The English language is incredibly complicated and confusing. As one who loves the language and studied it extensively, I never considered how perplexing it could be until I began teaching the language to those who do not speak English as their first language. We mix up word meanings, say things we don’t really mean, and have effectively changed the meaning of words over our history.
From the time I was young I recall the phrase, “yadah, yadah, yadah” being used as a flippant response to imply “and so forth and so on.” So imagine my surprise when studying scripture and researching word use and meaning when I found praise to translate in Hebrew as yadah. In its standard translation, the word means to throw, shoot or cast. However, when used in a demonstrative form, yadah translates to give thanks and praise.
This Hebrew translation makes yadah take on an entirely different perspective for me, especially as we are studying Advent. What once seemed a lifeless conclusion to a statement now becomes a spiritual connection. An action of reverence and praise to our Holy God. We are throwing praise to God, lifting Him high and magnifying His name for all of the glory He embodies.
Let the people praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Psalm 67:3
Did you know that showering God with praise is a commandment? We are repeatedly called to praise Him and rejoice in Him. There is no more beautiful book of the Bible to see these commands and types of praise than Psalm.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Psalm 63:3
Knowing then that praising God is about calling attention to His glory. It’s about lifting His name high, blessing, magnifying, and glorifying His holy name. Praise is honoring God for who He is and all that He does. So when you take time to consider that the God of the Universe, Elohim, The Star-breather, and the One who created man from dust loves us so very much that He sent His Only Son Jesus Christ to earth to die for you and me; the desire to praise Him voraciously should overwhelm your spirit!
God who turned the sea into dry land (Psalm 66:6). God who protects us under the shadow of His wing (Psalm 63:7), and God who sent His Son to be the Savior of the world; that God is to whom we owe every ounce of our honor and praise. He deserves our yadah for all of eternity for His name will endure forever!