Archive for November 4th, 2021

Expectation of Praise

Thursday, November 4th, 2021

The Expectation of Praise

Pastor Don Carpenter

Based on:

Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change The Way You Worship BEHIND THE MUSIC

Darren Whitehead and Chris Tomlin

 Psalm 56:11–12 (KJV)

 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid What man can do unto me. 

 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.

Tôwdâh, to-daw´: An extension of the hand. Thanksgiving. A confession. A sacrifice of praise. Thanksgiving for things not yet received. A choir of worshippers.

Pastor David Whitehead tells the following story in the book Holy Roar:

 A few years ago, I was invited to speak at Salem Baptist Church, the largest African-American church in Chicagoland. The church boasts twenty thousand members and is pastored by Reverend James Meeks. They meet in Chicago’s South Side, an area with a high concentration of crime. It’s an area known for its violence and gangs, and shootings taking place in the neighborhoods around the church often make their way into national headlines.I was nervous about visiting Salem Baptist Church. First, I’d never preached at a predominately black church. Perhaps more daunting, though, was the task of preaching in a community surrounded by such spiritual resistance. I thought the church must feel that resistance, that they must be weighed down by all the violence. I wondered if the tension would be palpable.I sat on the front row on the Sunday morning I was scheduled to preach, and I waited for the service to begin. The choir filed in, and even before they took the stage, they began belting out their song.“The Lord made a way when there was no way,” they sang.“Rise up, church!”“God is not done yet.”“My Deliverer is coming.”They continued to their places, singing over the church, asking them to rise up in song with them.

 The choir continued lifting praise for what seemed like an hour. They declared that their story, the story of the community, was not over yet, that they would rise up and stand in faith. They declared that they would hold to that faith, the faith that the Lord would come through. They sang for things they hadn’t yet experienced, the coming of peace and perfect freedom. They didn’t hold back. It was, maybe, the most stirring worship experience I’d ever had, and as I listened to those songs I was overtaken. I began to sing with them; and as if swept into the current of their praise, I sensed the outpouring of fresh faith filling the room, filling me.It came time for me to preach, and I didn’t walk to the pulpit; I floated up to it. There was something about this congregation’s declaration of faith. I sensed their strength. Despite all the darkness in their community, all the violence and gang activity, they would not back down. They rejoiced in the light of God, holding to his promises in expectation that he would move. In that expectation, God saw fit to pour out his blessing, his presence. He inhabited that room.This was my most vivid recollection of experiencing the power of expectant praise. This was an experience of tôwdâh.  Tôwdâh is a Hebrew word that means an extension of the hand in thanksgiving for what God has done. But it also means a sacrifice of praise for things not yet received. It is praising God with expectation. The psalmist used tôwdâh as an expression of confession, a way to convey trust in the goodness of God.

The Expectation of Praise Depends Upon Faith in God, Not Man.

1 Corinthians 2:5 KJV

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Psalm 121:1–2 KJV

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, From whence cometh my help. 

My help cometh from the LORD, Which made heaven and earth.

Psalm 20:7 KJV

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Expectation of Praise Rests Thanksgiving in the Presence of God.

 Psalm 50:14 (KJV)

 Offer unto God thanksgiving; And pay thy vows unto the most High:

 Psalm 69:30 (KJV)

 I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify him with thanksgiving.

 Psalm 100:4 (KJV)

 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, And into his courts with praise: Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Expectation of Praise Rests is God’s Track Record

 Psalm 26:7 (KJV)

 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all thy wondrous works.

 Psalm 107:22 (KJV)

 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare his works with rejoicing.

 Psalm 42:4 (KJV)

 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: For I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

The Expectation of Praise is for Deliverance Yet to Come.

 Psalm 50:22–23 (KJV)

 Now consider this, ye that forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. 

 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: And to him that ordereth his conversation aright Will I shew the salvation of God.

