- “Offer unto God praise (towdah) and pay thy vows unto the Most High.” (Ps 50:14)
- “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise (Towdah) the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the Lord. (Jer 33:11)
This winter weather advisory gives me the perfect opportunity to sit down, and work on typing out another message to continue our “7 Hebrew Words for Praise” series that’s inspired by the current series: “Accessing the Throne” that’s being preached by Pastor’s Cass Hill and Curtis Holt of New Life Christian Center.
So far, we’ve covered Yadah and Halal, and even though we’ve only covered two of these words to this point…I’m hoping that this week will give me an opportunity to cover a couple of them. However, as always it’s important to rely upon the Holy Ghost for the anointing to write…Amen!?!
So, let’s see what we can learn from this form of praise.
Today’s Message: “Towdah”
As always, we’ll start out today’s message with the correct way to pronounce Towdah, and what it means.
Towdah comes from the same principle root word as yadah, but is used more specifically. Towdah literally means, “an extension of the hand in adoration, avowal, or acceptance.” By way of application, it is appratent in the Psalms and elsewhere that it is used for thanking God for “things not yet received” as well as things already at hand.
The correct way to pronounce Towdah is to-daw’ tow (as in the truck) + duh (as in no kidding).
So, Towdah is the one that we ought to be using while we’re driving. This is where we raise one hand in praise to the Lord, and keep the other hand on the steering wheel. It goes on to tell us that we’re thanking God for things not yet received as well as things at hand. This form of praise also looks like what we used to have to do in school when we had to raise our hands for permission to speak. Towdah could also be considered a way to seem like you’re being friendly in traffic. Some people may see you with your hand extended in praise for the Lord, and think you’re waving at them so they wave back. So, when you’re in traffic instead of extending a finger in anger towards that person that just cut you off…extend your hand in praise to the Lord that He kept that person that just cut you off from hitting your car.
Now, I’m was not going to get back to talking about how sad it is that we can be clamorously foolish about all kinds of things, but when it comes to praising God we have to maintain our dignity. Unfortunately, what we’re really trying to maintain isn’t our dignity…it’s our pride. Listen, when you care more about what the people around you think of you then what God thinks…that’s not trying to maintain dignity…it’s being prideful.
How many times does the Holy Ghost have to call us out on the fact that if we are going to act ashamed of God before men…He will be ashamed of us when we stand before Him. I get tired of writing that I don’t know about anyone else, but when I stand before the Lord…that’s NOT the place or time that I want Him to be ashamed of me. Not that there’s a good time to have God be ashamed of us, but when it’s time for the Great White Throne Judgment…how many of you know…that’s really NOT the time you want God to be ashamed of you?
So, why is it that it’s so easy for us to be clamorously foolish about the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, Green Bay Packers, Arkansas Razorbacks or whatever sports team you cheer for? Why is it so easy to rock out to Three Doors Down, Garth Brooks, or whatever music you listen to? Why is it that we’re willing to dance like fools for our friends, maybe our spouses, or complete strangers in a club…but when we are in church…suddenly we need to compose ourselves and not act like idiots?
Why is it that David felt compelled to be so clamorously foolish when he danced in praise to the Lord that he wound up naked, but we being fully clothed can’t hardly muster up a Holy Ghost Hop if we’re standing in church? Why is it that we can throw our hands up in delight when our team scores a touchdown or field goal…but when we’re in church we can barely remove our hands from our pockets?
Friends, there’s no other way to say this, but we have too much pride. Listen, if we can’t humble ourselves enough to realize that we owe God our best when we’re standing in church or even at home…then we are full of way too much pride. It’s not about preserving your dignity. I realize that’s what you think, but it’s not dignity your protecting…it’s your pride and ego. It’s your pride that won’t allow you to get clamorously foolish about God.
There is, however, a second reason I believe this is, and it has to do with religion. As I mentioned before, there are many churches and congregations and denominations that won’t allow you to be free to worship God as you want. Many of them won’t even tell you that you’re free to worship God as you want.
I have been in churches where there’s no freedom to worship God. There’s no freedom to even clap or raise your hands in worship to God. I understand how that can be. I understand that maybe you’re attending one of those churches that frowns upon being clamorously foolish about your worship and love for God. I know what it’s like to be in them, and how little of God’s presence you feel in there unless you’re able to put all of the legalism aside and focus on worshipping Him. If you’re in one of those places I understand you may not be aware that worshipping God in a clamorously foolish way may be foreign and even seem like a crazy show to you.
On the other hand, I have also been in places where the people are whooping and hollering it up, dancing in the aisles, and putting on a show…but there’s no presence of God there because they’re really after emotionalism…and it’s not there’s a spiritual presence…but not the One we’re seeking.
So, I understand there are a couple of reasons that don’t have anything to do with pride at all, but for the most part…I believe that much of the reason we don’t want to be clamorously foolish when worshipping God is because we’re concerned about public opinion of us…and that means we’re too prideful.
Friends, if we can look foolish while cheering on our favorite team, if we can dance like fools in the club without worrying what people are going to think…then when we think about what God has done in, through, and with our lives…there shouldn’t be any reason at all that we can’t humble ourselves to be fools for the Lord.
You know, maybe it’s just because I’m too old to care about being cool anymore or if it’s just that I realize what God’s done in my life…but I am not concerned at all about looking foolish for God. If I feel like dancing like an idiot before the Lord…then that’s what I do. If I feel like shouting hallelujah in Halal to the Lord…that’s what I’m going to do. If I feel like raising my hands to Yadah the Lord…that’s what I’m going to do. If I’m driving along listening to worship music, and I feel like raising a hand in Towdah to the Lord…that’s what I’m going to do.
I would like to just ask you to do a self inventory of the reason why you find that you’re unwilling to worship God in a clamorously foolish way. Is it because you came from a religious background where that kind of thing was a crazy show without a real presence of God? Is it because you came from a religious background where worshipping God like that was frowned upon? Or…is it because you are too concerned about what the people around you are going to think of you?
I am enjoying the opportunity to look at the different Hebrew words for praise, and how they relate to us. It helps to understand why we’re compelled to shout hallelujah or be foolish in our worship, or why we feel compelled to raise our hands or hand to Him. In addition to a way to worship God raising our hands is a sign of surrender to God…which is why it’s important to take inventory of why we have a hard time raising our hands in worship to God…and why it may be more of a pride issue then anything else. If we can’t raise our hands in surrender…then that’s a pride issue…not a religious issue.
So, I would like to encourage you to use these three forms of worship we’ve talked about, and continue to follow along as we look at the rest of these words…and how they relate to us.
As always, thank you for following along, and I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and like what I post. My prayer is that everything I am able to write will equip you to begin, develop, and maintain your walk with God. I also pray that what I’m able to write will equip you, and encourage you in your ministry. There’s never a charge for any of our messages, and should you believe that someone could benefit from any of the messages I post…please feel free to share them with whom ever you wish.
Thanks again for your continued support, prayers, and encouragement to me.
Blessings & Grace to you
Bryan J. Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA
“My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 16:24 (KJV)