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Seeds of the Kingdom

Stand Up and Praise the Lord

by Liz Griffin

And the Levites – Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah – said: ‘Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.’ Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.
Nehemiah‬ 9:5,‬ NIVUK‬‬‬‬‬‬

How do you experience praise and worship in your meetings with God's people? King David, the man after God's own heart left clear instructions for the Israelites. He not only appointed leaders to lead public worship, but wrote lyrics for many of the songs they were to sing.

One of my favourite psalms is Psalm 149 in which we read ‘Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honour and sing for joy on their beds’ (Psalm 149:1-5‬).‬‬‬

In the book of Nehemiah we get a fascinating insight into how praise and worship was organised as follows: 'And the leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and their associates, who stood opposite them to give praise and thanksgiving, one section responding to the other, as prescribed by David the man of God' (Nehemiah‬ 12:24‬).‬

This worship came from the hearts of the people, who had recently found many reasons to give thanks to God. They knew above all He was a 'forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love' (Nehemiah‬ 9:17‬). ‬

The last five Psalms(146-150 are known as the ‘Hallelujah Psalms’, because they begin and end with the Hebrew word ‘Hallelujah’. How do you understand this word? In the King James Version of scriptures those words are translated ‘Praise ye the Lord’, which is an exhortation, or directive command, for what the people were to do. In other biblical contexts it has more of the meaning of ‘I praise the Lord’. I believe that praise and worship involve a free will decision on our part and then God ‘takes delight in His people’.

Prayer: Dear loving heavenly Father how I want to praise You and worship You in a way that brings You delight and pleasure! I thank You that You are forgiving and compassionate and your grace and unfailing love never come to an end. May our congregations and meetings be full of joy, blessing and celebration, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Liz Griffin lived for 20 years as an expatriate in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan, as her husband Paul worked for an international oil company. Paul and Liz became involved with Ellel Ministries in 1991 as part of the ministry team and joined the full-time team at Ellel Grange in 1995. Paul and Liz teach and minister to those seeking healing in their lives and together have written two books, 'Anger - How Do You Handle It' and 'Hope and Healing For The Abused'.

 

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