The Fools of Praise

The Fools of Praise

Pastor Don Carpenter

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

Psalm 149:3 KJV
Let them praise his name in the dance: Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

Pastor Darren Whitehead tells the following story:

Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change The Way You Worship BEHIND THE MUSIC
A couple of years ago my wife and I were invited to a Jewish wedding. I’d never been to one before and had no idea what I was getting into. There were differences in the ceremony—that much is true—but the culmination of the wedding was just like any other. There were vows, a kiss, and a pronouncement. There was a new union—husband and wife.
After the ceremony, we made our way to the reception where the real fun and games began. A huge banquet awaited us—a spread of food and drinks as impressive as any I’d ever seen at a wedding. There was grand music and dancing, and everyone shouted and laughed in celebration. And though I was the Gentile of Gentiles in the room (how else would you describe a Christian preacher at a Jewish wedding?), I quickly found that participation in this party was not optional.
I was watching the rowdy festivities when, without warning, two yarmulke-wearing men in their mid-sixties sandwiched me between them. Seconds later, I was swept into a dance with these two strangers, and after a few moments, as if on cue, both men threw their heads back and laughed with such energy that it seemed to come from their very souls. These guys knew how to have fun, but even more importantly, they knew how to draw others into their party. They knew that the cosmic union of souls, the coming together of two people in holy matrimony, was a thing worthy of foolish, near-nonsensical celebration. The celebration was for everyone, Jew and Gentile alike.
The wedding was an amazing experience, and those men personified a word I’d read in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. It was a word of praise, a word used again and again throughout the book of Psalms—hâlal.
Hâlal is the primary Hebrew word for praise. It’s the word from which we derive the biblical word hallelujah. It’s an exuberant expression of celebration, a word that connotes boasting, raving, or celebrating. It carries with it the notion of acting in a way that is “clamorously foolish.” True hâlal contemplates laying aside your inhibitions and killing your self-consciousness.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words To Praise
The Hebrew name for the Book of Psalms is simply the equivalent for the word “praises” and is a bit more appropriate than “Psalms,” which comes from the Greek and has to do with the accompaniment of singing with a stringed instrument of some sort. It is little wonder that the Book of Psalms contains more than half the occurrences of halal in its various forms. Psalms 113–118 are traditionally referred to as the “Hallel Psalms,” because they have to do with praise to God for deliverance from Egyptian bondage under Moses. Because of this, they are an important part of the traditional Passover service. There is no reason to doubt that these were the hymns sung by Jesus and His disciples on Maundy Thursday when He instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 26:30).
The word halal is the source of “Hallelujah,” a Hebrew expression of “praise” to God which has been taken over into virtually every language of mankind. The Hebrew “Hallelujah” is generally translated “Praise the Lord!” The Hebrew term is more technically translated “Let us praise Yah,” the term “Yah” being a shortened form of “Yahweh,” the unique Israelite name for God. The term “Yah” is found in the KJV rendering of Ps. 68:4, reflecting the Hebrew text; however, the Jerusalem Bible (JB) translates it with “Yahweh.”

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

It’s an exuberant expression of celebration, a word that connotes boasting, raving, or celebrating.

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

In the Old Testament, the word hilul (which comes from the same root word) is used in two places outside the psalms. In both the book of Judges and the book of Leviticus, it is used to describe the way the people might celebrate a harvest festival. There, they’d dance on the grapes, expressing the harvest’s juices for use in wine making. Imagine their enthusiasm as they danced and danced, as the hems of their robes were dyed purple. This dance carries with it the idea of hâlal.

High Energy Praise

Psalm 69:30 KJV
I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 22:22 KJV
I will declare thy name unto my brethren: In the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Psalm 109:30 KJV
I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; Yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

Psalm 18:3 KJV
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: So shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Psalm 56:10 KJV
In God will I praise his word: In the LORD will I praise his word.

Psalm 84:4 KJV
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: They will be still praising thee. Selah.

Corporate Celebration

Psalm 149:3 KJV
Let them praise his name in the dance: Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change The Way You Worship BEHIND THE MUSIC
Imagine the Hebrew people gathered together. There, tens of thousands of Levites and musicians faced the Israelites, and together, they formed a sort of praise pit. The Levites and musicians played, and as their songs rose, a combustible energy built and built and built until some spark of God ignited the praises of the people. In that moment, the worshippers began to shout, laugh, and dance. They jumped around, hands raised. To the outside observer, they might have appeared drunk or foolish, but they were most sober in their celebration of God; they were incarnating hâlal.

2 Chronicles 5:13 KJV
It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;

2 Chronicles 20:21 KJV
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Ezra 3:11 KJV
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Psalm 35:18 KJV
I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

Triumphant Conclusion of Psalms

Psalm 150:6 KJV
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change The Way You Worship BEHIND THE MUSIC
The God of the universe made us to praise him with abandon, like foolish but fun-loving children. Sometimes I wonder if God looks down on North America, if he sees our dignified, carefully orchestrated worship experiences, and wishes we’d cut loose. I wonder if he wishes we’d celebrate him the way those two Jewish gentlemen celebrated at that wedding I attended. I wonder if he wishes we’d join the party, that we’d step out onto his great dance floor and risk being undignified.

At this point some may wonder… is Pastor Carpenter turning Pentecostal or Charismatic? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I have always rejected the teaching of tongues, continued prophetic revelation, or prosperity gospel. I believe that the Bible still teaches that things must be done decently and in order.

1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV
Let all things be done decently and in order.

But the same Bible that gives us this warning, also gives us this direction.

John 4:24 KJV
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

We learned this morning that Praise involves shooting up one’s hands. Tonight we see that praise can be loud and celebratory from time to time. This is not Charismatic, it is Bible. So, if the Holy Ghost stirs you to shout Hallelujah! It’s okay. If you feel an AMEN coming on… let it go. If you are overwhelmed and your hand shoots into the air, I believe you are in good company because the unseen angels that have been with us have been doing that with us all along.

Jesus our Savior is worthy of passionate praise! Hallelujah!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:36 PM October 28, 2021.