While we’re on the subject of praise …
… I want to share this bit of AH HA.
There is a verse in the Psalms – well, let’s not just talk about it – let’s bring it right up on stage:
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes
You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. - Psalms 8:2
So what, you may ask, does this have to do with praise?
You might already know if you looked this up in another Bible. (Above is NASB – the AnotherRedLetterDay standard.) If you happen to have a Darby[i] on your shelf (electronic or otherwise) you would find this:
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou established praise because of thine adversaries, to still the enemy and the avenger. - Psalms 8:2 DBY
At first this seems quite unaccountable.
The Hebrew word we are talking about here is ‘oz’ pronounced like the end of the word ‘Cheerios.’ The definition here has not the slightest reference to praise, rather it simply means strength or strong.
So how do we get to praise.
Well there is the way of logic and the way of the Master – walk with me for a couple minutes and I think you will enjoy this.
First the scenic route of logical popcorn theology (by that I mean pulling various verses from all over the place to prove your point – not that there is anything wrong with that – [wink])
1 – God inhabits [or is enthroned in] praise:
Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. - Psalms 22:3
2 – Where God is – there is joy:
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. - Psalms 16:11
3 – Joy is strength
… Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. - Nehemiah 8:10
Therefore, my logical, mathematical conclusion is that praise = strength.
But as I said there is a more direct route.
There was a Guy a couple thousand years ago walking around Jerusalem, and getting some heat from the authorities because the crowds were calling out to Him for deliverance and the children were showering Him with praises. It seemed as thought they might riot and make Him King or Pope or something like that. And then...
…And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF'?" - Matthew 21:16
So did Jesus misquote the Psalm?
No – Jesus knew the power of praise – the strength of standing in the midst of your enemies, and turning your eyes directly on your wonderful God and filling your mouth with praise. [Tweet this]
Remember when Jehoshaphat led the Army of Israel into battle with the worship team up front. You can read it in 2 Chronicles 20.
The long and the short of the story is – well – here:
When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, "Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting." When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. - 2 Chronicles 20:21-22
Got yourself is a tough spot? Turn your affections to Jesus, open your mouth and use this wonderful weapon.
Your lovingkindness truly is everlasting, Lord!
See you again soon.
[i] J. N. Darby translated the bible in 1890. This translation of the Bible is in the public domain.