“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” – Psalm 100:4
I love this verse and the very imagery it conjures. I imagine what it must have been like, with thousands of people rejoicing and entering the gates of the temple with hearts full of thanksgiving. As those people approach the courts of the temple they burst into praise for God most high. What a sound that must have been!
There are many Hebrew variations for the word praise. In Psalm 100:4, the Hebrew word used for praise is thillah teh-hil-law’ [Strong’s 8416] which means to bring praise, specifically in the form of a hymn!
According to Strong’s Concordance thillah teh-hil-law’ is derived from halal haw-lal’ [Strong’s 1984] which actually helps us discover what praise looks like in this particular context – or what those hymns might have sounded like.
Miriam Webster dictionary defines praise as expressing favorable judgment or glorifying (a god or saint) especially by the attribution of perfections. This is a great definition but I believe Strong’s definition of halal haw-lal’ goes a step further. Using some of the words listed under the Strong’s definition , this is the praise I believe Psalm 100:4 is challenging us to offer.
Praise is boasting about God. It’s about setting down our pride [stultify] and making a lot of noise to the point of appearing foolish [clamorously foolish]. It’s more than lip service; we need to throw everything into it [causatively] – be expressive! Praise is a celebration!
How exciting does that sound? In today’s church many have lost that excitement, some even fear our emotions getting out of control. God is good and greatly to be praised. Let’s go a little crazy [praise enthusiastically; rave] every now and again. It certainly challenges me to be more expressive when I lead worship.