 In Psalm 50, the psalmist Asaph recorded a stanza for the wicked, for those who’d forgotten their God. The stanza culminated with a promise for those who practiced tôwdâh:

 Asaph’s psalm makes it plain: Sometimes the sacrifice of praise, the act of showing God honor and praise even before the realization of his promises, precedes salvation.In most Bibles, Psalm 56 is preceded by a notation indicating it was written by David after he was seized by the Philistines at Gath. Despite his capture, despite the direst of circumstances, David wrote:

 Psalm 56:11–12 (KJV)

 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid What man can do unto me. 

 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.

Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change The Way You Worship BEHIND THE MUSIC

David, captured by the enemy and facing an unknown future, praised the Lord for the promise of deliverance he’d not yet received. He knew he’d be delivered, so in his imprisonment, he praised God in earnest expectation.

 Isaiah 51:3 (KJV)

 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; And he will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness shall be found therein, Thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

 Jonah 2:9 (KJV)

 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change The Way You Worship BEHIND THE MUSIC

In tôwdâh, we lift our hands in the presence of God, not only for what he has done, but also for what we believe he will do. He will bring an end to all violence, so we lift our hands in praise. He will release us from bondage, so we lift our hands in praise. He will provide what we need, so we lift our hands in praise. He will heal us, both now and in eternity, so we lift our hands in praise.

Pastor Darren Whitehead writes:

I once knew a man, Ken, who had a way of pointing to the place of ultimate hope, even in times of deep anxiety. One day he called me into his office and told me his teenage daughter had been out partying. She had not come home, and no one could find her. As he told me the story, I interrupted and said, “You must be worried out of your mind.” His answer was quick and calm.

“I don’t worry. I worship.”

I’ve never forgotten those words. Instead of focusing on the things out of his control, he turned his attention to the One who is in control. He worshipped God, believing he’d respond. He moved his worry to worship. I’ve thought about Ken many times over the years in seasons of stress and anxiety. Ken was practicing the essence of tôwdâh.

Have you raised your hands in praise, believing in faith that God will fulfill his promises to you? Have you raised your hands for your wounded marriage, your troubled career, your wayward son or daughter? Have you raised your hands believing God will give you the guidance and the direction you so desperately need? Have you raised tôwdâh to God for healing?

Our praise should embody the notion of tôwdâh; it should become an expression of faith for salvation not yet received. My friends at Salem Baptist Church in Chicago know this full well. Would you let their story of tôwdâh wash over you and lead you into a fuller expression of praise?

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:48 PM November 4, 2021.

The Music of Praise

Thursday, November 4th, 2021

The Music of Praise

Pastor Don Carpenter

Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change The Way You Worship

 Zâmar, zaw-mar´: To make music. To celebrate in song and music. To touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument.

 Psalm 144:9 (KJV)

 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: Upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

Pastor Darren Whitehead tells the following story:

I stood over Brandy, looking into her eyes, giving her chips of ice, holding her hand, doing whatever she needed. She was deep into labor with our third daughter, Violet, and as was the tradition in the Whitehead family, music filled the hospital room.

In the weeks before delivery, Brandy and I made a worship playlist. We’d done the same thing when our first two daughters were born. More than anything, we wanted the songs of the church to be the first sounds our daughters’ tiny ears ever heard; we wanted to bring them into the chorus of God’s family from the beginning.

The worship music we played during Brandy’s labor gave us a sort of hidden strength. This music wasn’t just for our new baby. It was for us too. The people of God singing the praises of God calmed us through the moments of anxiety, bolstering Brandy’s spirits even through the labor of childbirth. The music was a conduit of God’s grace, and we felt it in that hospital room.

Praise and worship music can be a powerful tool to draw us into a personal experience with God. And this effect can be felt in the privacy of a hospital room or in the gathering of the church. Haven’t you experienced this? Consider that time you walked into church, frustrated with a friend, anxious about your finances, perhaps concerned about a new health challenge. Remember how you stood in the liminal space before the worship music began and made small talk as best you could, the things of eternity far from your mind. Recall how the chords began to fill the room, how the attention of the crowd was turned toward the praise of God. In that moment, didn’t the stuff of earth, the anxieties of life, seem to melt into the melody? As the cares rolled away, didn’t you encounter the very presence of God? 

