God Causes Praise

For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Isaiah 61:11

The attributes of God are so exalted that, just by remembering them, praise will come from our lips. God is good, holy, worthy, merciful, almighty, righteous, sovereign, among many other qualities that make him worthy of all praise. But Isaiah 61:11 goes beyond all that. Praise sprouts from God himself, who places in us both the will and the work of giving praise, glory and honor to Him who lives forever.

There are other attributes and qualities of God that bring praise to the lips of those who take them into account. God is glorious, wise, great, majestic, strong, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, self-existent, protector, victor, clement, high, creator, eternal, provider and healer, among many exceptional characteristics. There are plenty of reasons to praise God.

Isaiah 61:11 points out another of God’s qualities that He brings forth together with praise, His righteousness. God is righteous and this is a great reason to praise Him. Psalms 45:6 says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. The psalmist is praising the throne of God, which he calls the scepter of righteousness. While Psalms 71:19 says, Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?

God’s righteousness sprouts praise. In fact, Psalms 98 and 146 are entitled “Praise for the righteousness of God.” Not in vain did our Lord Jesus Christ say in Matthew 6:33, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Let’s seek the righteousness of God before any of the other things, praise the righteous and sprout praise along with His righteousness before the nations in the same way that the seed of the earth springs forth.

From Psalm 98 we learn how praise for God’s righteousness manifests itself. Psalms 98:4 says, Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. In that way we approach our righteous God, of whom Psalm 98:9 says the following: For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples with equity.

Let our praise be as David expressed it in Psalms 35:28, And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long. Without a doubt that God’s righteousness and His praise go hand in hand. Thanks to His righteousness, we who have responded to His plan of salvation have been justified. That makes our lips full of praise for His love, for His forgiveness, for His grace and His salvation.

The final part of Paul’s prayer for believers is in Philippians 1:9-11 and it goes like this, And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Let’s fill ourselves with the fruits of justice for His praise. God bless you.


Dios Hace Brotar la Alabanza

Porque como la tierra produce su renuevo, y como el huerto hace brotar su semilla, así Jehová el Señor hará brotar justicia y alabanza delante de todas las naciones.

Isaías 61:11

Los atributos de Dios son tan excelsos que, de solo recordarlos, brotará alabanza de nuestros labios. Dios es bueno, santo, digno, misericordioso, todopoderoso, justo, soberano, entre otras muchas cualidades que lo hacen merecedor de toda la alabanza. Pero Isaías 61:11 va más allá que todo eso. La alabanza brota del mismo Dios, quien pone en nosotros tanto el querer como el hacer la obra de darle loor, gloria y honor a Él, quien vive para siempre.

Hay otros atributos y cualidades de Dios que hacen brotar la alabanza en los labios de quienes los toman en cuenta. Dios es glorioso, sabio, grande, majestuoso, fuerte, omnisciente, omnipotente, omnipresente, autoexistente, protector, vencedor, clemente, altísimo, creador, eterno, proveedor y sanador, entre muchas características excepcionales. Sobran motivos para alabar a Dios.

Isaías 61:11 señala otra de las cualidades de Dios que Él hace brotar conjuntamente con la alabanza, Su justicia. Dios es justo y este es un gran motivo para alabarle. Salmos 45:6 dice: Tu trono, oh Dios, es eterno y para siempre; cetro de justicia es el cetro de Tu Reino. El salmista está alabando el trono de Dios, al cual llama cetro de justicia. Mientras que Salmos 71:19 dice: Y Tu justicia, oh Dios, hasta lo excelso. Tú has hecho grandes cosas; oh Dios, ¿quién como Tú?

La justicia de Dios hace brotar la alabanza. De hecho, los salmos 98 y 146 llevan por título “Alabanza por la justicia de Dios.” No en vano nuestro Señor Jesucristo dijo en Mateo 6:33: Mas buscad primeramente el Reino de Dios y Su justicia, y todas estas cosas os serán añadidas. Busquemos la justicia de Dios antes que cualquiera de las demás cosas, alabemos a quien es justo y hace brotar la alabanza junto con Su justicia delante de las naciones de la misma manera que brota la semilla de la tierra.

