Miraculous Hebrew Words: relief from even the worst depression lies in some special Hebrew words. The Old Testament has at least seven such words describing worship. They are:
- YADAH – A verb with a root meaning “the extended hand, to throw out the hand”; therefore, “to worship with extended hand.” The antonym is to bemoan by wringing of hands. Yadah means to willfully throw your hands up to praise with power. II Chronicles 20:19-20 is the yadah type of praise.
- TOWDAH – From the same root as yadah comes the Modern Hebrew word for thanksgiving. Towdah means to extend hand in adoration, avowal, or acceptance. It means “to worship the Lord and to thank Him for things not yet received as well as for things already at hand.” See Psalm 50:23.
- HALAL – Our word “Hallelujah” stems from this. Halal means “to clear, to shine, to boast, to show, to rave, to celebrate, or to clamor foolishly.” To be a fool for Christ. Psalms 113 and 114.
- SHABACH – “To address with a loud tone, to command, to triumph, to glory, to shout.” Examples: Psalm 117:1, Psalm 63:1-3.
- BARAK – “To kneel and to bless God as an act of adoration,” also to bless the Lord whilst anticipating something from Him. Not to beg but just to be expectant. Psalm 72:12,13.
- ZAMAR – “To touch the strings,” Having to do with percussion, wind or rhythm instruments. Making a loud rhythmic sound. Psalm 57:8,9 and Psalm 150.
- TEHILLAH – “To sing praises unto the Lord.” Psalm 22:3. God dwells in the praises of His people.
Downers: What used to be called the “age of anxiety” is now the Age of Depression. Prolonged, chronic anxiety inevitably leads to depression. Observe people in a shopping center. Many have that look of utter dismay as though they lost their tribes. They suffer unresolved grief. They are afraid without knowing what they fear. They are sad but unable to cry. They are in grief but not really grieving. They cannot express themselves. Everything is inchoate! They cannot laugh. They need to watch a comedian in order to laugh and, even then, it’s just a snicker not a hearty laugh. Worst of all, they cannot really live. Life is tasteless. It just slips through the fingers like sand. The doctor prescribes antidepressants that provide some relief. You don’t feel so bad, you don’t feel so much, finally you don’t feel at all. Until the drug wears off.
Then you need another, and then another prescription. So we stroll through the shopping mall of life, on the way to the chemist, clutching the Zoloft prescription in one hand and the cash in the other, not quite remembering where the car is parked, hoping we don’t run into anyone we know. Not just now, Oh God, I need to be alone with my thoughts. Like a poisoned dog slinking into the corner to die. The Age of Depression. God, oh my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Uplift: If we are not too stoned to ask that question, we will get an answer. God always answers. What you really need, and what the doctor should prescribe instead of the Prozac, is intense, whole-hearted, ever-loving, hand-clapping, foot-stomping, moan and groan, soul-restoring, shake and quake, worship of our Living God. YADAH, TOWDAH, HALAL. SHABACH, BARAK, ZAMAR. Bible-belt worship. Great-Southland-of-the Holy-Spirit worship. Like the Pentecostals do. Like the foot-washing Baptists and the Holy Rollers. Like the American Blacks. You think you got problems? What about the ghetto American Blacks? Or even the Jews? Yea, like the Jews! Have you heard Messianic Jews worship, lately? Get a tape and listen. They make televangelists sound like a night at the opera. You think YOU got problems? YADAH, TOWDAH, HALAL. SHABACH, BARAK, ZAMAR! Go fer it. Get stuck into it. Praise the Lord! Give Him all you got! Spill your guts! (I mean lay bare your soul.) Fall on your face! Bang the gong! Lift Holy hands. Wowee. Brothers and Sisters! Fools for Christ! Lift Jesus higher!
And then, then, then…quietly, quietly, softly…be still and know that I am God, and sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to come upon you. “Flood my soul.” Take away my grief, give me the courage to put down the pills, Lord, and rely on You. Precious Jesus, take away my compulsions, my obsessions, my depression, my drugs, my sin… Take away my depressing co-dependency, my depressing videos, my depressing relationships with depressing people, my depressing lifestyle… Make me lie down in green pastures. Lead me beside still waters…
And then , after an hour, after real praise, worship, surrender, repentance and Holy Spirit infusion, giving it all you got, if you are still depressed and hanging out, give me a call and we’ll pray together.
I need your help. You see, Jesus says that if I help you with your problems, I won’t get depressed. Yes, He did. I can’t quite find the exact Scriptures this very minute but it’s there somewhere. Anyway, I can’t take pills because I’m a recovered drug addict. If I take one Trycyclic, I’ll be back on the dope in no time. You think YOU got problems? Praise the Lord, I’m clean today. Nothing in my blood but blood.
Brothers and sisters, yeah and amen. We were created by Our Ever-Loving God to worship Him. If we don’t, in all the ways He wants us to, we will get severely depressed. We will get sick. We will go down to the pit, the valley of the shadow of death. Many will actually die. But not you and I. As for me and my house… See you in church!