Music is more powerful than we even understand. It can soften our hearts, soothe our troubled souls. It opens a door to the spiritual world. It paves the road for the Spirit’s coming. The patriarchs, psalmists, and prophets of the scriptures understood the power of music especially.

Zâmar is used throughout the psalms to connote the making of music, celebrating in song and music, and plucking the strings of a musical instrument. It’s a word that appears in the scriptures forty-one times, both in narrative form and in the poetry of the psalms.

n prepares the heart for the reality of an important message. This reality is captured by the third Hebrew word that’s so often translated as praise—the word zâmar.

This morning, as we continue our look at seven words for Praise, let us discover ZAMAR – to praise through singing and playing music. We will discover that this musical praise prepares the Heart.

Praise that Prepares the Heart to Hear the Word

2 Kings 3:15–17 KJV

But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him. 

And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches. 

For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.

 Psalm 47:7 (KJV)

 For God is the King of all the earth: Sing ye praises with understanding.

Colossians 3:16 KJV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Praise That Prepares The Heart to Trust

1 Samuel 16:23 KJV

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

While David was hiding from Saul in a cave.

 Psalm 57:7 (KJV)

 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

 Psalm 108:1 (KJV)

 O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, Even with my glory.

Praise That Prepares The Heart to Stand

 2 Samuel 22:50 (KJV)

 Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, And I will sing praises unto thy name.

 Psalm 27:6 (KJV)

 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: Therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

 Psalm 57:9 (KJV)

 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

 Psalm 59:17 (KJV)

 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: For God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

Praise That Prepares The Heart to Give Thanks

 Psalm 147:7 (KJV)

 Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

Ephesians 5:19–20 KJV

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Praise That Prepares The Heart To Proclaim

 1 Chronicles 16:9 (KJV)

 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, Talk ye of all his wondrous works.

 Psalm 105:2 (KJV)

 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: Talk ye of all his wondrous works.

 Psalm 101:1 (KJV)

 I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.

Praise That Prepares The Heart To Rejoice

 Psalm 71:23 (KJV)

 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; And my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

The following is a testimony from Chris Tomlin:

Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change The Way You Worship BEHIND THE MUSIC

In the earliest days of leading worship, I read the story of the famous composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. It’s said that as Bach composed and played music, it was as if he were praising God, even in his instrumental arrangements. “I play the notes as they are written,” Bach is oft quoted as saying, “but it is God who makes the music.” Bach was so convinced of this truth, in fact, that he penned the initials S.D.G. on many of his pieces, his shorthand for Soli Deo gloria—glory to God alone.

Bach’s commitment to creating music to the glory of God was inspirational and formative, and it put language to my practice of prayer before leading worship. Even before reading about Bach’s commitment, I’d prayed that God would be in the music that I played, that I’d simply reflect the melodies God put on my heart, whether or not those songs included words.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to play with some of the most incredible musicians, people truly gifted to lead the church in worship. There are times, though, when we gather for the purpose of simply playing. We’ll come together to play impromptu instrumental pieces without singing a word. In these moments, rare though they may be, we try our best to pay attention to each other, to the rhythms, to the melodies, and to the harmonies God puts on our hearts. As best as we can, we try to play those songs to the glory of God alone. 

There’s something about those times of instrumental worship, times when we pluck the string. They’ve been some of the most powerful times of personal worship for me. And though it’s hard to explain, they are the times I’ve most felt that I was playing the soundtrack of God. In such times I felt Bach’s truth most.

Yes, I play the notes as they come, but God makes the music. I’m his instrument, a reflection of his music, and before I step onto any stage, I ask that the touch of his presence would be on the music I play. I ask that no matter the crowd size, no matter the songs we play, no matter the time of day, may we play every song for the glory of God alone. Isn’t this the greatest privilege?

ZAMAR – Musical Praise that prepares the heart. Are you prepared?

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:10 PM November 4, 2021.