IT'S TIME TO PRAISE:
Worship is not praise...praise is not worship. And brothers and sisters, it is time for us to PRAISE.
To PRAISE is far more than having a "Praise team with a Praise song." There are over 20 words in the Bible for ways to PRAISE.
Here are some of the Hebrew words for PRAISE:
#1 Towdah - See Strong's #8426
This word means "thanksgiving." In Hebrew texts such as the Psalms especially, it often appears in songs of thanksgiving and praise, which David offered in the midst of many of his trials. It can also sometimes denote an "offering or sacrifice of thanksgiving." It will be helpful to remember to offer this form of praise especially in the hard times. Thank God for his sovereignty, power, and might.
#2 Yadah - See Strongs #3034
The root word of this form of praise, which is "yad," is a word meaning "hand." Yadah is very literally the "lifting of hands in praise, reverence, and worship." The meaning conveyed is one of outward expression of love towards God, for others to see.
It also means "confession," but not necessarily in the general English sense that you and I are used. When used or translated as "confession," it means an "outward confession of praise or worthiness" to God.
Since Yadah involves the lifting of hands, one may understand it also with some connotations of "surrendering" or "confessing authority to" (as one under arrest puts up his hands to show submission to an officer).
#3 Baruch - See Strongs #1288
This is a word which very commonly is known to mean "to bless" or "blessed" (if you have ever heard the beginning of a Hebrew blessing, 'Baruch Atah Adonai…' which means “blessed are You, Lord.”
It also carries a secondary meaning, in some contexts, of "kneeling" or "bowing" as well. Baruch is usually the Hebrew word behind most blessings given in the Old Testament, either from God towards men (blessing), or men towards God (praising and bowing). Baruch is important to distinguish as strictly a verb (an action), not a noun (thing).
#4 Shabach - See Strong's #7623
Shabach is a simple Hebrew word which literally means "to shout." In the context of praise, it's giving a shout of praise for the Lord!
#5 Zamar - See Strong's #2167
Zamar is a cool word which means basically the playing of an instrument, or "making music" to glorify the Lord, accompanied with singing. Personally, this is one of my favorite ways to praise!
#6 Halal - See Strong's #1984
This is one of the most active words I came across as a form of praise. Halal means "to make a show, rave, or boast." When used in the Bible in reference to the praise of the Lord, it is said that the sun, moon, stars, heavens, waters, and all creation "boast" of the Lord most High, proclaiming His Name and His glory to all the earth. Likewise we too, as humans, are called to boast of the Lord and His mighty works. Isaiah the prophet referenced this form of praise as being called for during times of festivals to the Lord. This method of praise might also incorporate dancing, leaping, and twirling (making a show!) before the Lord too, because of the tremendous excitement of love to God that it conveys. It is the root of the expression "Hallelujah!"
#7 Tehillah - See Strong's #8416
In a short summary, the word "tehillah" is somewhat of a combination of all the previous words and meanings of praise! Depending on its usage grammatically in the Bible, it refers to all kinds of praise and worship activity. Strong's defines it as meaning "glory, praise, song of praise, or praiseworthy deeds."
Secondarily, it also can be a technical-musical term (as in, David's song of tehillah, Ps. 145) Strong's even notes that the actual Hebrew name for the book of Psalms, for example, is the word "Tehillim" (the plural form of Tehillah, meaning "praises") and probably more accurately reflects the contents of the book.
To be continued
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.