You Who Fear the LORD – COME PRAISE HIM!
The Hebrew word for praise is ‘hallel’. Worship is ‘shacha,’ to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to worship, to adore. Praise and worship of our Messiah is a major focus as our kehilah (congregation) comes together each Shabbat morning. As we come before Him in community with various expressions of worship, all who are present have a tremendous opportunity - to exalt the LORD together. Psalm 34:3 says, ”Proclaim with me the greatness of Adonai; let us exalt His Name together.
The scriptures speak of a variety of ways that we may communicate praise and exaltation to our mighty GOD. You may experience a wide variety of these in each of our Shabbat services. Psalm 95:6 says, “Come, let’s bow down and worship; Let’s kneel before Adonai who made us.”
When the people gathered, as related in Nehemiah, for the reading of the Torah, he writes, “And Ezra blessed Adonai the great GOD. Then all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen!’ as they lifted up their hands, bowed their heads and fell prostrate before Adonai with their faces to the ground.”
Psalm 47 speaks of a variety of ways to enter into praise. Verse 1 says, “Clap your hands, all you peoples; Shout to GOD with cries of joy!” Later in the same Psalm it is written, “Sing praises, to GOD, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises.”
A portion of Psalm 150 reads, “Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.”
“Sing to Him a new song, make music at your best among shouts of joy,” says the psalmist in Psalm 33:3. Did you ever sing a song to the LORD that you didn’t know? A make-it-up-as-you-go song with the words of praise that the LORD Himself places in your heart? Perhaps then you have sung to Him a new song either in private or congregational times of devotion.
These are but a few of the places in the Tanakh (Torah, Prophets and Writings) that address the topic of praise and worship. The Brit Chadasha (New Covenant) also encourages us. How many verses can you find in the New Covenant that tell of ways to express our worship? Look at this one for starters in the book of Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 13:15 “Through Him, therefore, let us offer GOD a sacrifice of praise continually. For this is the natural product of lips that acknowledge His name.”
The LORD has been faithful to bring not only musicians and dancers to our congregation, but musicians and dancers with a heart for worship, calling us higher than the music itself, into the presence of GOD. Most of our worship team has been together for almost ten years. We are humbled each Shabbat to be able to encourage those who gather with us to express love and gratitude to the LORD. We have recently started a time of pre-service worship on Shabbat from 10-10:25 a.m. We will continue this as we begin to meet in our new facility. You are welcome to join us. In fact, we encourage you to join us.
Finally, John writes in Revelation 5, “They were all around the throne, the living beings and the elders and they shouted out: ‘Worthy is the slaughtered Lamb to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and praise!’ And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth and on the sea – yes everything in them saying, To the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb belong praise, honor, glory and power forever and ever!” Amen!
(All references are taken from the Complete Jewish Bible.)