Del salmo 98 aprendemos cómo la alabanza por la justicia de Dios se manifiesta. Salmos 98:4 dice: Cantad alegres a Jehová, toda la tierra; Levantad la voz, y aplaudid, y cantad salmos. De esa manera nos acercamos a nuestro justo Dios, de quien Salmos 98:9 dice lo siguiente: Delante de Jehová, porque vino a juzgar la tierra. Juzgará al mundo con justicia, y a los pueblos con rectitud.

Que nuestra alabanza sea como lo expresó David en Salmos 35:28: Y mi lengua hablará de Tu justicia y de Tu alabanza todo el día. Sin lugar a duda que la justicia de Dios y Su alabanza van tomadas de la mano. Gracias a Su justicia, quienes hemos respondido a Su plan de salvación hemos sido justificados. Eso hace llenar nuestros labios de alabanza por Su amor, por Su perdón, por Su gracia y Su salvación.

La parte final de la oración de Pablo por los creyentes está en Filipenses 1:9-11 y dice así: Y esto pido en oración, que vuestro amor abunde aun más y más en ciencia y en todo conocimiento, para que aprobéis lo mejor, a fin de que seáis sinceros e irreprensibles para el día de Cristo, llenos de frutos de justicia que son por medio de Jesucristo, para gloria y alabanza de Dios. Llenémonos de frutos de justicia para Su alabanza. Dios te bendiga.

God Does not Share His Praise with Images

I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images.

Isaiah 42:8

God is jealous and does not share His glory or His praise with sculptures or images. The Bible establishes very clearly the rejection of God towards all cult to images and sculptures. It is not necessary to be a gifted genius to understand this because everything is written in a plain language that does not require the interpretation of a scholar. The Scripture leaves no doubt that God and the images are incompatible. There are those who deceive themselves by saying that they do not worship images but admire them. By Isaiah 42:8, it is established that a simple eulogy to a sculpture is already rejected by God.

The prohibition of all kinds of worship, praise and adoration of images and sculptures is established in the second commandment of the Law of God. Exodus 20:4-6 says, You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

For God all image and sculpture is an abomination. Deuteronomy 7:25-26 says about it, You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing. That means that even having images and sculptures in our house is a curse.

In Micah 5:13 we are again commanded not to bow down before the images, I will cut off your carved images and your sacred pillars from among you, so that you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. Sculptures and images are useless, as Habakkuk 2:18 says, What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, the molded image, a teacher of lies, that the maker of its mold should trust in it, to make mute idols? And if sculptures and images do not work, why worship them?

The images produce anger and jealousy to God. Psalms 78:58 says, For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. If we really love God, why make him angry by practicing what He hates? But if that does not matter to you, look at what Leviticus 26:30 says about what will happen to the image worshipers, I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you.

Serving images is a shame, as Psalms 97:7 says, Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, who boast of idols. Worship Him, all you gods. Only before God should we prostrate ourselves and only to Him we will praise, He who does not share His praise with sculptures. Let us not be confused, according to what Isaiah 42:17 says, They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, who trust in carved images, who say to the molded images, ‘You are our gods.’ Let us not waste time keeping honor to objects that have absolutely nothing of sacred according to the Bible. God bless you.


Dios no Comparte Su Alabanza con Esculturas

Yo Jehová; este es Mi nombre; y a otro no daré Mi gloria, ni Mi alabanza a esculturas.

