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.

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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.

Reaching His Presence with Praise

Come to worship him with thankful hearts and songs of praise.

Psalms 95:2

If we seek the favor of someone and come before that person with a demand, would he be willing to help us? Probably she would not do it and would rather feel annoyed and offended. On the other hand, if we use pleasant words that sound like praise, the possibilities of achieving the favor we seek increase considerably. With God it happens in the same way. If we come before His presence with a list of demands, He would see it with less pleasure than if we were praised.

Highlighting the attributes of God through praise is the best way to come before His presence. In Psalms 95:2 we read the following: Come to worship him with thankful hearts and songs of praise. God is waiting for us to approach Him praising Him and not as we often do, with a long list of requests. Search the Scriptures to learn to praise God in His way.

It is not in the way that seems best to us, but as God Himself has established it. The best of all is that God Himself was responsible for giving us the correct instructions embodied in a beautiful written document that we know as the Bible. Only in it, we will find the correct revelation that will lead us to accept God’s deepest longing to praise Him. God’s response, when we do things in His way, will always bring us the blessing.

The second thing that Psalm 95:2 says is: and songs of praise. Undoubtedly, music can be used in praise of God. Christians have often heard the words praise and worship and regularly associate them with music and songs. In general, many Christians associate praise with lively and joyful songs, while praising those slower songs as worship The biblical reality is quite another and if we want to know in depth about praise, we should go to the Bible.

In reality, the style of music does not label what is praise or what is known as worship. If we analyzed the songs that we hear every Sunday in most Christian churches according to the biblical parameters of praise and worship, perhaps many of them would be disqualified and would not go beyond being beautiful songs that impress the human soul; but they do not minister to God. The praise that pleases God focuses on His person, not on the human being.

Our intention with these messages is to bring light to the church about the praise that God is expecting from His people. To know that desire of God, the correct guidance will be found in His Word and in the revelation of it that gives us His Holy Spirit. And the best source for learning about praise is the book of Psalms. The Hebrew name for the book of Psalms is simply the equivalent of the word praises. It has a more appropriate meaning than Psalms, which comes from the Greek and has to do with songs accompanied by a string instrument.

Let’s show God that we seek Him because we love Him, not because of His blessings. Let’s come to His presence with genuine praise. God bless you.