Scriptural Praise should be with understanding and intelligence. We are to know what we are doing when we praise and know why we praise. Scriptural Praise should be executed with understanding (KJV). We should ask, “Why am I praising?”, and “What does my Scriptural Praise accomplish?”
WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE
The Weapon of Scriptural Praise
by Delbert Young
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, Psalm 47:7, Matthew 21:15-16, Psalm 8:2, Psalms 149:6-9, 2 Chronicles 20:22, 2 Chronicles 20:13, 1 Chronicles 25:1-6, 1 Chronicles 15:15, Isaiah 10:5, 2 Chronicles 20:15, 2 Chronicles 20:22, 25, Psalm 91:3, Luke 17:15-16, 19, Luke 1:39-46, Numbers 13:32, Proverbs 15:30, Proverbs 18:21, 1 Peter 5:8
2 Coorinthians 10:3-6
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2 Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
2 Corinthians 10:3 It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don’t use human plans and methods to win my battles.
2 Corinthians 10:4 I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:5 These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:6 I will use these weapons against every rebel who remains after I have first used them on you yourselves and you surrender to Christ. (TLB)
Believers are in a war. However, this war is not only aimed at believers. Every person every place will be destroyed by the devil if they do not learn and activate their weapons of warfare (1Pe 5:8). These weapons will destroy the devils strongholds. These weapons will bring down every proud argument against God and imaginations. These weapons will capture rebels and bring them back to God. These weapons can change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ.
Interestingly the weapons of warfare were being used by the apostle Paul on the Corinthian believers. Paul told the Corinthians that he was using them to help bring them into total obedience. The weapon we look at in this study is a weapon used on believers. It is the weapon of Scriptural Praise.
- The Weapon of Scriptural Praise
- Praise with Intelligence
Psa 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. (KJV)
Psa 47:7 Yes, sing your highest praises to our King, the King of all the earth. Sing thoughtful praises! (TLB)
Psa 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a skillful psalm. (NAS)
Psalm 47:7 teaches us to praise with understanding. The Hebrew word translated understanding is sakal (Strong’s #7919) meaning “to be (caus. make or act) circumspect [careful and calculating] and hence intelligent.”
Scriptural Praise should be with understanding and intelligence. We are to know what we are doing when we praise and know why we praise. Scriptural Praise should be executed with understanding (KJV). We should ask, “Why am I praising?”, and “What does my Scriptural Praise accomplish?” We are to place thought (TLB) into praise. We are to think about praise. This is not the case in most places. Most believers sing or clap with no intelligence. Believers are taught to mimic a leader by singing what he sings, etc. There is no thought placed into what they are doing. The enemy loves that. Our singing does not bother the enemy. There is no attack being waged against the kingdom of darkness if we just sing.
The New American Standard Version translation interprets that Hebrew word sakal as skillful. Praise should be skillful (NAS). This is Scriptural Praise. We are looking at the weapons of our warfare. In the military, a soldier would become skillful with a weapon before he was released into battle with that weapon. Skillfulness is developed by practice. The weapon was explained in detail to the soldier. He became very familiar with that weapon. In most cases the soldier could disassemble and reassemble the weapon because he was very familiar with the weapon. He understood the mechanism of the weapon. He knew the ability of the weapon. We are not very skilled today with the weapon of Scriptural Praise. To most today, praise is simply singing a few hymns. It is sad that as we simply sing a few hymns, the devil is devouring our families, our finances, our health, and our lives. That is not intelligent Scriptural Praise. That is not praise with understanding.
The majority of believers attending contemporary assemblies never enter praise. Most that do enter praise have no idea or understanding of what they are doing. Few believers are actually skillful and purposeful concerning praise. If you will notice, those that are skillful are usually victorious and doing something to the kingdom of darkness.
Praise is to be with understanding–intelligence. Why do you praise? Is anything accomplished when you praise? Do you understand the mechanism of praise?
- Intelligent Praise Will “Still” the Enemy
- Praise always upsets religious spirits
Matthew 21:15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,
Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
In Matthew 21:15-16 we find that it was Sunday as the Lord entered Jerusalem. This was the “Triumphal Entry.” He had entered Jerusalem riding a donkey. He then went into the temple area and overturned the tables making the declaration that “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Mat 21:13). He healed people and ministered to people. All the while the children were singing and praising and rejoicing declaring that Jesus was the Christ the son of David.
The chief priests and scribes were very displeased with that praise. They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children say?” Jesus answered them with the weapon of the Word. He referred to a verse of scriptures and said, “Yes, I hear them. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise’?”
Biblical praise will always upset false religious spirits. These evil spirits become sore displeased. That means the praise gave them much grief. Why is it that intelligent, perfected praise so grieves religious spirits? The answer is because praise is a mighty weapon of our warfare. It destroys arguments. It drives out darkness. Praise brings joy and gladness and rejoicing. It declares that God is God and that Jesus is the Christ, the son of David, now!
Jesus Christ said that there is a perfected praise. How is praise perfected?
- Praise is perfected when it stops the enemy
When our Lord quoted or referred the religious spirits to the scriptures (Mat 21:16) he was referring to Psalm 8:2.
Psa 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
The Lord clarifies Psalm 8:2 for us. Strength (Psa 8:2) is actually praise (Mat 21:16). Perfected praise (Mat 21:16) is actually to still the enemy and the avenger (Psa 8:2). The Hebrew word shabath translated still in Psalm 8:2 means “to repose [relax], i.e. desist [stop] from exertion.” The NIV version translates shabath as silence.
Psalms 8:2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (NIV)
The Lord Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 in Matthew 21:16. Instead of saying “still the enemy and the avenger” He said “perfected praise”. Scriptural Praise is perfected when it can still, stop, and silence the enemy. Can your praise do that? Does the praise of your church do that? Did you know that praise could do that?
A strength comes during intelligent Scriptural Praise that will stop and silence the devil. I have had times when I was going through hell, but when I praised with intelligence that hell silenced. I had felt as though I was being strangled and devoured by the devil, but when I praised, his grip relinquished. He backed off and shut his mouth. We do not need to put up with the attacks of the devil. If we will perfect Scriptural Praise and learn to praise with understanding–intelligence, the enemy will stop and silence.
- Intelligent Praise is a Weapon
Psalms 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;
Psalms 149:7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
Psalms 149:8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
Psalms 149:9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.
Obviously this is a warfare psalm. What we need to see is that the scriptures teach war in association with Scriptural Praise, i.e. praise in the mouth and the two-edged sword in the hand. If we bring the sword into New Testament light, teaching, and understanding, what is the sword? The sword is the Word of God (Eph 6:7; Heb 4:12; Rev 1:16). Thus the weapon of Scriptural Praise is always a companion of the word of God. That is why we should concentrate on singing songs directly from the word of God in our praise services.
The Word of God is the sword. In perfected praise, the Word of God is released out of our mouths (Rev 1:16). The Word goes forth driving back, stopping, and silencing the enemy.
- Scriptural Praise goes before us
2 Chr 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
We are told a most interesting account of the people of God and Scriptural Praise in 2 Chronicles 20. Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah. Enemies (plural) had come to destroy (20:1) just as the devil comes to devour (1Pe 5:8). Jehoshaphat prayed, but the enemies remained there. Jehoshaphat began to fast, but the enemies remained strong and present. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a time for the entire nation to fast and pray (20:3), but the enemies remained strong and present. Even with prayer and fasting there was no word of direction from the Lord.
A prophet named Jahaziel, a descendent of Asaph (20: 1Chr 15:19; 1Chr 25:1) was in the temple. Asaph had been appointed by David to prophesy with harps, drums (psaltry), and cymbals (1Chr 25:1). This appointment had been for temple worship many years prior. In that day Jahaziel continued doing in the temple what his ancestor Asaph had done. That was to prophesy with harps, drums, and cymbals. It was as the people were together that Jahaziel began his praise. Jahaziel expected that the word of the Lord would come (20:14). Jahaziel was intelligent about his Scriptural Praise. We are not told if Jahaziel was playing a harp, drum (psaltry), or cymbals. We do know that when he played the word of the Lord came. It was a corporate meeting. All the infants, children, wives, and husbands were there at the temple. It would be similar to our church service today.
2CH 20:13 And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation
We need to attempt to get the picture of what Jahaziel was doing when he got and gave the word of the Lord. Perhaps if we could imagine Jahaziel playing his drums and cymbals in the temple during the service desiring to prophesy. He was intelligent about Scriptural Praise. He knew that the instruments would assist in bringing the word of the Lord. That is foreign to most today, but that was what a Scriptural Praise service was all about in the scriptures. The musicians were not only appointed to play. They were appointed to play and prophesy. We learn that from 1 Chronicles 25.
1 Chronicles 25:1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:
1 Chronicles 25:3 Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD.
1 Chronicles 25:5 All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn.
1 Chronicles 25:6 All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God,
Musical instruments are not only to add beauty and to give us assistance as we sing. Instruments are there first and foremost to help bring a word of prophecy from the Lord. We know the Word of God tells us that the Lord inhabits the praises of Israel (Psa 22:3). If he is present with us then he will speak to his people. David brought in the presence of the Lord using musical instruments.
1CH 15:15 And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD. 16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
The Lord enjoys instruments. Scriptures teach that instruments have always provided an entrance for the prophetic word of the Lord.
1SA 10:5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:
We should know this. We should have understanding–intelligence–when we utilize Scriptural Praise. Jehoshaphat knew this. When Jahaziel began to prophesy using his musical instrument Jehoshaphat listened.
2 Chronicles 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
The word of the Lord came. The people obeyed the word and the Lord gave the victory. Their praise went before them. It went over the hill and down the valley. Scriptural Praise was perfected. The people activated their weapon of warfare with understanding. The Lord gave the victory.
2 Chronicles 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
2 Chronicles 20:25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.
We can do the same today. If we will praise the Lord with understanding–intelligence–and activate the weapon correctly on Sunday, the Lord will go before us and destroy the enemies. He will cause the enemies to ambush each other. I have seen this actually happen. The enemy attempt to set traps ahead of us (Psa 38:12). Our Scriptural Praise can trip those traps before we arrive. Scriptural Praise goes before us.
PSA 91:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
- Scriptural Praise Restores what the enemy Took
Luke 17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
Luke 17:16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
Luke 17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
This is the story of the ten lepers. Nine were healed and one made whole because the one glorified God and gave God thanks. Leprosy destroys the tissue around the nose and mouth and then attacks the extremities — fingers, toes, hands, feet. Whatever the leprosy had taken from the one he got back. The others were healed, but one was made whole.
- The Enemy of Scriptural Praise
Luke 1:39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
Luke 1:40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Luke 1:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Luke 1:43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luke 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Luke 1:45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Luke 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord
The enemy of Scriptural Praise is listening to a bad salutation or bad report. Even if the report is true, a report contrary to the will of the Lord will only cause death and destroy. The verses below were said in the context of what was true, but contrary to the will of the Lord. Thus those who gave and those who received the bad report died.
Numbers 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
Numbers 14:37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
I absolutely refuse to listen to bad reports and become aggravated when I hear my flock listen or give bad reports. Bad reports will not cause the baby that we are here to birth to jump. I heard Clint Brown preach a message about making my baby jump from this passage. It was about the thing alive and ready to be birthed in Elizabeth’s womb leaping at the correct salutation of Mary. Elizabeth’s purpose was to birth John the baptist. If you want to be my friend you must make my baby jump–my purpose, that which I am pregnant with and am here to birth. I refuse to be around negative people. I refuse to listen to bad reports.
We should cause the purpose within each other to leap with our good news. I should make your baby jump. You should make my baby jump. We should encourage one another and provoke one another to love and good works. Negative reports only kill and stop the praise with us. The enemy loves it when we give bad reports and listen to bad reports. We become his messenger (2Co 11:14-15). We remain in the wilderness and perish.
The enemy of Scriptural Praise is a bad report. If we only knew what listening to and given bad reports did to us we would literally run from a person attempting to put one in us. We would never give one! They make us sick and kill our purpose. This is true even if only heard. On the opposite end a good report gives life and health.
Proverbs 15:30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat. (KJV)
Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. (NIV)
Prov 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
We are yet to understand the power of our tongues or any other person’s tongue we choose to listen. It will kill our praise and allow the enemy to attack. The devil goes about looking for someone, anyone to devour! Don’t let it be you. Still the avenger with Scriptural Praise!
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
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