An updated version of this post can be found here.
Each month I am introducing you to a word that will help you better understand what God expects of us in worship. Last month I introduced you to the Hebrew word Halal. This months word is Shabach.
The Hebrew word Shabach means to address in a loud tone, praise, boast or commend. It also can be used to mean soothe or still, as in to calm something with your words.
We all understand this word in the sports context. We cheer for our team. We shout when they score. We may even argue loudly with others about how great our team is. But in the sacred context we often forget that our God is much more worthy of our boisterous praise than any sports team could ever be.
What can we learn from this word?
- Loud. Worship, at times should be loud. We have a great God that has done great things. We should be willing to shout out our praise to God. Although there is a time for quiet reverent worship, there should also be a time for loud exuberant worship. Like the word Halal, Shabach reminds us that our God is worthy of singing and shouting our loudest praise for what He has done for us!
- Remembrance. Our praise flows naturally from our remembrance of what God has done. In Psalm 63:3 the psalmist tells us,
because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips with praise (Shabach) you.
And in Psalm 145:4 we read,
One generation shall commend (Shabach) your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
The more we recognize the greatness of God’s work in our lives, the more we will want to loudly shout our praise.
- Joy. Why is God’s love greater than life itself? Why do we want to shout it out for all to hear? Because our God brings us true joy in the midst of our mundane existence. He has stooped down from on high to redeem us from the muck of our sinful lives, and He has lifted us up with Him so that we are even now “seated with him in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6)!
What has God done in your life that is worthy of shouting out? What joy has God brought into your life? Are you willing to declare your love for God loudly?
Why are we often so shy in our praise of God? Please leave a comment.
by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory