Is “God Inhabits the Praises of His People” Really Biblical?

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Theology & Thought86 Comments

I reluctantly lift up the truce-flag of exegetical honesty.  I desperately want it to say it.  Many worship leaders (including myself) have quoted it as saying it.  It would be a great proof-text-style summary verse for a very important aspect of the theology of worship.  But the fact is that the translational evidence leans heavily against us being able to say that “God inhabits the praises of His people” is an accurate rendering of the Hebrew of Psalm 22:3.  Now, it is certainly a possible translation, but it is not the one that makes the best sense of the poetry.  Before we unpack this, let’s look at why it would be so valuable for it to say what it doesn’t say.

Why I Wish It Says What It Doesn’t Say

This verse, for worship leaders, is akin to that elusive “one verse” that proof-texts the Trinity for many Christians.  It’s an exegetical silver bullet.  “God inhabits the praises of His people” is a one stop shop articulation of the core of Christian worship: that God chooses to manifest Himself uniquely in the context of gathered, corporate worship generally and perhaps in the singing1 of God’s people particularly.  In an effort to elevate singing to nearly “sacramental” status (many have observed that evangelicals [probably due in part to the influence of Pentecostal theology on the whole of evangelicalism] have made congregational singing the “third sacrament” of Protestantism because of how much weight we give to experiencing God’s presence in the midst of singing), this verse would be a slam dunk argument in less than ten words. 

Does God really inhabit the praises of His people?  You better believe it.  We would just need to work a little harder and ponder Scripture more broadly and systematically to unearth this rich theological/doxological truth.  Psalm 22:3 just doesn’t say it as clearly as we would hope.

Why It Probably Doesn’t Say What I Wish it Would Say

Hebrew poetry is different than English poetry.  Typically, English poems use rhyme at the ends of phrases alongside other wonderful poetic devices, but Hebrew poetry was more often concerned with other elements of style, like balanced metrical patterns.  Hebrew meter is often defined by “units” (not necessarily syllables) in how meter is counted and added up.  A phrase which groups these units is called a “colon”—one line of poetry.  Two lines paired together are called “bicola,” while three grouped lines are called “tricola.”   Scholars will often shorthand syllables and cola with little equations like this (Psalm 22:1, 12):2

(1) My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
     My moaning is of the distance of my salvation!   (4+4)

(12) Don’t be distant from me,
     for trouble is near;
     there is certainly no helper!     (2+2+2)

Verse 1’s equation reads “4+4,” meaning, “there are four (Hebrew, not English) units in the first line and four units in the second line of this bicola.”  Verse 12’s equation reads “2+2+2,” meaning, “there are two units in each of the three lines of this tricola.”

All this is important to the translational debate surrounding 22:3.  This verse is a bicola, but the question is whether it is 3+2 or 2+3.  In this five-unit bicola, the word in the middle could either be grammatically tied to the first colon (making it 3+2) or the second colon (making it 2+3).  The middle word is yoshev, the verb for “sit, dwell, inhabit.”  Various translations will render yoshev as “inhabit” (KJV) or “enthrone” (NIV, NASB, ESV).  If yoshev were part of the first colon, the translation would be something like:

You are enthroned as holy;  (3)
     The praise of Israel.  (2)

If yoshev were a part of the second colon, the translation would be something like:

You are holy; (2)
     Inhabiting/enthroned on the praises of Israel.  (3)

Hopefully, even in somewhat straightened English, you can see the difference in meaning depending on where the key verb fits.  Either is plausible.  How do we decide?

John Goldingay, siding with the translation of the Septuagint (LXX, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) and Jerome’s Vulgate, offers what is to me a convincing case that the former 3+2 rendering should be preferred over the latter:

The idea of Yhwh’s sitting enthroned in the heavens or in Zion is a familiar one (2:4; 55:19 [20]; 80:1 [2]; 99:1; 123:1; cf. 99:1-3 for the association with Yhwh’s being the holy one; also Isa. 57:15).  Likewise, the idea that Yhwh as Israel’s praise is a familiar one (Deut. 10:21; Jer. 17:14), but the idea of Yhwh’s being enthroned on or inhabiting Israel’s praise is unparalleled, and if either of these is the psalm’s point, one might have expected it to be expressed more clearly.  The fact that 3-2 is the more common line division supports the conclusion that LXX construes the line correctly.3

In other words, two things stand out:

  1. The content of the 3+2 rendering is more “normal” for the way Scripture talks about God elsewhere.  (God as “enthroned Holy One” is a common attribution, whereas God “inhabiting/enthroned on Israel’s praises” is an utterly unique phrase.)
  2. 3+2 is apparently more common than 2+3.

This argument isn’t air tight.  It’s just sensible, given the data.  It’s still possible that the other translational option is correct, but it is less reasonable.  If I’m honest, I really want to believe the less reasonable option, but if I’m truthful, it’s not the best choice.  So while it doesn’t seal the deal, the “reasonable doubt” I now have leads me to not want to misquote Scripture.  Here I side with the NIV and Goldingay (and Jerome and LXX), over against great translations and scholars like the NASB, ESV, and Peter Craigie. 

Leading with Rigorous Integrity

Why have I taken so much time to dissect Hebrew minutiae on a blog post?  Ultimately, it comes down to integrity.  Will I approach the Scriptures as honestly as possible, and will I model that honesty thoroughly before the people I lead, even when it eliminates what I considered a major tool in my “worship theology shorthand” arsenal?  Sometimes (and I am guilty of this, too), we allow a little mis-exegesis to slide because “it’s just too good.”  But if we desire to be trustworthy as pastors, teachers, and leaders, we need to try to be as exegetically honest as possible, even as Christ forgives and washes His blood over all our shoddy best efforts. 

(By the way, how did I come up with this?  Do I sit around reading my Hebrew Bible?  No way.  The punch line of this little exercise is that, upon seeing so many varying translations of this key verse, I decided to dive into the Hebrew, aiming at proving the validity of “God enthroned on the praises of His people.”  Quite the opposite occurred, much to my chagrin.)

********************

1 The Hebrew word for “praises” (tehillah) is used elsewhere (e.g. the inscription of Psalm 145) to mean, quite particularly, “praise-songs” or “hymns.”
2 This translation is from Peter Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983), 194.
3 John Goldingay, Psalms: Volume 1: Psalms 1-41 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006), 327-328.

86 Comments on “Is “God Inhabits the Praises of His People” Really Biblical?”

  1. Thanks for the analysis, Zac- very interesting, especially considering the frequency with which this concept is cited. By the way, the NET seems to shy away from the conflict altogether: "You are holy; you sit as king receiving the praises of Israel." 🙂
    Oh and…I'll have a tricola, please. Sounds refreshing! Ah!

  2. Zac, thanks for the blog post. I've fallen into similar traps regarding that verse.

    A few years ago I was looking for the exegetical silver bullet regarding marriage and families. First, I didn't find the model marriage I was looking for, and second, I discovered that the New Testament says a great deal more about the family of God than it does about the traditional family.

    Great stuff! And thanks for keeping me on my toes!

    Mike Klassen

  3. Elaine: Nice. The NET still takes a stand on the placement of the middle verb, but you're right, it side-steps a bit.

    Josiah: Thanks for the kind words.

    Mike: That's a REALLY important insight that I don't hear a lot of people talk about…especially the folks from the "family first" movement.

  4. Zac,Your truthful approach to scripture is the method the Spirit of Truth wants you to take. I have written a few short books on biblical subjects which have been stretched by popular / political influences. One short piece, "The Last Enemy of Christ", can be viewed online free at http://comeoutofhermypeople.com/lastenemy.html
    It's about a twenty minute read that may change the way you think about eschatology.
    Blessings,
    CW

  5. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. – Zechariah 2:10

  6. CHOOSING NOT TO SEE THE TRUTH DOES NOT MAKE IT SO. Take away Psalm 22:3 and you still have to ignore all of the other accounts that support the fact that God does inhabit the praises of His people…Acts 16:23-26 “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”…Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”…2 Chronicles 20:18-24 "18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout. 20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!” 22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped."

  7. Agreed, Steve. It doesn't sound like we disagree on the overarching principle, and perhaps another read of my post would solidify that for you. I am merely advocating exegetical honesty as to what INDIVIDUAL passages say. I wholeheartedly support the proposition that God inhabits the praises of His people. Thanks!

  8. Zac. Great post. Really clear description of the translational options. And I really like that you were honest in saying what you wanted. And how easy it is to go with what we all want. Nicely done.

  9. IF we, who are called by His name are obeying, listening to Him and loving Elohim with all of our heart, mind and strength; then we are a faithful bride. However, if we who are called by His name are not obeying His Word, dismissing the festivals and continue to practice and DO like the pagans living among us (celebrating pagan Christmas on december 25th, celebrating easter instead of Resurrection day and Passover, changing the sabbath day to SUNday then I would caution those individuals to examine their beliefs and audit them against the Word.
    Jacob

  10. Jacob, I'm not sure what your comment has to do with this post, but I might just say that I'm awfully thankful that even when I am not obeying God and listening to Him perfectly, I am loved by and covered in the righteousness of One who did do all those things. Praise Jesus.

  11. Praise & worship is a strengthening privelage to us. I stand in awe of the God who designed it for our deliverance & survival. It adjusts us to hear Him, afresh. His immediacy in our presence should shape our view of why we come together in worship, and make us toss aside lesser things for this mystery of Him in us collectively. "Let the high praise of God be in their mouths and a two-edged sword in their hands…He has given this honor to his saints". Ps 149 Unfortunately, it is rarely pursued this way in our services.

  12. Thanks for this! Actually, I tried to look up this verse based on how I had memorized it (the Lord inhabits the praises of His people), and I couldn't find it that way…which led me to ask the same question you did! What does Psalm 22:3 really mean? I was getting ready to teach preteens about worship, and I was looking for some meat. Glad I ran across your blog. It really helped me today. Very well done. 🙂 Blessings, Sarah Moran

  13. Zac, It would appear that you had some loss in your process–God Himself. In the process you took Him out and forgot to put Him back in … just like cocoa butter in the chocolate making process.

    Psalm 22:3 NLT puts it best and puts the matter to rest. How cool is it that Jesus Himself recited and lived out parts of this psalm?

    The intellectual approach to Scripture all too easily becomes an exercise in logic. How great is our illogical God! To choose imperfect vessels to carry His Message? To be willing to send His Son to die for our sins and to form a blood covenant with us? Awesome El Shaddai!!! Hallelujah!

    Furthermore, we who have fought the devil tooth and nail (with grace abounding) for our ongoing sanctification know that the key to our soul's freedom is praise! Why is that so? Simply because the Lord inhabits the praises of His people.

    May the Lord, mighty God, bless and keep you in perfect peace, Zac!

    Michael

  14. Michael,

    Thanks for your post, brother, but it sounds like you didn't read it, or didn't read it carefully. I conclude the same as you. The Lord does indeed inhabit the praises of His people.

    And it looks like we'll have to agree to disagree on whether or not our God is illogical. My limited knowledge of God reveals Him to be the definition of logic and wisdom. Does that mean that He is predictable? By no means. His ways are higher (Isaiah 55), and often confound our PERCEIVED "logic." But saying what I just said, in my opinion, is different from saying that God is illogical. Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you, but it looks like we differ, there.

    Finally, I have to disagree with you about the key to our soul's freedom (and sanctification). Praise isn't it. Christ is, and Christ alone. Perhaps you didn't mean what you said as strongly as I'm taking it, and if so, strike this from the record, brother.

    Thanks for the comment! Grace & peace to you, as well.

  15. Zac, I have to say your response made me think twice about how I approach praising our Lord. For that I am grateful!

    It would seem that you have confused some of your readers. By reading others' comments, I feel safe mentioning this. (I have read your post, by the way.)

    The limitations in our subjective minds can hinder even the best of us. For example, even when the Word tells us about the Holy Spirit (Acts 2, 10, and 19), there are believers who think His manifestations are creepy or even demonic! Far too often, people lose intimacy with the Lord because of their desires to box Him in. Clearly, our God is illogical from a human standpoint (1 Cor. 1:27). If you do not see what I am saying, then you are a most blessed man!

    Hermeneutics is a headlight to spelunk deep truths sought by finite human minds. As a pastor, I appreciate your desire to maintain Scriptural integrity. We can see that there are far too many leaders in the Church using their opinions as biblical truth. A little leaven…

    May God's best be yours even as your soul prospers!

    Michael

  16. excellent post. Scriptural integrity and honesty are to be honored and commended.

    One way I'd approach it however is rather than to be bound by one translation, in a case like this either translation still express a truth.

    It is true certainly that God sits on His throne as the praise of Israel and receiving rightfully the praises of His people.

    However as others have cited here a little there a little, clearly it is true that God inhabits or dwells or Manifests himself more expressly and partcularly among the atmosphere of His people's praise.

    I will Dwell
    Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. – Zechariah 2:10

    I would feel free to quote either translation as spiritual truth from scripture and perhaps nowhere is the truth more precisely mirrored than here:

    2Ch 5:13    It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;
    2Ch 5:14    So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.

    The clear inference and emphasis is to tie Praise directly to the manifestation of Gods presence.
    3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
    3 But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].
    3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
    3 God, you are the Holy One. You sit as King upon the praises of Israel.

    ALL OF THE ABOVE, TRUE!

  17. All the contributions have been enlightening.I have a question which is a departure from what is being discussed here but given the insight of the contributors I would like to hear from any. The question bothering me Is: What is the age that a child can take part in the Lord's supper? Should age be the determining factor or the knowledge and acceptance of Christ as savior alone?

  18. I don't know Hebrew, but I am a poet. I know poetry resonates with multiple layers of meaning. For instance in English poetry a line may take on a different slant when comparing it with the line above it as opposed to the line beneath it. So both meanings may and probably are true. If you think God can't write poetry that hits us on multiple levels then that would make God a poor poet. He is not a poor poet.

  19. Sweet. My wife was just having coffee with a lady she mentors and called me to ask about this. A Google search turned up a number of hits. Found this one. Love the approach in taking scripture as it is and not as we would like it to be. Thanks for the insight.

  20. Thank you! I was looking for this passage because I have heard it quoted, but wasn't sure exactly the wording. I can see your point that it most prob goes with the first line, but agree with Steve also, that there is ample evidence that God does inhabit the praises of his people. I believe this is why there is such a controversy about worship in churches, the enemy knows when the people of God worship (sing, praise, etc.) that the battle line has been drawn. I will not "misquote" this scripture, but will still encourage people to sing & make music in their hearts to the LORD so that he may come and dwell with us for that brief time we have in worship together.

  21. I agree that we don't hang our theology on God inhabiting the praises of his people on one verse, its more the concept that the Bible teaches throughout.Just like the trinity, the New Testament throughout teaches us that truth not just one verse. The value of traditional family and marriage are concepts taught throughout the entire Bible. It is very dnagerous to base theology on a single verse on any topic although it is done far to often.

  22. It does make sense. Honestly, why would God want to inhabit words when He desires to dwell within US?!I do believe as we sing to the Lord, and we lift Him up, and sing of his majesty, wonder, love and all the other things He is it definitely gets His attention… but I would want Him to come and dwell in me, not just in the words I am singing.

    Although I know as well the power our words have… but still it just doesn't make sense if you look at it in that way. God knows I'm no bible scholar by any means. I try to think logically, even from a Pentecostal view point.

    Anyway, thank you for the view point. Hopefully we ALL seek to know more truth rather than handed down Chrisitanism's.

  23. Hey – I'm a praise and worship leader and have been for years…have a degree in piano & composition, I've toured and played at Carnegie Hall, not that it matters, just saying this for my point coming up. I read the blog and I understand analytical thinkers feel like they have to dissect every half-letter of every word every written and of course that blog sounds very studios, but I read it and came away in utter confusion. I would love to read things in somewhat "plain english" …just meaning that in terms of something a 12 year old could read, grasp and understand quickly. Not saying that it's wrong to be scholarly and intelligent…but sometimes things can be said in such a way that we are trying to hard to "sound" one way or the other, instead of just speaking "plain english" …speak things more to the point. If you said this to a whole church congregation, they'd be lost at "exegetical." The reason I say is this: We speak on the things of God so OTHERS can grasp and understand the wisdom that God is speaking through us…our goal is to help as many as we can right? If we lose everyone, then why speak? Or are we more saying this to ourselves? (I'm not trying to sound condemning at all. I'm just saying this because I'm also a worship leader and speaker…and the most effective ones I've heard speak with less complexity…while still bringing "complex" issues and ideas to the table, they speak it plainly, to the point, blunt, from God, etc, BUT without this "kind" of speech that is almost like an "invitation-only" gathering. Does that make sense? Do you see what I'm trying to say without being offended?)

    The other thing is this: Yes it's good to know the Word, know your Bible, know the meaning, BUT the "way" God works in our lives through worship and praise and prayer and healing, etc, etc is NOT always going to be something that can be 100% explained! What's so absolutely shocking to me and kinda upsetting is that it sounds like you're actually trying to disprove the verse that "God inhabits the praises of his people." What? Seriously? You're a worship leader and your 'job' and 'goal' is to usher in the presence of God in church and to pull on the heart of God for you and your church…and this is seriously of concern to you that you try to disprove this verse? That is unbelievable to me. The last thing the American church needs is worship leaders that don't genuinely feel God's presence and supernatural power in their lives on a CONSISTENT basis in their daily lives. Christianity is growing faster in OTHER countries, rather than America…and one of the main ways God works in our lives, in churches….IS THROUGH PRAISE AND WORSHIP. True worship creates confusion to the devil and the demonic realm…praise and worship is a spiritual weapon that we have…worship ushers in the presence of God…when we sing songs of scripture it "pierces to the division of the should and spirit. (Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the WORD of God is LIVING and ACTIVE, sharper than any 2-edged sword piercing to the division of the soul and spirit…") 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "ALL scripture is breathed out by God…that the man of God may be competent & EQUIPPED for EVERY good work.
    Most of the songs we sing are infiltrated with scripture from song-writers that are desperately in love with God and want the world to see and feel ALL of God's power, presence, anointing, etc….look at Kim Walker from Jesus Culture and Darlene from Hillsong. They are 2 of the best examples that KNOW how to pull on God and help usher in the presence of God and SPEAK the word of God through song or during free worship. I also experience God in such huge ways every time I lead a church and in my bedroom when I'm calling out to God. So much of true worship comes just when WE decide, "GOD, I WANT YOU! I WANT YOU TO SHOW UP! I PRAISE YOU FOR YOUR MERCY AND GRACE AND BLOOD! I WANT ALL OF YOU FOR MY LIFE AND MY CHURCH!" etc etc…then God, "INHABITS, THE PRAISES" of me, of my church, etc, etc…it's not a difficult concept or idea to grasp. God says, "you have not because you ask not." That refers to everything….if I want something, I ask…if I want God more and I want God's presence, then I ASK….and GOD shows up. Every time I've asked God to show up, EVERY TIME God has shown up for me and for where ever I am! This is a biblical principle that will not change. We also reap what we sow….if we sow joy, we get joy….if sow anger, we're not going to be happy…we sow PRAISE to GOD…GOD WILL SHOW UP! And He does, every time. God is the one so many times that says, "Draw near to me, and" …..WE have to activate our faith in order for it to work….we have to DRAW near to God in order for God to draw near to us….we have to STUDY to show ourselves approved…it's a simple pattern that is over the entire Bible. We have to do out part, then God does the rest and shows up. That's why God says "It is impossible to please God without faith." IMPOSSIBLE. Don't even pray if you're not going to believe what you pray. It ALL comes back to WHY God SHOWS UP when WE pull on God during praise and worship!

    Why is it that some people in your church service seem to be SO engulfed in worship and hands raised and really feeling God, when possible the person behind them could be half asleep? Because ONE of them is DRAWING NEAR TO GOD, while the other is worrying about the color of their shoes. Its THAT SIMPLE. Analytical thinkers need to chill a little more and let God take over more. You DO NOT have to understand everything that is happening. Why did God say "Come to me like a child?" What's amazing to me is that a 5 year old can get saved! They know NOTHINGGGGG. Think about that for a sec. a 5 year old can get saved and be FOREVER God's through eternity and yet all they know is that God loves them and God died for them and they say, "YES!" Did they have to analyze the whole Bible? Can they even read!? Do they know what the word finance or supernatural or sex or anti-Christ means? No no no. But they are still forever God's INSTANTLY when they say yes to God. (I actually got saved at 5.)
    My church has been having revival meetings this week and I actually just came from an amazing service. God's power was so strong. Just unbelievable. And last night was the single strongest touch of God I've felt in my entire 29 years of being on this earth. Much of this came through the speaker and our church pulling on God and praising God for who He was and WANTING God to show up in a powerful way…..AND HE DID! Because GOD…DOES….INHABIT…the praises of His people. Please man, there is SO MUCH MORE time you should be focusing on USHERING IN the presence of God and writing on why America NEEDS MORE of God in these times and REVIVAL in church more now then EVER before, then trying to disprove the touch of God from people that want God to inhabit. Seriously?? Dude, seriously, think about that man. That just baffles me. It shocks me. This coming from a WORSHIP LEADER. Get some fire under your belt for SEEING and FEELING God more in your life and for your churches life. Its so important. I'm sick TO DEATH of seeing dead churches in America and hearing of the miraculous and incredible anointing and moves of God all over the world. That needs to happen in AMERICA again and stronger and more every week. How can WE put a box on GOD! As smart as you are, do you even realize how ridiculous our minds our compared to GOD??? Seriously? We are talking about GOD, who gave you your mind and holds the UNIVERSE in His hand right now? Please dude, spend your time trying to get ALL of God you can. More anointing, more power, more God's presence, more mercy, more favor, more more more of God…because dude, GOD will show up more as you draw more to Him. He's done
    it for me, he's done it for my church, my friends and he WILL do it for you. Its SO…IMPORTANT.

  24. Zac,

    Man, I appreciate your post so very much. Thanks for your desire to know God and his Word so much that you went mining for truth. I also want to encourage you by recognizing that your responses to folks in the comments section have been seasoned with grace; I have been instructed by your example as you have put aside any defensiveness that might easily have been triggered by critical comments. You have consistently responded with respect, honesty and love, never forgetting to give Jesus the praise. May God give me the same wisdom and grace. Stay faithful, brother.

    Serving God with you in my little corner of the Body of Christ,

    Jonathan Blycker

  25. I believe that God does dwell in the praises of His people and the scripture is correct. The reason that we have to call out to Him in times of distress is because we ourselves have take ourselves out of His presence. Maybe we have been out for a long time and didn't know it so when God seems to be no where to be found all we need do is ask Him to forgive us and of course mean it. If we are faithful to do that then we must start praising Him. When we take ourselves out of His presence via sin and anything is sin which takes our minds off of God. God can't for sure look at sin so it is like us taking our selves out of His presence and only we can get back into His presence by telling God that we are sorry and then the Blood of Jesus will take it's course. Sometimes we don't even know that we sin and being a worship leader you will certainly have a difficult time to keep away from getting too high and mighty ( after all you are leading the music) / Well I am not setting you up I am just saying that we can't be too careful about what we think is sin. Praising won't help if there is sin in our lives. We have to deal with that first. Remember that God is Holy and He cannot look at sin. When we are clear of sin and God looks at us He sees Jesus in us. Sincerely Evelyn Valentine
    .

  26. Hey Zac- nice post. I've used that verse many times in that fashion… but perhaps not too much now. Could you possibly list some other portions of Scripture that do in fact show that God does inhabit the praises of His people?

  27. I'm glad Jehoshaphat didn't read this blog or Paul and Silas for that matter. They practiced the Biblical principle from Ps 22, Ps 100 and so many other passages that teach us to enter the presence of God through genuine Praise and Worship.

  28. Awesome blog post! I appreciate the honesty, solid research and openness. Thanks
    It is a shame a lot of people seems to have misinterpreted some of what you said (judging by some comments anyway)

    I agree with you, God definitely inhabits the praises of his people however this Psalm probably isn't the best Biblical text for validating this point it.

  29. Zac,
    I read your post. I, of course, believe God inhabits the praise of His people. I even wrote a post to a friend, a lengthy post, as to why there is great problem with your post. It seems you do believe God inhabits the praise of his people….but I only gathered this after reading subsequent posts to your blog. You might want to make it clearer in your original blog, as it seems the title implies the opposite. Your problem was with the accustomed translation of the text, but your blog reads as though you disagree with the belief of God inhabiting praise, itself. Just a thought.

  30. While Goldengay's grammatical analysis is certainly plausible, I suspect that by applying the principle of allowing scripture to interpret scripture, it is possible to make a case for the USE of Ps 22:3 to teach the otherwise biblical concept of "God being enthroned upon the praises of His people." Certainly the prophetic passages pertaining to Jesus' virgin birth were not originally understood by their readers as prophetic in that precise sense, yet Matthew has no trouble appropriating and reinterpreting these words to connect them to that (biblically attested) historical event. As you say, Goldengay's analysis makes sense, but is not airtight … and there is no shortage of biblical material elsewhere that teaches a similar concept … so I'm not really seeing a huge integrity gap on the other side of the discussion. YMMV.

  31. For me, the verse in the second rendering fits nicely with the other verse that states : When two or more are joined together, there I am… and also with In Him we live and move and have our being from Acts 17. Truly He is spirit and not a sparrow drops from the ground without his blessing. Everything is ordained and shall come to pass – nothing is a mistake. The fact that he knows how many hairs are on our heads and collects our tears tells me He is thrilled when we praise. His whole aim is to restore and redeem us in His great love. Heck yeah, I'm there when my kids praise me. I might not be watching them because I am unable to be two places at once while in this earthly tent… but God has no limitation at all. 🙂 Either way, the concept still stands for me – even if the verse is translated a different way. He is everything and everywhere and the meaning behind all.

  32. Hi, even if it says that he is "God enthroned" and then
    Seperatley it says that he is the "praise of Israel" this IS indeed saying that God enthroned IS the praise of his people. The Lord on his throne IS the praise of his people, like they are the same thing, the thing is about Hebrew writing is that they usually repeat the same thing a few times, at least twice but to convey all the meaning of one thought. It's the multi faceted wisdom of The Lord coming through in the writing of scripture.

    So to say that The Lord is enthroned. And then to say The Lord is the praise of Israel, is saying the same thing. Our praises is his authority and reign. Our praises IS his vindication of his people. He is high and lifted up and and glorified IN the praises of his people. So either way if we translate it the way you did(which may be more correct) or we translate it the common way it MEANS the same thing. And the is further proven in scripture.

    Psalm 50:23
    Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

    Acts 16
    But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened

    Do you think The Lord would have inhabited there self focused cries of loathing and confusion? Would that have pleased and glorified him?

    I see you want "honest scriptural integrity" but when we obsess over the physical/intellectual parts of scripture we miss the spiritual truth. The truth is God does indeed inhabit the praises of his people and in those praises he goes before you in battle agaisnt the flesh, the world, and death. We can try to "get" every verse but if you don't let the spirit teach you then your not honest, for genoa the spirit of truth and guides you into all truth, the announcing that teaches you all things.

    "At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 2 Chronicles 20:2o-23

    Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands— Psalm 149:6

    It is the praises of God that he dwells in and inhabits, a chariot of sorts, that he goes before you in and does battle.

    So the praise of Israel IS The Lord most high in the throne. Amen.

  33. I came across this post while doing a simple search for the words I remembered from the Psalm. As a Jew, I was interested by your analysis. In general, I agree. Methodologically, your points are sound and certainly important. If one doesn't want & try to understand the actual/true meaning of the text, then whatever is the point of studying it?

    With regard to this verse in particular, I don't know which was the original/intended phrase division (or poetic 'line division'). However, just reading it, the following 'feels' more natural to me:
    ואתה קדוש / יושב תהלות ישראל

    This corresponds to what you call the "2+3" division.

    To mitigate Goldingay's arguments for "3+2", I'd just add the following into consideration as well. a) The verse [22:4 in Hebrew] doesn't mention the heavens – nor does its immediate context. b) The association with 'sitting in Zion' fits as well or better with the *2nd* phrase, which explicitly mentions Israel. c) The Hebrew for "you sit holy" just doesn't sound quite right to me, whereas "you sit [on] praises of Israel" seems a bit more fluid, poetically sensible, and comparable to such imaginative passages as Isaiah 66:1 ("Thus says YHWH: The heavens are my throne, and the earth is a stool for my feet…"). Again, this is just my 'sense', without doing an extensive search to find every similar or related phrase in Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). I might be wrong. d) The ta'amei ha-miqra (cantillation marks), added to the text in ancient times, also give the 2+3 division. This tells us at least that many Jewish scholars of the ancient and early modern period believed that to be the correct division.

    As you said so well, the argument for 2+3 also is not "airtight". Moreover, I agree with one of your commenters, who remarked that in poetry multiple symbolisms can be in play simultaneously. Regardless of which may be the more original division, I very much applaud your contention that the main thing is to consider all the evidence honestly and openly. And that is the main point that should be applied to every verse! Most readers of the Bible would be shocked to discover how different their translations often are from the original (sometimes unavoidably so due to difference in languages; sometimes inexcusably so).

    With regard to this verse in particular, I think there is one difference of much greater significance that is being lost in the discussion. The verse does not say "His people"; it says "Israel"! Obviously in the context of Tanakh, Israel is God's people. But the point is that by making a substitution of this nature, Christians are not only changing the text, they are also changing the meaning, as a consequence of their own different associations. As I can see from the discussion, most Christian readers understand "God's people" to be… Christians! But in the context of the Hebrew Bible, this is both anachronistic and obviously inaccurate. I hope that gives something to think about! Will you grant us another blog post on that aspect of the verse? 🙂

  34. I thought of three more points to add to my previous comment.

    e) If 3+2 is more common in Tanakh than 2+3, that in itself is not very strong evidence about this verse at all. 2+3 exists. Even if 2+3 didn't exist elsewhere, that could still be the intended division here. That is what poetry is… creativity… innovation… So I think this statistical argument is worth considering, but is rather weak evidence in terms of determining anything specific about this verse.

    f) If 3+2 were the intended meaning here, then "praises" would likely be in the singular rather than the plural (i.e., "the Praise of Israel"). Cf. 1 Samuel 15:29: "the Eternal of Israel" (sometimes trans. "the Glory of Israel", etc.)

    g) In fact, both the Septuagint (LXX) and Vulgate change "praises" (plural) to "praise" (singular) in order to implement this 3+2 understanding of the verse. Apparently those translators also felt it wouldn't quite make sense that way in the plural.

    Interested in your thoughts!

  35. Shuvyah,

    So many great comments in your post–loved hearing your insight and perspective! Related to your point about God's people being Israel, and that Christians have supplanted themselves as God's people in this passage (and in general), there are two points I would give in reply. The first is that the teachings of the Christian Bible essentially say that "true Israel" are those who have accepted the Jewish Messiah and submitted themselves to the Kingship and authority of that Jewish King (who Christians believe to be Jesus of Nazareth). Here is what is says in Romans 9: 6-8:

    "It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring."

    What the author of this passage is saying is that physical lineage is not the primary determination of who God's people are, but rather it is God's promise and choice that determines it. We see this in the life of Abraham who received promises from God that He would bless his descendants and make them into a great nation and bless all other nations through him. While God certainly blessed Abraham's descendants and made them into a great nation, we see that God's favor and God's choice was not directed towards all of Abraham's physical descendants, but towards select ones. For example: God chose Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, and even David over Saul.

    Another way to look at it is that Christians do not necessarily see themselves as a seperate entity from the Jewish nation, but rather the proper continuation of it. The Jewish authors of the Christian Bible saw themselves not as beginning a new religion, but instead the faithful remnant of the Jewish faith, believing that God had inacted a "new and better covenant" that was both the fulfillment and replacement of the covenant God made with the nation of Israel through Moses. Here is a passage from the prophet Jeremiah that one of these authors quoted when making this point:

    "The days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will make a new covenant
    with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
    It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt."

    Essentially, these founders of Christian doctrine believed that Jesus had introduced the new covenant that Jeremiah spoke of, and that the way for any person to rightly follow and serve the one true God was no longer through obedience to the commands given through Moses (the "old covenant"), but rather faith and obedience to the Messianic Jewish King, i.e. Jesus of Nazareth.

    My second point, is that even in the Hebrew texts there is much in the way of allusion, reference, and prophecy to Gentile (non-Jewish) peoples and nations being eventually brought into the love and blessing of God. Of course, even in the original Hebrew scripture there is a way given for non-Jews to be able to convert and worship God. I'm running out of time to finish this post, but you can search the prophets (Isaiah in particular) and find passages that speak of God eventually counting even nations like Egypt and Assyria as His people and to eventually be blessed by God.

    Anyway, if you want a better understanding of how Christians view themselves in context to Israel and Judaism, three sections of the Christian scriptures speak extensively about this: Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews.

    Hope that helps!

  36. Daniel,

    I have to disagree with your interpretation of the passage you quoted from Romans. If you continue reading the following chapters Paul's message becomes clearer.

    Paul is in no way saying that another group (i.e. Christians) has replaced Israel as God's people. His point is that there are some physical descendants of Abraham who will not inherit the promises of God.The examples he gives, such as Jacob and Esau, are to illustrate that God chooses sometimes and who are we to question God. The issue at hand is not whether Israel has been rejected by God, but who makes up Israel, in the sense of inheriting the promises. Paul even says, "I say then, has God rejected His People? May it never be!" (Romans 11:1) Israel always will be God's people even despite Israel's disobedience because God is faithful! God made a covenant with Israel and He keeps His covenants. If God had rejected Israel then His entire character would come into question.

    I do agree with you that God has always intended to make a way for the nations to come to Him. Paul describes this in his metaphor of the olive tree (Romans 11:17-24). Israel are the original branches, and yes some have been cut off. The nations are wild branches who have been grafted in. But the point is that the nations join Israel, God's people! They have joined the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12), and not the other way around.

  37. Very interesting read. As I was trying to find the verse and translation that read, "The Lord inhabits the praises of His people", I was finally reduced to Googling it and came across your blog. First, thank you for your integrity to rightly understand and teach the Word. I love that. As a teacher myself, I also like to break things down for better understanding. If the poem says You are enthroned as holy" and then there is a seemingly stand alone line (or maybe it is a continuation), "the praise of Israel", would it be correct then, to say, "You, the praise of Israel, are enthroned as holy"? I don't mean to change the Word by mixing it up, but to understand better the thought and completeness behind it. If my rephrasing it is correct, then more than being surprised by the lack of the familiar songed phrase about His habitation of our praises, I am even more taken back by the sheer awesomeness that God IS our praise. It shouldn't astound me, I suppose; He is everything: our exceeding great reward, our strength, our defender, our healer, and yes, our song. But our praise? It jumped off the screen at me. As a worship leader trying to convey truth about worship and praise, it would be beautiful to see Him give so clear an explanation of praise as Himself. Does "He is our praise" rightly convey truth? Or is this a translation error? I know He is the subject of our praise, but is that the same as saying "He is our praise". Am I going too far. I certainly, like you, want truth more than to create God in my image, however, I would like to hear if you have evidence to support or disprove this thought, as well. Peace!

  38. Hi Zac

    As a pastor I want to thank you for your faithful commitment to the Scriptures. I also want to help some of us who have commented, especially the more charismatic ones (I am too by the way), understand that we need to be both faithful to the Scriptures AND be filled with the Spirit. They aren't in competition with the other.

    What Zac has stated is not just an intellectual exercise that competes with the idea of God inhabiting the praises of His people. Zac is quite clear on his theological stance that God indeed does. This blog post about Ps 22.3 is simply to help us be faithful to NOT use Ps 22.3 as the championing verse that proves this to be the case (yes we can find the idea/concept/teaching all over Scripture so let's do that).

    It's important as followers of Jesus led and empowered by the Spirit to understand Scripture in the context it was written and spoken in. For those that don't like the scholarly approach to the text Zac has done and might be left confused by it, personal confusion is not a great reason to discount what Zac has laid out. I would encourage you to try to grapple with it rather than discount it. God's Word is timeless but we won't uncover and understand the timeless truth of what God is saying if we simply read back into the text as Americans (of wherever you're from) in the 21st century. We will tend to take things out of context, interpret from our limited lens, and misunderstand the text.

    Thank you Zac for your post and for helping the body of Christ be full of the Spirit and Truth together.

  39. Mister Zac Hicks, I appreciate how you have taken the time to do research on Gods word. I want you to know that it's wonderful that you took the time to make sure u were integral in your expression of Gods word. Its a blessing to know that other believers are combing the scriptures for deeper revelation of the incorruptible seed. Thanx for this interesting post. You keep on being a student of Gods word my friend. *thumbs up*

  40. Oh I forgot to type that I feel that way about certain scriptures that people throw around. It's like the scripture, 3 john 1:2, where John was speaking directly to Gaius, of course, when he says 'I wish above all things you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers'. I kind of see that as a salutation that John wrote letting Gaius know what Johns hope was for him, like something you would say to someone you cared about. I DO believe that God wants us to prosper and be in health but would that scripture specifically be the one to stand on for health and prosperity? Just like I wonder if this scripture you've written about. I believe God inhabits our praise and that praise draws near his manifested presence but is THIS PARTICULAR scripture the one establishes that truth……honestly?……just my thought…..that ended up being a lot longer comment than I intended *phew*

  41. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted (whether or not one is singing)

    The true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth (May or May not be singing)

    Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (May or May not be singing)

    Speak to one another in songs, psalms, and spiritual hymns making melody in your heart to The Lord (we sing to encourage one another, and making melody in our hearts may be a silent melody)

    The reference to the disciples being in prison and "they were praying and singing"….. How come no one focuses on the praying part? Regardless, the disciples we're praising God, glorifying Him. This can be done aside from singing. Singing is definitely a joyful thing, and The Lord is pleased with sacrifices of praise. Again, whether in word, song, or deed.

    My point is that faith and trust in Jesus is the gospel, not singing. Not everyone even likes to sing. True worship is done firstly through our faith in Jesus, and that by the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer.
    And I don't see where are we told that the "worship leader" is the one, or the only one, to "usher in God's presence".

    ALL believers can and should offer sacrifices of praise to The Lord, every day, and it doesn't matter if it's sung, or said quietly in one's heart to The Lord.

    God bless you believers. We are in unity if we have His Holy Spirit.

  42. Thank you for posting this. It is inspiring to see your integrity in pressing into God's Word to unveil His Truth and not just mold and shape things to say what you want. I shall aim to also walk in integrity in striving to understand the Truth of His Word because that really is where true freedom lies. Be Blessed! 🙂

  43. I've really enjoyed this blog post. My wife and I were discussing this and I came across your post. I thank God for the confirmation and feedback from others. Keep working with integrity my brother. You have Father's heart for your brothers and sisters in Christ. God bless!

  44. C.S. Lewis, I think, said, "It is in the process of being worshipped that God reveals His presence to men." I think I will just try to follow his observation, and seek His presence.

  45. Dear Pastor Zac,

    I came about your website while looking for the verse in the Bible "God inhabits the praise of his people" and I did not find it in the KJV. But I was certain it was translated like that possibly because I had heard it so many times growing up.

    Confession. I was miffed last night! Why? Hard to explain, but let me see if I can offer something completely unconventional as I received an epiphany last evening while watching my daughter perform at a concert choir.

    The high school performance was given in a Lutheran Church. The children were singing about praising God and wanting "to be with my Jesus" "way up yonder"

    It began to chew on me a bit!

    Why? I kept thinking to myself, "Did not Jesus Christ pay a huge price to allow God to live within us, seated on the heart of every believer? So why are we still fixated on God as being way up yonder?

    Then the verse hit me, "God inhabits the praise of his people"

    Immediately I caught the epiphany.

    HIS PEOPLE. WE ARE HIS PEOPLE.

    IF YOU PRAISE HIS PEOPLE, YOU ARE PRAISING GOD. God desires praise now and Christ is within.

    This is extraordinary! And helps me to understand that we are still living in a kind of Jonah paradigm of God. He way up yonder, and we often sitting on a hill, after we have been witnessing to the wicked people, somehow eagerly awaiting our Jesus to come and destroy them all at the end of the millennia. While we get caught away and escape. Hmmmmmm.

    We are a self governed nation.

    Do we really understand what that means?

    I hope you can understand what I am presenting to you. If so, I have achieved a status of equality as Paul defined as a mission statement, through the perfecting of the saints (done by exchanging with one another)

    If not, I can imagine you with arms crossed, scolding brow, and perhaps thinking to yourself, "another yahoo! I don't have time for it."

    But imagine if you can, you and I as equals. A church that when they viewed another believer or for that matter, another human being, that they were seeing God, and had an opportunity to exchange gifts given by him exactly for that purpose.

    Perfecting the saints.

    Call not common or unclean what I have cleansed… Which person did Jesus blood NOT cleanse in all the earth? Who? There is no exclusion. There should be then NO EXCLUSIVITY.

    God inhabits the praise of his people then becomes something to act on when we see each other, and offer beyond common courtesy, and exchange that includes praise and honor of the other person, befitting don't you think, since God Himself dwells within that person through the spirit, and the price paid for us to enjoy this relationship with the spirit (Christ in you) was through the Blood of Jesus.

    I do long greatly for the shift from Jonah paradigm, to that of Christ in the church BELIEVED, ACTED UPON, KNOWN AND ENJOYED.

    I am so very tired, crushed, by the cold and judgmental stares of people who long for praise and honor of men, but do not know that they are in the process of becoming gods and in their quest to rise above and sit on a hill in judgment, they do not realize they are the very gourd and infested with the very worm that ate away and caused the sun to blare down and light up for us the intense truth. "Don't you care about these people?"

    I said ye are gods, but ye shall die like men, because you deny the holy – Psalms (sorry not an exact quote)

    Holy also means WHOLE

    Ephesians 4:13 is Paul's mission and vision statement and needs to become ours.

    In this thousand years, we will get it.

    Please write me or call me or text me or email me! I want to talk with you, and need your prayers I want to tell the world more about what I have been given to share. I want to learn from you, will you be willing to acknowledge Christ in me?

    David Campbell

  46. I appreciate your honesty and your scholarship on this. I have argued that praise is the recounting of God's great person and faithfulness to His people. I have been suspicious of an apparent formulary that essentially says: "This is how we force God to show up." I have suggested the possibility that whatever good an great thing we can say about God is true to his character and He lives it out …ie. Inhabits the praise of his people. What do you think?

  47. Interesting discussion…doesn't mean HE isn't in our midst though…reference other scriptures "where 2 or 3 are gathered IN MY NAME, there will I be also". and many more…Great discussion though! Pastor Carynne

  48. Thank you dear and precious bro for your works in Christ Jesus. Yes and Amen God does inhabit the praises of His people. OH what an awesome God we serve. Faithful and true. IAM will never leave nor forsake us. All glory to God. Keep going brother. U will! -Phil 4:4-9 Love in Christ Jesus Skye

  49. This is an excellent explanation of this scripture. I am writing my dissertation on the book of Psalms and had included this verse in my paper to support the importance of praise. When I went on line for some supportive commentaries this blog came up. Now that I have read it I will remove this scripture as my supportive verse. Great Post. I love your research and candor.

  50. Thank you for this! I had the same question about the original Hebrew in this verse after seeing it rendered a few different ways. Your research helps answer my question! (saves me a bunch of research as well) (-:

  51. If it isn't in the Bible, let me be the first to quote it FROM TRUTH/PROOF (His servant/prophet He made me to speak for Him). "He inhabits praises!" You quote Scripture, but have you ever seen it working in your life to say whether something is true or not? Ever heard "Proof is in the pudding"? Well, before I heard "God inhabits our praises" or "Ps 22:3", I was going to the Christian book store for Christian music on cassettes (in the late 80's – 90s). I noticed after a while that there were praise songs on some and were few. I fell in love with the praise ones and wondered if I could take them and put them on the longest running cassette and just sing praises all day in The Spirit (lifting my soul), then I wanted to share this with my family and send duplicates of the long cassette. August 22, 1996, at about 8am. after filling over 1/2 of the 120 minute long cassette, I was in excruciating pain from over doing it in yardwork, a bad back from an old diving accident I suffered over 9 years prior and getting worse, at that time it was the worst, with new symptom of paralyation coming up my legs from my feet to my heart! I got into the house and dropped to the floor, all alone, looking up to the ceiling I called on the Lord instead of calling for an ambulance "Please heal my back before it reaches my heart, Lord." AND HE DID!!! No more paralyzation or pain. My spine has been healed now for over 18 years, but HIS HANDS INHABITTED ME! that's right! He came into me PHYSICALLY…I had "His Hands" in my back for 3 days and 3 nights where the pain WAS, I could count the fingers pointed outward, and thumbs upward with wrists fitted together at my spine and the area was pluperfect for a whole month!!! (it didn't match the rest of me that I thought was fine), I could see where I was aging compared to the healed area (I was 41 at that time). 4 and 16 years later I found the 2 Scripture verses on this type of healing, then He spoke to me "Look at the Scripture verses." (3xs before I realized it was His voice! Years later I found "The Lord speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not." < BUT I DID! So is that Scripture a lie? 😉 I looked and saw THE NUMBERS are my birthday!!! (Ps 28:5, Is 5:12 < Dec 28, '55) And, early 2014, I decided to type in Google THE LETTERS "PSIS" and of all the gazillion things in the universe, guess what my eyes first land on? The word "spine"!!! "PsIs" means "spine". So, YES, now we see through our praises He inhabits us…me (I am the only one of 12 family members named after our Jewish ancester, the only one with all biblical names < God did this! I am the only one in history to have God in me "one with God" John 17, besides Mary who had Him in her for 9 months, and guess what? My name is Mary (but I prefer "Marie", because there's only one Mary, and because I have my own place in His realm of things and my quotations, and yes, my husband's name is "Joseph". All of my life I have followed Love and Truth < The Father and The Son against all odds, in the middle of a huge family and no example, I have been on my own in this world "spiritually" "with God" < where all things are possible! < I proved without knowing I was. I discovered/"conceived" many things from God for His end time Church and I need to speak NOW, after 59 years waiting.

  52. Marie,

    Thanks for your post. When I read the original post by Zac Hicks, I didn't mind it too much, because all of us can grow and learn from one another if we are patient and forgiving. As I read through all the posts, I enjoyed learning how his post impacted others and they responded in agreement or somewhat disagreed as I had. Either way, what a treasure to have the opportunity to exchange with other believers – and so Zac Hicks in his obedience to spread the gospel has given us a place to do the exchanging of knowledge between us. Exciting.

    Your post came to my email this morning.

    I want to welcome any and all who read my original response to take the time to read all responses to Zac's post because you will see the spirit of God in all of the posts is at work trying to teach us from another viewpoint.

    I would also like to invite any one to email me directly who would like to discuss further. Or call me its fine. my email is davecampbell@chartermi.net and my phone is 231-360-8704.

    I'm with you Marie, I know Jesus Christ by the spirit not only inhabits praise, he is WITHIN each of us and the challenge of today – to create the awareness. Before Easter I wrote about "everlasting life" debunking the paradigm of Jonah and getting on with Christ in you.

    We all tend to judge one another – harshly – and yet Christ is in us. The spirit longs to exchange His knowledge with all believers. That is exactly why PRAISING one another is so vital.

    When we praise one another, we are praising God with us – Christ in us – for did not Jesus pay a very painful price to reconcile you and I and all of us back to God? And so it is time to praise Him. God inhabits this activity as clearly as when Jesus made the promise, "where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst". A direct connection to the power of praise – it enables the spirit of Christ to minister and exchange horizontally – as lighting the power of God is traveling from "east to west" between people. A stretch of scripture? So will the coming of the Son of Man be – so "you will not see me, until you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" and isn't that a praise? To bless another in the name of the Lord? Connect the dots. lol

    Or we can hang on to judging – wrath – condemnation as if we were the only one who had any business or knowledge with God. How pathetic. How limiting of the spirit.

    Praising one another is praising God. It is allowing the correct posture for exchange.

    So – GREAT WORK Marie for sharing. GREAT WORK ZAC for such an awesome website!!!

    Humility is key – the knowledge that we give off the essence of life unto life and death unto death is critical.

    Our flesh nature died with Christ on Calvary as the race of man did as well.

    There is a song by Modern English – "I'll stop the world and melt with you"

    In the song, he sings, "I made a pilgrimage to save the human race, never comprehending the race had long gone by"

    It was over with the death of our Savior Jesus Christ on the cross.

    We are now men and women who are imbued with with Spirit of God. We are dead to the law through grace – the race of man is over – god/men are now the only people left! lol Can you see this? Exciting.

    "Call not thou common or unclean that which I have cleansed" said Jesus to Peter.

    And so now look around you, Marie, which of any person you see, did not Jesus blood cleanse at Calvary?

    So, we are no longer men and women, like beasts without knowledge or who we really are, we are the sons and daughters of God. "Up let us get going" said Jesus – "you know the way"

    That knowledge is to be exchanged and in our day, this last day, we will share it and we will overtake "death with victory"

    The victory is wisdom of who we are – beings destined to realize "everlasting life". The spirit has given severally to each as he wills –

    So it is encumbant upon us to exchange our knowledge of the spirit with one another. We cannot do that if we are busy judging and deeming any person to be "unchristian" or "unworthy" – all have been cleansed by His blood and yet they simply are not aware of it. We do not see Jesus in those who come in his name, we see people coming in their own names, and believe them, just as Jesus warned we would. So – like Jonah we can sit on our pious self righteous hill – with our "personal Jesus" (reference Depeche Mode) and judge the rest of the world to be destroyed in tribulation, or we can actively take part in helping to spread the knowledge – and the flame of the spirit will get brighter as we exchange our knowledge of God. "you will not see me, until you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" – can you see Jesus in me? Can you or are you judging me? lol Exciting!

    Discerning this is critical to growth in our body as we finally get to the "one mind" Paul stated plainly that we are to be of. It takes humility, patience, forgiveness, critical thinking and I would say boldness.

    Take care – and any and all who read my post, just call me to talk and let's pray. Or you can easily dismiss this opportunity by passing judgment and excuse yourself from the banquet feast open to you. Jesus couldn't be in Dave, he sounds like a nut bag! lol well, that may be true! lol – have a blessed day my dear friend.

    David 🙂 231-360-8704 davecampbell@chartermi.net

  53. Hear that sound? That is the sound of my mind being blown. I have always believed it to be the first way. Your way makes so much more sense. Thanks for being right there on Google when I asked the question more then three years after you wrote this. Jesus is an awesome shepherd. He leads me just where I need to go.

    Ruth 2:12 to you Zac!

  54. I enjoyed reading this, as I am doing an in depth study on Praise & Worship. I appreciate the follow up comments and additional scripture references as well, very insightful. And since this has already been countered by scripture to support the particular view of inhabiting the praises of His people, please allow me to use a more practical view.
    I believe that we cannot put the constraints of time nor logic on God…He's much greater than what seems reasonable or logical to us…for His ways are higher than ours. I believe that scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is the breathed word of God. And even though I've heard that there are some loose and maybe lazy translations of a few scriptures, I then have to rely on the revealed word of God (rhema), where the Holy Spirit will lead me into all truth. And even to add to that, as if that isn't enough, what about the times when I have the deepest revelations, the times when I hear God the clearest, the times when I personally have known Him to show up and I have a spiritual encounter or a fellowshipping experience with God (or whatever you wish to call it…at any rate, He inhabited my praises)…when I recount those times…it most commonly happened during Praise & Worship…whether at church or alone at home… it happened while I praised Him. So even my personal logic testifies to the latter and less common 2+3 content.
    So even though I admire your quest for honesty & integrity, this article could be highly misleading or distorting or confusing to some who are not the very elect (Matt 24:24), (though I truly believe you don't mean it to be). Because even though you present both sides well, the 3+2 content stands out, in this article, to be your conclusive acceptance or at the very least, a heavy nod in that direction. Let's just say, even with your best intentions, anyone who does not examine their own, personal experience of true worship/praise or who does not rely on the revealed word of God (rhema), after reading this article (that harps largely on logos or translational evidence)…they'll probably go against the written word or translation (logos), and agree with…“God does not inhabit the praises of his people…because translation evidence leans heavily against it”.
    Even though you didn't state it as the truth… there are people who already agree that possibly God does not inhabit…, and it is demonstrated by the responses to this article that are agreeable to logos (written or translated word). Any challenges to scripture should be met with rhema (revealed word) and supported by logos (written word), which then would show up lazy or loose interpretations…not a question of which is God’s truth. By the way, not downing logos… because when I read logos is when rhema comes. Thanks for making me think.

  55. Thank you for this post!

    People throw this term around all the time, and don't actually take a look at what it means. Honestly when I first heard it used that way, I didn't like it. It didn't seem logical that God is enthroned on the praises of his people. To me, it seems right that God is ALWAYS enthroned, whether his people praise him or not. The "inhabits" part is less difficult to grasp, but it still doesn't seem to me like an accurate description either. It seems more accurate to say that God inhabits his people, not their praises of him.

    Anyways it's always good to see pastors who are actually being honest, and taking things seriously! It's not that common that you find authors looking into the hebrew rhythm, I think. I appreciated your Hebrew poetry lesson as well!

  56. Thank you Zac. I was trying to find the meaning of the phrase "inhabits the praises of His people" and I could'nt find it. I was starting to wonder if it was in the bible. I found your comments helpful. I needed a diet cola as I navigated through your technical analysis. The comment by Steve Hausler and your response to him was so clear to me.Thank you guys. I will continue to grow strong in faith by giving glory to God !

  57. Zac, you are free to believe what you want. Just dont think because your worship doesnt make God want to show up that such is representative of all worship or all praise. God knows the heart and wont be mocked. I have experienced the difference. And you dont have to believe that ether. Your disbelief doesnt change the Truth that I get to live in. Do you also write off Matt 18:20 or Heb 11:6, Jer 29:13, or James 4:8? How about John 3:3? I haven't always experienced John 15:7, but that doesnt make it any less true.
    Please remember, it has always been satan who has been behind our doubting God's Word. Jesus never questioned God's Word. Rather, Jesus said things like: John 15:25, Luke 24:44, Matt 4:1-10, John 5:39, Matt5:18, etc. Jesus quoted from the Psalms, giving the impression that David prophetically spoke His Words before He came. Jesus valued everything written about Him in the Law and the Prophets.

  58. Thank you so much for sharing this study and insight, it was exactly what I was looking for based on an inkling I had in this area. Thank you for thoughtful consideration of the scriptures and helping me clarify my thoughts on this. Blessings to you

  59. Hi Dale!

    If you take the time to read all the posts, you get a bigger picture of this discussion – and answers what Zac maybe didn't cover or think through – that's ok – who can provide it all? This is why we need everyone and everyone's inputs are important. We are a body. That is what is so cool about a blog. We get to see the "severally as he will" deposits of the spirit that each of us have to share – making the light brighter if we chew on and discern what is presented – revealing where we may have been askew or incorrect or incomplete in our knowledge of scripture.

    The beauty of your question, is it delivers the 1,2 punch, the knockout message to the arrogant flesh always concerned with "who is the greatest"

    We need each other – we need to stop judging and start discerning – developing more patience – and also developing our insights and preparing to articulate the gospel as it has been revealed to us.

    Paul got incensed with Barnabas. They split. People argue. It's ok! No worries.

    This shows we all have our darkness – and it is the light that draws us to repent – change or alter our current understanding to attain a more full view – so knowledge of scripture is never without humiliation to the flesh nature. We are none of us, floating with the angels – and the source of the light? Well, its within each of us by the spirit. So sharing is a must. Discerning is critical. Frameworks like this – exceptional so PRAISE ZAC he had the obedience and resources to provide this blog! Thanks ZAC!!!!

    So, arguing will ever be a part of the equation. That's why I read all the posts. We have a "body" of believers here in all different levels of maturity. Which of is is mature in all things? Age has no measure of maturity, its knowledge – and there is ever more of that to learn…

    Some will criticize and not read a post that is "too long" and that's ok! Some will misquote a verse – no worries! We are human. We are only divine by the spirit and by faith in Jesus – this is a process of becoming aware of our "new creature" identity. God /Men and Women. A new type of race.

    It is finished! That statement of Christ on the cross, ended the race of man.

    So recognizing we have a dead man, who serves the Devil, still capable of violence, selfishness, and well, being wrong, as our tent, our fleshly body,, is key to recognizing the importance of the One who cleansed us, and CLEANSES us still when we like a pig wallow (foaming with suds) back into our "man" character who simply wants his way, "NOW". "DIE DAILY" "PICK UP THE CROSS AND FOLLOW – DAILY" ouch! daily means – errr – every day – and every time a believer comes by the power of the spirit and shines the light of the gospel into our "hour" our "day" and we go, "oops" I didn't know that! or we can stiffen and not repent, and so we miss the opportunity to learn – and so Jesus passes on by us, we were unaware he truly was in the brother and sister….

    Which person in this blog is of no value? Not one. All are valuable. It's humbling and wonderful to realize. The pearl of great price within.

    Thanks for your contribution, brother. You are a god/man. An awesome "new creature" and I learn from you as much as any of these – because – "Christ in you" is not exclusive to anybody – its for every ONE.

    Luke 5:32
    “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

    Praise – God inhabits – we become aware of His presence when we do. Praise – is preaching the gospel in its essence – valuing the lost – the lost sheep that went astray "cast out" – and so the 99 righteous, errrr, uhhhh, well…. that's us whenever we fail to praise – to seek – to find – the lost sheep – the sacrifice lamb – who inhabits now every last one of us. "now" is the time to wake out of sleep. Be a shepherd or take a big club and whack the brother over the head! That simple. We are the violent (MAN) – capable of becoming a caregiver (new creature)..

    We asked for bread – he reveals who the ROCK is. We asked for a fish – he reveals a SERPENT on a rod. We ask for an egg – hang on now – we get to see the SCORPION – with STINGS IN OUR TAILS. Allegorical – our TALES – WORDS WE SPEAK – the GOSPEL – are the stings – the gospel brings us to baptism (dying with Christ DAILY). What is baptism to the race of man? (no worries, the fish lives in the waters – catch the fish, open its mouth and you get ONE COIN with two sides – a fishy that can speak of the knowledge of good and evil – two sided coin – God and Cesar – both represented by that lost coin… found by the lady who LIT THE CANDLE.

    If we care about our neighbor – our own body of believers – we MUST begin to PRAISE – to HONOR – to VALUE – the lost. We are the lost. We are represented by Jesus Christ. Where is he today? His spirit within you – me – and knocking on every hearts door 24/7 now at work in every heart on the planet. Praise Him. Take care of your neighbor – LOVE. The gospel brings us to LOVE – value – praising – honoring the lost – and yet we find ourselves "new" NOW.

    99 view – God is NOT the God of the dead – but of the living – therefore ye do greatly err.
    1 view – Jesus Christ is LORD of the quick and dead. Thank goodness! I'm a dead man by baptism!

    100 fold is the sum of 99+1. We must admit it. "no one is righteous, no NOT ONE" "all have sinned and fall short" the new creature is a creature that understands math! lol 99% self righteous – 1% true but only by faith in Christ. We are all 100% of us, made righteous ONLY by Jesus – who took the penalty for all. He is the sacrificed lamb – the cast out cornerstone – the pearl of great price – the lost coin – and on it goes till we get it… and we are getting it through PRAISE. Acknowledge – who is my neighbor? These bloggers are and every one we pass by on the other side. Lets be samaritans – lets heal each other with the knowledge we have to exchange. Blog on with humility! Praise God!

    Praise God – Love your neighbor – preach the gospel to every "CREATURE" or "new creature" since "it is finished"

    Sorry I went on a bit. Hope this helps…. THANKS EVERYONE!!!!!! CHRIST IN US!!!! LET'S UP AND GET GOING!!!!!!! GREAT POSTS ALL!!!!!

    Dave

  60. I have found, and am truly amazed AND humbled at God's word. It is alive! John 1 says in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word WAS God. and in Deut 32 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
    If God is truth, and God is the Word, then all of His Word is truth!! I have read scriptures in past times and then again at other times and have found, no matter the situation, His word always fits into that particular situation. His truth is alive through His word. I am not disagreeing with your statements, because I agree we need to study to show thyself approved unto God… (2 Timothy 2:15) but just a simple example…
    I was asleep one night, and God woke me up and told me to go in the living room. in my sleepy stubbornness I refused. it then got extremely hot in my room to the point of discomfort… I got up and opened the door of my bedroom, where I was met with a very refreshing blast of cool air; at which point I decided to lay back down.
    God had other plans, even with the door open this time it got so hot I couldn't stand it… my wife on the other hand was sleeping like a baby. so reluctantly, I got up and went into the living room and sat on the couch. the scripture he gave me was john 3:16. I scoffed and quoted it from memory almost mockingly… he said read it… so I did, he then said to continue… I did, amazed, he then told me to go back to the beginning and read the whole chapter… I am sincerely ashamed to admit that I had never before placed that renowned scripture within the story of Nicodemus the priest coming to Jesus in the night and seeking truth from the master. simply because I never studied it. I wanted to blame my teachers and even my pastor for not sharing this simple and yet vital bit of information with me, but then God took me to Philipians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. so in that moment I learned the valuable lesson to always search out for myself what the word of God has for ME…

    all that being said, We can make statements of fact based on biblical truths without misquoting the bible… BUT, in order for us to do so, we absolutely Must read, research and study the scriptures to back up said statements in truth and love. Allowing the Spirit to guide us in our search for truth.

  61. Yes, I think we agree…or maybe something I said seemed out of context. But when I spoke about logos & rhema, the 2 are one in the same when it comes to God's written word. What you described about God waking you, this was God taking His written word (logos) and He made this same word rhema to you, one that brought understanding & revelation to what is already written. I have those experiences, talks with God in the middle of the night myself.
    You know when you read the Bible and it may seem hard to understand…then other times, while you're reading, you can hear the Holy Spirit opening that word up to you, giving you deeper revelation than the other times when you read the same scripture??? That's what logos & rhema describe.
    Many people read scripture, study scripture, are scholars of scripture…but do not hear God speaking to them, or giving them understanding of His word. For those persons, and even I have been in this same position before, the word is only on their lips but far from their hearts…which makes it ONLY LOGOS to them (only words of no affect to them, bc they will not yield their will). Calling God's word logos does not diminish God's word or say that there are 2-types of Word, it simply describes how man will not allow revealed word to penetrate his heart. Thus man treats God's word as any other book (for example, Buddhists, Muslims, etc do not acknowledge God's word as divine, THEREFORE, by their own free will, IT DOESN'T DIMINISH GOD'S WORD…but it is logos to them…WORDS ON A PAGE, by free will choice…but we know the power & anointing in His WORD). Doesn't mean that God can't speak to them if He wants, but they will tell you out of their own mouths that it is words on a page (logos) to them.
    By the way, this revelation of logos & rhema…it came from God speaking as well.

  62. All,

    There are many verses equally as challenging as the one we as a body of Christ are bantering on about. For example…

    …Be Still and know that I am God –

    …I said, ye are gods

    Then there's a whole lot of great men and women of God, who have "successfully debunked" the 16th Chapter of Mark in their most clear theological"wisdom". Good luck with that! I believe we are simply not all NOW on board, which means we are still saying in our hearts, "the master delayeth His return"…

    and although the most challenging outcomes in scripture are easily disposed of with human theology, its really difficult not to translate this vision and mission statement for the body, the church, from Paul with clarity, because it sounds exactly like any good organizational vision and mission statement should…

    Ephesians 4:13
    Until we all come to the unity of the faith, unto a perfect man, unto the measure and the stature and the fulness of Christ

    loosely translated, "hey let's all put our heads together and work together and we are certain to be more profitable with our impact"

    Uniting in one mind? This requires the burden of scripture study, exchanging with other believers, and well, getting along. In our modern culture, judging, categorizing, and dispensing of others is the clear norm. Once ascended to the mountain top, however, when Jesus was confronted by the two men who cut themselves with stones, and lived among the graves, He granted the request of Legion, and into the swine went Legion rushing violently into the waters of baptism! How it hurst to admit we are the beasts that need a good washing. "Die Daily" "Peace be unto you" "he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone"

    I choose to praise each and every one of you. Edify you, build you up – because as we know, knowledge misused puffs up and likes to use stones to build walls, or throw at others. But knowledge applied to the Kingdom of God? That builds us up.

    I Cor. 4 v 7
    King James Bible
    For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

    So – its common for people to take the easy road of defense, anger, and judgment as if by the wonderful insight they received, God is somehow on their side and anyone who disagrees is somewhat less or plain "not christian".

    I'm hoping we can move past that "violent man, the beastly" character and get on the the "new creature" loving the neighbor as the self and soon. Now, rather than, "in the time to come".

    Peace

    Dave

  63. I understand ur "diving in" and studying and analysing scripture is imperative, though sweet Jesus, there is a reason why God says "come as a child"…sometimes we are too smart for ourselves and can analyze things in such a way that others will not even understand what ur saying unless they have a PhD…smarts r great but how do we speak to the average person as a leader? When I'm worshipping in my room alone or in front of the masses God's presence falls so strong when I/we are pulling on God so much that the simple verse becomes an overwhelming reality the same way that a child who gets saved at age 5 truly will be saved regardless that he basically "knows nothing" …God's teachings were so simple, so basic, so blunt and I feel that sometimes we try to put God in a box when really Jesus was the genius of geniuses, smart of smarts, but in 3 years He got His message across perfectly, in the most simple way, and was the most influential "person" in existence…God's presence is probably the most important thing the church needs to understand true worship, break off addictions, bring true sustainable joy, bring healing, break off real depression, cast away demonic power and the list goes on and on…and I'm speaking this from testimony after testimony of how God uses worship in my life and the churches I've led for years….the moment we get out of our heads and come to God like a child I swear it will change ur perspective on the power God really has and wants us to have and how His presence will show up to u alone and in a corporate setting…yes ur a genius and great speaker and leader and u can come up with epic equations…but God just really wants to show up to you in a much stronger way then you've anticipated or can put in a box or theory…I challenge you to pull on God like ur 10 again and know " not much" for a while and see how God's presence will come stronger to u in worship and where ever u lead

  64. 1 Thessalonians 2:19
    “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”

    Psalms 98:4
    “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”

    Psalms 98:4
    “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”

    1 Corinthians 4:5
    “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”

    John 12:43
    “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

    Romans 13:7
    Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

    Luke 14:10
    10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

    So, spelled out in plain terms, the case for praise, honor, worship of God or brothers and sisters, who are worthy of praise, is clear.

    God inhabits such praise. As simple as the expression of joy comes to a child from a parent who expresses pleasure in a child's accomplishment. As wonderful a feeling as when a kind word is expressed by another in admiration for a good deed done in the right heart.

    Praise is praise. It is honoring another person.

    What we miss – is the opportunity to PRAISE one another – a true expression of love and admiration.

    Instead we judge, living in a "Jonah paradigm" an exclusivity that Jesus abhors and God disdains.

    We use "worship" at times to revel in our exclusivity above others in our minds, who cannot "connect" to God as we do! How vain.

    No – stop. Think. Praise your brothers and sisters. Praise and stop with holding praise from the very place that God has chosen to reside – the hearts of our brothers and sisters, kids, grandmas, grandpas etc… we need to get from a culture of judgment to that of liberty. From the "man" to the "new creature"

    I hope that is not to "deep" or "complicated" all it means is turn your respect and honor to people who exemplify the love of Jesus Christ. Praise them. Don't receive the honor of "men" for the purpose of "exclusivity" instead – with a pure heart, praise people with a simple "good job" or "wow, nice work" and lift others with encouragement and praise – for surely God inhabits such behavior.

    Israel? Thank God I'm a Jew by adoption – and that by faith – same faith Abraham displayed and has nothing to do with genealogy – and God inhabits the praises of Israel when they obeyed. He forsook his own promises and punished them when they did not.

    Romans 8:15King James Version (KJV)

    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    Peace and hope that helps.

    Dave

  65. Psalms 129:8 Context

    5Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion. 6Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up: 7Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. 8Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you: we bless you in the name of the LORD.

    Matthew 23:39
    “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

    So we see, very plainly, that we need lots of work in our praise. We cannot see Jesus in others as men. We need to learn that we are "new creatures" and our Lord is both the Lord of the quick and dead. The dead? That is the man led to baptism. The Quick? That is the living, resurrected new creature – who is commanded to "die daily" and so by command is a dead man – dead with Christ, buried with him in baptism.

    The new creature Paul explains – is capable of seeing Jesus face to face. Now and to help us understand – consider that Jesus died for the race of mankind. He represents the entire race. He who is forgiven much loveth much – Jesus took the brunt of all the sin of mankind! He was obedient unto the death on the cross. He did it ONCE – we are commanded by Jesus to DIE DAILY. This is humbling beyond belief, and it also a great source of love if we allow it to change our perspective. WE WERE FORGIVEN – the RACE of man – every sin. Do we ever stop and consider that sins of the world as Jesus did? Do we every recognize that to love much, we must have been FORGIVEN much? So no wonder Jesus love so much. He completed the act of mercy and love and forgave each of us. Nobody is excepted. A man did that who represents the entire race. So now, how much do you love and praise your brothers and sisters?

    Praise is not an isolated act. Its an ongoing revelation of WHO JESUS IS. He is in the least – the lost – the person in the mirror and the person we pass on the street or ignore during worship service!

    We will not see Jesus, as he plainly states above, until we are able to PRAISE HIM, that is ANY ONE who comes in His name. The second coming of Christ? Starts with your praise and admiration of others for which Christ died.

    Let's stop acting like sons and daughters of Jonah – and lets start behaving as sons and daughters of God –

    John 21:17
    “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

    Love y'all and please don't be upset, be liberated to go from death to life. Living is joy, peace, kindness, its love.

    dc

  66. This is a speculation for the classroom, not something that should confuse the flock. The Massoretic Hebrew text, on which our Old Testament translation is mainly based reads"You are holy enthroned (on) the praises of Israel." The traditional interpretation is satisfactory, while your speculation requires you to posit, presumably, a 'lost original', in which God is the praise of Israel rather than inhabiting the praises of Israel. You create this alternative from the Septuagint 'epainos' because the Hebrew is plural 'tehillot' (not tehillah). You cannot logically substitute your academic speculation without setting aside the actual text in favour of a theoretical version.

    It is not, of course, wrong to speculate per se, but if you publish your notion on a blog.to the Church you must take responsibility for any confusion you cause to the flock.of God. Not only does the traditional interpretation make sense in its language context but it accords with Christian experience. God truly inhabits the praise of His People because apart from Him they can do nothing. On the day of Pentecost, referring to Joel, Peter explained (Acts 2:11) that the praises they uttered were the work of God.

    As Paul reminds us in the first chapter of 1st Corinthians, human wisdom is nothing apart from God in Christ. If we start to think clever thoughts are prophetic in some way, we may start by being thrilled at human cleverness and even gather some admirers, as I see you have, but we may end by misleading others. (Titus 3: 8-11).

  67. Thank you, Dr. Gardner. It definitely wouldn't be the first time I've confused the flock of God. And no doubt I have misled others in the past. Lord, have mercy on me.

    It IS rather technical and probably falls into the pride of thinking clever thoughts. All I can say is that I'm trying to faithfully listen to God and lead others to do the same.

    Thanks for the interaction.

  68. I dont want to speak out of turn. What I see from the above posts is use of knowledge for reproof then acknowledging a mistake and repentance and humility. I'm praising Zac for the blog, which is an opportunity for men and women of the body of Christ, the Church, to exchange spiritual information. Each of us have "carnal" minds in the flesh nature, and "the mind of Christ" in the spirit and unity of faith. So to "sanctify" or "perfect" or "transform" or "purify your minds" is by virtue of this blog, made possible. A duty is fulfilled and a framework for exchange is this blog. So participation in the exchange facilitates "perfecting" or "transforming" of our carnal minds…

    Each of us, possesses a "deposit of the spirit" which has been given "severally as he wills" that is by the spirit. This wonderful gift, in "earthen vessels" where our "carnal minds" enjoy the pride and esteem of titles, position, and benefits we may have accumulated by "our" knowledge, but we tend to abuse our spirit given knowledge when like Peter and the immature disciples, we are found guilty of debating over "who is the greatest". Better we embrace the posture of humility, and understand more fully this passage by Paul,

    Ephesians 4:25

    22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

    and…

    1 Corinthians 12:24

    21And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

    So honor and praise, it is something we can really focus on to "build up" "edify" "strengthen" the body. In our culture of exclusivity, we as a Church can re establish, or re-member, re-assemble by acknowledging in humility our need for the least, the "uncomely part" because Christ is within that "least brethren" and has made the body so; so we will eventually develop this interdependence and forsake this dreadful prideful arrogant and judgmental "exclusivity" that drives us apart today as a body. Interesting to me that PRAISE is the very vehicle of either our unification or our division as a body! How pivotal then that we understand it and use it correctly.

    The beauty of seeing, praising and acknowledging Jesus in the least, that is, the lower or carnal flesh that is ever bent toward self glory, is admitting we ourselves are "daily" commanded to "die" with Jesus exactly because of our propensity for carnal, sensual, devilish aspirations that "prove" our "greatness" and exact the praise and honor of men. That same person who craves praise, is subject to it going to his head! That same person (you and me and all of us) that desires honor, and should receive it by the members of the body, is also instructed to recognize "what spirit we are of" if we use it to build up our own exclusivity, that is we start to imagine "we are the greatest" as Peter did.

