliefs upon someone else.

No where in the Bible does it say that we’re to go around beating people over the head with stuff they do is wrong…we’re to preach the gospel…we’re to preach the Word…and allow the HOLY SPIRIT to dictate to people’s lives what HE wants them to do and not do.  It’s not our job as Christians to point out the logs, specks, and beams in someone else’s eyes…it’s our job as Christians to love one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to pray for people, to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, and walk out OUR OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling.

I don’t know why this message went this way, but I guess the Holy Spirit has some things to say here about how critical and judgmental we are of other people’s business.  I am not here to be judge, jury, and executioner.  I am here to preach the Word, to preach the Gospel, and to do the best I can to write good, sound Bible based…Holy Ghost inspired messages.

It is okay for me to challenge people to be more clamorously foolish in their praise and worship for the Lord, but it’s not okay for me to criticize people for the way they worship God.  Maybe they don’t know it’s okay to raise their hands and shout, or maybe they do that in their private worship time.  I know that I do things in my private worship time I don’t always do in church, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the Lord and praise Him like a fool when no one else is around.

I guess this message has taken this turn because I feel like there’s so many Christians who look down their nose at other believers because they don’t worship like they worship.  They do things like drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, the some time swear and lose their temper in traffic, and have extra marital affairs.  There are so many Christians who spend so much time judging the lives of others and throwing stones at folk and being like the Jews who were constantly testing Jesus with people like the woman caught in adultery.

We’re so quick to judge while Jesus told us to love one another, and to pray for one another and to bear one another’s burdens.  He never told us to be rude and obnoxious with what we believe, preach or teach…He told us to preach the gospel…and let God do the rest.

How much better a world we would have if people in the church would stick to doing just that.  Preaching the gospel, praying for people, loving them, and allowing God to decide what He wants to do in people’s lives instead of deciding what we want God to do in someone else’s life.  Listen, what God might want to do in my life may be completely different from what He wants to do in someone else’s.

No, friends, our job as Christians is to love one another as Christ loves us.  Our job as Christians is to bear one another’s burdens and pray for those who are hurting and struggling…not to tell them they must not have enough faith otherwise they would be healed or whatever.  Our job as Christians is to edify and build one another up…not tear each other down, and make ourselves out to be some religious giant over someone else.  That’s not true Christianity.

No, true Christianity loves regardless of spot or wrinkle.  True Christianity says of course I will pray for you, and believes God to do what He needs to do in the lives of those we pray for.  True Christianity reaches out to fill a need.  Being Jesus to people means that we’re to show mercy, peace, compassion, love, patience, long-suffering with one another…and allowing God to do what He wants to do in, and with, and through their lives.

When we take more time to look at ourselves in the mirror and allow God what He wants to do in our lives…then praising Him in a clamorously foolish way doesn’t become difficult…it becomes normal…like cheering on your favorite sports team.

The longer I’m in ministry the more I realize that the motive for everything I do has to be love…because that’s the motive for everything my Daddy does…and if I want to display the image of God in my life…then every thing I do ought to be done out of a heart of love…and if I’m not…then whatever I’m doing is useless and has no value to the Kingdom of God.

How do you worship God?  Do you judge the way others worship Him or are you more concerned with how you worship?  Do you spend more time throwing stones or do you look at your own life to see how many stones could be thrown in your direction?  Is your motive love or religion?  Would God be clamorously foolish about what you’re doing for Him or would He call you an evil servant?

Conclusion:

I have no idea why the Holy Ghost took this message in the direction it went, but I’m going to assume it’s going to cost me some people who follow me.  I’m not concerned about being popular or preaching to itching ears…I’m concerned about writing what the Holy Ghost wants me to say…and if that offends you…then I’m okay with that.  These days, I’m more concerned about offending God than man.

I look forward to the next message in this series, and hope that you’ll be back for it too.

“My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 16:24 (KJV)
Blessings & Grace to you
Bryan J. Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA