As we continue to delve deeper into the depths of understanding biblical worship and ways in which it has been expressed, we must begin to recognize the fundamental need for praise. A need that we have to give praise and adoration. We all have a strong desire to praise something; whether that something is a spouse, celebrity, an article of clothing or something that surpasses even our own understanding. As God’s creation, we are designed to praise, direct attention, and boast about the one who made us in His Image.
Our second word that we will be looking at will be the word Halal
The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon
Strong’s Number: 01984
- to shine
- (Qal) to shine (fig. of God’s favour)
- (Hiphil) to flash forth light
- to praise, boast, be boastful
- to be boastful
- boastful ones, boasters (participle)
- to praise
- to boast, make a boast
- to be praised, be made praiseworthy, be commended, be worthy of praise
- (Hithpael) to boast, glory, make one’s boast
It is first seen in Genesis 12:15
“And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace.” (Gen 12:15, NIV Emphasis mine)
This passage lets us see that Abram’s wife, Sarai, was praised to Pharoah and the officials “boasted” in her beauty. The official’s were lifting her up before their ruler as someone worthy of their earthly praise. The wording here suggests that she was set apart from the rest of the women in the region and there was something special about her appearance that made them stop, stare, and prepare to situate her before royalty.
This understanding of praise leads us to the Psalmist’s expressions of authority, dominion, love, and devotion before God in Psalm 150:1-6
“1 Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:1-6, NIV Emphasis mine)
In our natural state of ascribing worth and power to a certain person, place, or object we begin to state the position that is held. In the case of Genesis, it is Sarai who is being upheld before men for her beauty and wonder. In the case of the Psalm, it is God who is being upheld before men for His character, not His appearance. The Lord desires our hearts, souls, minds, and our strength. When we give all that we have to Him and then lift Him to His proper place in our lives, we begin to live the life He intended and begin to walk in the grace He gives.
The next time you begin to praise the Lord, will it be out of obligation? Or will it be in recognition of what He has done, Is doing, and will do in the lives of His people and the story of His Redemption?