    The "wow" the "your so smart". Is ordered by Paul, but when it is abused, that is, a sense of entitlement, a false authority, a desire to be better – it can become a weapon formed against the church, led by and modeled by none other than, church leaders and oops – worship and praise leaders! Or any member who is still feeding on praise to elevate their prominence – instead of serving the tables.

    I think if there is one passage of Paul that really helps us to identify between the honor and praise of men, and that of God, it is settled in revealing the "love" of God, the one command where there is no error.

    Romans 13:7 Context

    4For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    "you do not know what spirit ye are of" Jesus replied to Peter, "you are savoring the things of man, and not of God"

    And if we are honest, this is a daily struggle for our flesh nature.

    That kind of praise is ok, in its place, but no man or woman is free from the insatiable appetite to be honored of men, praised by men, to prove our greatness and our positions in the hierarchy above the commoners. In human hierarchy, to be served by others is the ultimate public display of human authority, cherished by our sinful flesh, but look at what Jesus says about it… Luke 22

    24And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

    God asks Jonah, "what about all those people, and the cattle?" Jonah, wrong headed in not recognizing mercy is God's ultimate goal – hoped for the destruction of those beneath him. It is a human characteristic to hope for violence upon "wicked" and also a human characteristic not to account ourselves as the "wicked and perverse generation" that Jesus often rebuked even his disciples with.

    When we fry our brothers and sisters with our superior knowledge, fetching our authority by virtue of our titles, with a mountaintop view of the "wicked" below, those ignorant and evil Ninevites, with God as our back up, we may be acting a bit harsh? "Not me, I don't ever feel proud of my position in the Church. I don't ever feel a tingle of pride when I look at my business card, or sit at my desk, or look at my published articles…etc… uh huh… al-righty then! lol then you are not human?

    The good Doctor is spot on and also deserves great praise for theological arguments – that may be over my head – but not over my heart and spirit – the truth in his words resonate with the spirit of truth, and so PRAISE the LORD and PRAISE the good Dr for the above correction and reproof. And we do not know the hearts. But here is the bottom line.

    "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life"

    Paul
    makes it plain. The flesh is subject to law. The letter or knowledge of God identifies light and dark, separates joint and marrow, the words (anagram of sword) of the gospel are dividing us to show us what is praiseworthy and what is not.

    Exciting to me, is that Zac's obedience to develop a blog for people to discuss and exchange, is allowing this needed "purification" or "sanctification" to take place. Little by little, precept by precept. It allowed for mistakes, and also for correction, for the letter of the law to "kill" or "root out" the dark, and for the spirit to lift up our collective "mind" of Christ, making it more clear to our fleshly minds. Enabling the transformative power of God. Will the flesh glory? Yes. Will the spirit be glorified, YES. Will the bride be perfected? That is the goal.

    Hope this makes sense. I'm no theologian but I do know I have a deposit of the spirit as any of us do. In that spirit, I would praise God for allowing the learning to take place in my heart and carnal mind as I have read every post – learning from every person – a little deposit of the spirit from each – some shed light on darkness and yet more on the truth and light, and ultimately, anyone that reads this blog grows and learns.

    Thanks so much for everyone's posts I have learned from each one.

    Peace, honor and praise to the Lord, to Christ in you, the hope of glory.

    David Campbell

  69. Deuteronomy 26:19
    “And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.”

  70. You don't know how much your post helped me today. My wife passed away 12/25/2015. I loved singing songs to her. We went karaoke all the time. After she passed I've barely sung at all. That fire was almost cold.

    But the other day something else happened. I got a message from Jesus.

    Basically,it said that Jesus loved my singing and missed it. He asked me if I would sing to Him just as passionately as I did to Christine.

    I was actually prompted to search the Internet for something to corroborate that. And what did I find? The very first link was to Psalms 22:3. The very second link was to your post.

    That was no accident!

    Thank you!

  71. Jesse, wow. I thank God for that. My heart goes out to you. May God give you the comfort of His very real presence in your life.

  72. I love your honesty about what you want it to say and what you believe it says. I have come to see it as the other; God does inhabit the praises of Israel, but the key here is that Israel is men, not women. Enter 1 Cor 6:9: womeny glorify men then men glorify God.

  73. This last post from Dave, which was not me, David Campbell by the way, reminds me of the pharisees testing Jesus with the question of the seven brothers who all had the same wife. Whereby Jesus responded,

    Matthew 22:29
    “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”

    in context

    Matthew 22:29 Context

    26Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27And last of all the woman died also. 28Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

    We know that Jesus is Lord of both quick and dead.

    Romans 14v9

    For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

    and also

    2 Timothy 4:1
    “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;”

    In this light of the living, we see neither male nor female, as our Lord is the Lord of the living – spiritual beings, God is spirit. We are children of God – spiritual.

    And yet we also we see Jesus weighs in on this argument, as Lord of the dead, the created, the male and female, Jesus was born a baby boy, from a woman, Mary.

    Mark 10:6
    “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.”

    As for gender issues of our day, we are introduced to the same conflict that Jesus addressed with the Pharisees, and answered correctly, no error.

    The Kingdom of God is now under the Authority of Jesus Christ, who both honors and glorifies God and is seated at His right hand, making it plain that Jesus Christ provides mercy and establishes "eternal judgement" under the gospel and at once fulfilled the law of death, the old testament, while providing our new and living way in grace, and that by faith. So the matter of male and female is a useful matter because it helps us to "divide" the knowledge of spiritual and carnal, good and evil, light and dark, male and female, etc. We as both "good and evil" "male and female" can stand to bear with these questions, but the answers are useful to unite us in the spirit, and allow people to grow in grace.

    We live in the flesh, and we live in the spirit. Deal with it. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Male, female, transgender, LBG by birth or by choice, Jesus Christ is Lord of all. The Kingdom of God is at hand. The time for the appearance of our Lord is "today" and "now" and also, "in the time to come"

    Paul addresses this issue of sin in blanket fashion, at the end of Romans chapter 1. "We all do the same things" is a statement that allows NO person, to escape the race and its condemnation under the law.

    So this unfortunately indicts modern "righteousness" equating it to Jonah. Jesus also gave Jonah as a sign to the "wicked and perverse" generation, of whom all people are included. We don't stand in our righteousness, so it is harmful when the "righteous" of today are excluding any "sinners" and not counting themselves in that "wicked and perverse". Thus we are more apt to do as Jesus commanded "know the scriptures" "know the power of God"

    My entire point and sorry it has taken so many words to establish, is that PRAISE and JUDGMENT are interestingly the very tools we human beings have to use to establish the Kingdom of God, or to undermine it with our unforgiveness. Perfect the church. Build and edify; using praise, we honor and magnify the good works of people who are in line for praise and honor. This glorifies God, Jesus paid a very high price to bring in the New Testament – freedom from wrath of God. And the spirit living within us is that deposit, that testimony, that proof we feel. So, using our mouths to praise, we lift up, edify, build up the body, word by word. Precept upon precept, line upon line, here A LITTLE, there a LITTLE. A little what? A little deposit of the spirit God has placed in EVERY heart. Unbelievers? Why do the not believe? They are adamant against the judgment of Christians, the unforgiveness of the "righteous few". Time to "know the scriptures" and "the power of God" Christ Jesus died for ALL.

    If we Judge, we condemn, we do so to ourselves. We acknowledge Jesus' crucifixion as the representation of the race of man (male, female and all of us people) before God. So we must include ourselves to enjoy this grace.

    Mercy, faith, love, these are the weightier matters of the Law of Christ. Identifying sin, is needed, but never to the exclusion of our own self. We all sin. So Jesus and Paul establish the basis for inclusion. Sufficient for this day is the evil thereof. Jesus made it very plain, evil is part of our world. God is a God of knowledge. What knowledge? Uh… Godd and evil? Yes…. see for yourself:

    John 15:22

    22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

    Gender issues? Authority issues? Arguing? Let the immature have their time of debate, but rather they should not err, but get to know the scriptures – which proved the basis of peace. Also we have to admit our immaturity every time we all read the scriptures. We are shown more light, which then by turn, reveals more of our evil, our darkness. Dividing good and evil, so it can be shown that Jesus Christ became sin, took the blow of wrath, so we could establish a peaceful and powerful kingdom, is part and parcel to establishing the Kingdom of God, understanding how to forgive others and ourselves by grace, mercy and faith – and LOVE.

    Testing God with gender arguments and issues has value, in that for the immature, the invitation of Jesus remains, "know the scriptures" and "the power of God" God does not answer to humans, until we see that God inhabits the praise of His people. Then we begin to see, Christ within, the value of each other, and so praise is established as a predominant vehicle for delivering the gospel. Edification, honoring, establishing he value of one another as people invited, TODAY, NOW to understand we are this Kingdom "AT HAND".

    So let the people be people. If they sin in immaturity, so do you and I. If any person makes mistakes, so give them space and time, in grace. Treat them as a publican or sinner! This is one of my favorite verses.

    If by two ot three witnesses, you cannot convince a person of their offense, then treat them like a publican or sinner! LOL This is amazing. Jesus is saying, "I got this" "I'm the intermediary" You did your part, let them alone. Did you ever have a hard head or hard heart and Christ in His mercy showed you your fault? Pray for them… Don't judge them, unless your judgment includes the very judgment of God on Christ Jesus to all the race.

    Matthew 18:17 Context

    14Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. 15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a
    publican. 18Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Let people be. Lead by example. We are male (Jesus is our head), we are female (the body of Christ) and we are also now transgender by birth or by choice. If Jesus died and was raised, then He is as He told us, Lord of both quick and dead. In our dead works, He leads us to baptism and the cross. In our living way, He establishes our identity as at once, both sheep and Shepherd. The Body of Christ, members each one to the other.

    Peace – let there be no schisms. Let no man despise thee. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Let the controversies rage. Let the church grow in mercy, faith, and love. Include others. What do we do with those publicans and sinners? We treat them as we want to be treated. With respect, mercy and grace and love. Tell Deborah, Jael, Ruth and Esther they are not equal to a man, and you may find yourself getting a stare, or get the silent treatment for a while. KNOW THE SCRIPTURES, KNOW THE POWER OF GOD. Jesus submitted to God, in this role as a man, he was of the earth, of the lesser light. What does this mean? As flesh and bone man, His description in Revelation shows a man on fire. When the race of man has been liftend into the heavens by our fore runner, why do we need to worry about issues of male and female? Why do we need to have mercy? Where is the kingdom of heaven and when is the second coming of Christ? "NOW" "AT HAND" here, in you and me.

    Praise – God inhabits his people – God made them both male and female, and as we can clearly see among us today, people are people, and yet Jesus is Lord of all. "know the scriptures" "know the power of God"

    Peace

    David Campbell

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