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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lift Up Your Hands

O YHWH, You are my God.
I will exalt You,
I will with uplifted hands praise Your name,
For You have accomplished wonders,

Things prescribed from afar,
Trustworthiness, constancy.
Isaiah 25:1 (author)

A Song of Ascents.
Behold, bless the LORD,
All you servants of the LORD,
Who by night stand in the house of the LORD!
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,
And bless the LORD.
The LORD who made heaven and earth
Bless you from Zion!
Psalm 134 (NKJV)

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
James 4:10 (NKJV)

Numerous Hebrew words are translated praise. Isaiah 25:1 uses the word yadah, derived from the word yad, "hand." More than once, Scripture exhorts us to lift up our hands in praise. The word for exalt, rum, literally means to lift or raise up.

It is a curious concept to think of lifting up God, who is already exalted to the highest place. How does one glorify Him who is already perfect in glory? Yet in our praise and uplifted hands, we indeed lift up God before witnesses of heaven and earth. We magnify His glory. He is enthroned in our praise.

And in a wonderful twist, the Lord delights to look upon the humble and lift them up. In Jesus we find the perfect example of One who became humble that He might be raised from the dead to the highest place. By setting aside the pride that can only bring us down, we are raised to life—and lifted up.

Almighty God, You are worthy of our most excellent praise, given with ALL our heart, mind, soul and strength. However else we falter, may we never fail to exalt and bless Your glorious name. Our pride-filled hearts are utterly undeserving of Your notice. Please humble us gently, that You might indeed lift us up.

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