An updated version of this post can be found here.
This is the sixth in a series on Hebrew praise words. So far we have looked at
- Zamar, Instrumental praise
- Halal, Crazy exuberant praise
- Shabach, Loud praise
- Tehillah, Singing Praise
- Yadah, Physical praise – raising your hands in thanksgiving
Towdah is derived from Yadah and has as its root meaning to extend the hands. As in the case with Yadah, we see that worship is closely related to a physical action. By implication Towdah means to thank or adore and is associated with sacrifice and offerings.
Most Christians understand the concept of a blood offering (for sin) and are also familiar with a financial offering, but are probably less familiar with the idea of an offering of thanksgiving. The word Towdah first occurs in the Bible in Leviticus 7:12. In this passage God is informing His people about the proper way to bring a thank-offering.
A thank-offering is an offering to God, not because of sin, but because of one’s joy in God’s provision and care. The New Testament repeats this idea in Hebrews 13:15 where we are called to offer a sacrifice of praise.
Although a thank offering could be a financial sacrifice, in Hebrews it is called the “fruit of lips.” In other words, our songs and words of praise are considered a spiritual sacrifice or offering to God.
If we truly wish to enter God’s presence we need to recognize the importance of thanksgiving. We must regularly offer to Him Towdah – an offering of thanks.
Towdah redirects our minds to the beauty and joy of God’s goodness in our lives. It is so easy to focus only on our problems and miss out on the joy of God’s provision. As we rejoice in God’s goodness to us we become more receptive to His Spirit and less focused on our problems.
Take some time right now to thank God. Do an inventory of your life and notice all the good things God has given to you. James say every good gift is from God (James 1:17). You cannot thank God for too many things. As you thank God you will enter His presence and receive the joy that comes in knowing our wonderful God and Savior!
Question: How has thanksgiving changed your life? Please leave a comment.
by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory