What is Worship? Shabach

Shabach is a Hebrew word that encourages us to praise God with a loud voice. On Thursdays I have been posting on the meaning of various words related to worship.  Here is a complete list of the words we are studying:

Worship Terms

Worship – What is the meaning of the English word “Worship?”
Shachah – The primary Hebrew word for worship
Proskuneo – The primary Greek word for worship
Halal – A Hebrew word for crazy exuberant praise
Shabach – A Hebrew word for loud praise
Tehillah – A Hebrew word for song of praise
Zamar – A Hebrew word for making music accompanied by strings
Yadah – A Hebrew word for extending the hands in thanksgiving and praise
Towdah – A Hebrew word for a thanks offering
Barak – A Hebrew word for kneeling before God in humble submission

Hidden Meaning in Psalm 100:4 - See how understanding these words enhances the meaning of this popular praise verse.

In this post I will continue the study of worship terminology by looking at the Hebrew word Shabach. This post is very similar to a post I wrote in 2013 titled Seven Hebrew Words that Will Enhance Your Worship: Shabach.


Definition of Shabach from Bible Hub

Meaning of Shabach

According to Shabach means "to address in a loud tone, that is, (specifically) loud; figuratively to pacify (as if by 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.


Crazy, exuberant praise

What can we learn from this?

  • LoudWorship, 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 will praise (Shabach) you.

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)!

Three Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What has God done in my life that is worthy of shouting out?
  2. What joy has God brought into my life?
  3. Am I willing to declare my 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

Posted in General Worship and tagged , , .