Isaías 42:8

Dios es celoso y no comparte ni Su gloria ni Su alabanza con esculturas. La Biblia establece muy claramente el rechazo de Dios hacia todo culto a imágenes y esculturas. No es necesario ser un genio superdotado para entender esto porque todo está escrito en un lenguaje llano que no requiere de la interpretación de un erudito. La Escritura no deja duda de que Dios y las imágenes son incompatibles. Hay quienes se engañan a sí mismos diciendo que no adoran imágenes sino que las veneran. Por Isaías 42:8, queda establecido que un simple elogio a una escultura es ya rechazado por Dios.

La prohibición de todo tipo de culto, alabanza y adoración a imágenes y esculturas queda establecida en el segundo mandamiento de la Ley de Dios. Dice Éxodo 20:4-6: No te harás imagen, ni ninguna semejanza de lo que esté arriba en el cielo, ni abajo en la tierra, ni en las aguas debajo de la tierra. No te inclinarás a ellas, ni las honrarás; porque Yo soy Jehová tu Dios, fuerte, celoso, que visito la maldad de los padres sobre los hijos hasta la tercera y cuarta generación de los que me aborrecen, y hago misericordia a millares, a los que me aman y guardan Mis mandamientos.

Para Dios toda imagen y escultura es una abominación. Deuteronomio 7:25-26 dice al respecto: Las esculturas de sus dioses quemarás en el fuego; no codiciarás plata ni oro de ellas para tomarlo para ti, para que no tropieces en ello, pues es abominación a Jehová tu Dios; y no traerás cosa abominable a tu casa, para que no seas anatema; del todo la aborrecerás y la abominarás, porque es anatema. Anatema es maldito, eso quiere decir que incluso tener imágenes y esculturas en nuestra casa es maldición.

En Miqueas 5:13 otra vez se nos manda a no inclinarnos ante las imágenes: Y haré destruir tus esculturas y tus imágenes de en medio de ti, y nunca más te inclinarás a la obra de tus manos. Las esculturas e imágenes no sirven para nada, tal como dice Habacuc 2:18: ¿De qué sirve la escultura que esculpió el que la hizo? ¿La estatua de fundición que enseña mentira, para que haciendo imágenes mudas confíe el hacedor en su obra? Y si las esculturas y las imágenes no sirven, ¿para qué rendirle culto?

Las imágenes le producen enojo y celo a Dios. Salmo 78:58 dice: Le enojaron con sus lugares altos, y le provocaron a celo con sus imágenes de talla. Si amamos de verdad a Dios, ¿para qué hacerlo enojar practicando lo que Él aborrece? Pero si eso no te importa, mira lo que dice Levítico 26:30 sobre lo que sucederá con los adoradores de imágenes: Destruiré vuestros lugares altos, y derribaré vuestras imágenes, y pondré vuestros cuerpos muertos sobre los cuerpos muertos de vuestros ídolos, y mi alma os abominará.

Servir a las imágenes es una vergüenza, tal como dice el Salmo 97:7: Avergüéncense todos los que sirven a las imágenes de talla, los que se glorían en los ídolos. Póstrense a Él todos los dioses. Solo ante Dios debemos postrarnos y solo a Él alabaremos, Él que no comparte Su alabanza con esculturas. No seamos confundidos, conforme a lo que dice Isaías 42:17: Serán vueltos atrás y en extremo confundidos los que confían en ídolos, y dicen a las imágenes de fundición: Vosotros sois nuestros dioses. No perdamos tiempo guardando honor a objetos que no tienen absolutamente nada de sagrado según la Biblia. Dios te bendiga.


God Dwells in the Midst of Praise

But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.

Psalms 22:3

Psalms 22:3 says verbatim: But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. And when His chosen people praise Him, God dwells with His people. Do you mean that if the Gentile peoples praise him, God does not make himself present? In no way, God will always dwell in the midst of praise, whether given by Israel, by the Gentiles who have believed in Him, by the church or by anyone with a heart willing to pay Him praise.

When our house is filled with praise, it is also filled with God. As we surround ourselves with praise, we surround ourselves with the Presence of God. I have perceived that every time I celebrated nights of praise and worship in my home when I lived in Florida, United States of America. The atmosphere of the house was transformed and the presence of God could be felt intensely.

God is present and His presence is manifested by the strong display of His power. This position is premeditated, without pretending a mystical presence, but deepening in the reality of who God really is. We are not talking about the simple praise that touches our soul and makes our skin crawl, but about the one in which God is here and His Kingdom has come. This is how God reveals Himself as He chooses to descend and dwell in His church.

The word that is translated as praise in Psalm 22:3 is tehillâh (הלָהִתְֶ, H8416), which means laudation; specifically (concretely) a hymn: praise. Tehillâh appears 57 times during all periods of the Hebrew biblical history. First, the term denotes a quality or attribute of some person or thing; it means glory or praiseworthy.

God is and should be our main reason for praise. When everyone looks at what God has done for us, words of praise can only come from our lips for Him. Israel is the glory of God when it exists in a state of exaltation and divine blessing. The exaltation of God is praise, it is recognizing who He is, His attributes and His wonderful works for His people. When Israel exalts their God, the presence of the Most High is felt and the place where He is exalted is filled with His glory.

A few years ago I attended a service where an African pastor preached. I was struck by something he said about the way they praise in African churches. This pastor told us that in Africa many of the parishioners must walk up to 3 hours to get to the temple and, therefore, they would not be satisfied just by listening to four or five songs. In this regard, he said that the time of praising God was not limited and could last several hours. During that time people remained ecstatic looking for the presence of God.

The African pastor said that at the end of the praise time, it usually continued with a long line of people giving testimony of the healing and miracles that happened in their lives while praising. No doubt that God makes room among this African people in the midst of its praise. And He will do it wherever He is praised without limits. If we really want Him to live among us, let us praise Him with all our heart. God bless you.


Dios Habita en Medio de la Alabanza

Pero Tú eres santo, Tú que habitas entre las alabanzas de Israel.

Salmos 22:3

Salmos 22:3 dice textualmente: Pero Tú eres santo, Tú que habitas entre las alabanzas de Israel. Y cuando Su pueblo escogido le alaba, Dios hace morada con Su pueblo. ¿Quiere decir que si los pueblos gentiles le alaban, Dios no se hace presente? De ninguna manera, Dios siempre habitará en medio de la alabanza, sea dada por Israel, por los gentiles que han creído en Él, por la iglesia o por cualquiera que tenga un corazón dispuesto para tributarle alabanza.

Cuando nuestra casa se llena de alabanza, también se llena de Dios. Al rodearnos con alabanza, nos rodeamos con la Presencia de Dios. Eso lo he percibido todas las veces que celebraba noches de alabanza y adoración en mi hogar cuando vivía en Florida, Estados Unidos de América. La atmósfera de la casa se transformaba y se podía sentir intensamente la presencia de Dios.

Dios está presente y Su presencia se manifiesta por la fuerte exhibición de Su poder. Esta postura es premeditada, sin pretender una presencia mística, sino profundizando en la realidad de quién es verdaderamente Dios. No estamos hablando de la simple alabanza que nos toca el alma y nos eriza la piel, sino de aquella en la cual Dios está aquí y Su Reino ha venido. Así es como Dios se revela a Sí mismo mientras escoge descender y habitar en Su iglesia.

La palabra que se traduce como alabanza en Salmo 22:3 es Tehillah (הלָהִתְֶ, H8416), que significa elogio; himno: alabada, alabanza, alegría, canto, loor, maravillosas hazañas, gloria; canción de loor; acciones loables. Tehillah aparece 57 veces durante todos los períodos de la historia bíblica hebrea. Primero, el término denota una cualidad o atributo de alguna persona o cosa; significa gloria o loable.

Dios es y debe ser nuestro principal motivo de alabanza. Cuando cada uno mira lo que Dios ha hecho por nosotros, de nuestros labios no puede sino salir palabras de alabanzas para Él. Israel es la gloria de Dios cuando existe en un estado de exaltación y de bendición divina. La exaltación de Dios es alabanza, es reconocer quien es Él, Sus atributos y Sus maravillosas obras por Su pueblo. Cuando Israel exalta a su Dios, la presencia del Altísimo se deja sentir y el lugar donde Él es exaltado se llena de Su gloria.

Hace unos años asistí a un servicio donde predicaba un pastor africano. Me llamó mucho la atención algo que dijo con respecto a la forma en que alaban en las iglesias africanas. Este pastor nos decía que en África muchos de los feligreses deben caminar hasta 3 horas para llegar al templo y que, por lo tanto, no se iban a satisfacer con solo escuchar cuatro o cinco canciones. En tal sentido, dijo que el tiempo de alabanza a Dios no era limitado y podía durar varias horas. Durante ese tiempo las personas permanecían extasiados buscando la presencia de Dios.

El pastor africano decía que al final del tiempo de alabanza, generalmente continuaba con una larga fila de personas dando testimonio de las sanidades y milagros que ocurrieron en sus vidas mientras alababan. Sin duda que Dios hace habitación entre este pueblo africano en medio de su alabanza. Y lo hará dondequiera que sea alabado sin límites. Si realmente queremos que Él habite entre nosotros, alabémosle de todo corazón. Dios te bendiga.


Praise before Him

Give honor and praise to the Lord, whose power and beauty fill His holy temple.

1 Chronicles 16:27

To arrive at the presence of God and not to pay praise to Him is like arriving at a banquet with a lot of hunger and not tasting anything. Just to reach the presence of the Most High and see His greatness, is more than sufficient reason for our lips to overflow in praise to Him. It is impossible to present ourselves before God and not admire His attributes and praise Him for them. If the earthly wonders amaze us and lead us to utter words of admiration, how much more will it make us praise the Most High God when we come before Him!

What 1 Chronicles 16:27 says is similar to what we read in Psalms 96:6: Give honor and praise to the Lord, whose power and beauty fill His holy temple. The word that is translated as praise in both biblical texts is Hôd (הוֹד, H1935), grandeur (that is, an imposing form and appearance): beauty, comeliness, excellency, glorious, glory, goodly, honor, majesty. Hôd is one of the nine words used in the Old Testament that are translated as praise.

The greatness and majesty of God are more than enough reasons to praise Him continuously. No one, no human being, no beast, no spirit, no celestial star could reach the immense stature of our God, Lord and King forever. The appearance of God is awesome, incomparable. Only to imagine the extension of the universe, which is impossible to measure, and to know that His Creator is much greater than that, should impel us to not stop praising him any day of our life.

But the meaning of the original Hebrew text of 1 Chronicles 16:27 and Psalms 96: 6 implies, in addition to greatness and majesty, other attributes of God. He is worthy of all praise, all honor and all reverence. Whoever believes can see the glory of God according to the Scripture, He is glorious! And along with His praise, we can see the magnificence before Him. God is noble in every sense of the word. He is noble because he acts in good faith, without any malice or double intention. He is also noble by His majesty and royalty.

Hôd also refers to another quality of God, His power. Psalms 89:13 says: You have a mighty arm; strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand. And also Psalms 140:7 says the following: O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. The potency of God is insurmountable and leads us to victory when He fights battles for His children and for His people. Our powerful savior deserves to be praised all the time, day by day and in every moment.

But God is much more than powerful, He is Omnipotent! In Exodus 6:3 God says to Moses: I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord[a] I was not known to them. The word that translates as Almighty is Shadday (שׁדּי; H7706) which means Almighty. One of the best-known passages of the Psalms also uses this word, Psalms 91:1 says: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Who will not give praise when he is before Shadday, the Almighty, the Most High, the great, the worthy, who is full of glory? His is the honor, His is the honor forever. We praise His greatness, His majesty, His magnificence and His nobility. God bless you.