I Will Be Still
“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise (shabach) You.” Psalm 63:3
Shabach is a Hebrew word for praise that means “to laud, commend, adore, glory.” It also means “to soothe, still, stroke, to pacify.” The word is used eleven times in the Old Testament, of which, eight times it is used to speak praise to God. Three times it is used to describe a calming of the sea or a calming within one’s heart.
When we praise the Lord, it brings a calming effect on our hearts. The Arabic translation of Shabach means “to swim,” which is done by stroking the water. In Psalm 89:9 shabach is used to still the waves. As we praise, we allow His presence to stroke us, to soothe us. Whatever we are dealing with in our lives, when we lift up God and praise Him for who He is, our soul is pacified.
Transformation happens in God’s presence. When we are communing with Him, His love melts our concerns. His anointing breaks our strongholds. His life gives resource to our needs. If we go into His throne room with anxiety, we come out with peace. If we go into His presence with sadness, we come out with joy. If we go into His presence with troubles, we come out with victory. God’s presence strokes us, rubs us, and soothes us.
Praise takes us there- into a meeting with God. We approach Him with our love, our honor. We approach Him with humility, surrender. We approach Him in recognition of who He is. The shabach praise will move toward God with loving exaltation, as we are in our imperfection, and then God moves toward us, in His perfection, completing us and making us whole. Whatever we lacked going in, we were full when we went out. We receive what He has already provided. We receive from the place He has positioned us into. God has made the way, but everyday we still must do our part to choose it, to receive it, and to use it. Our praise leads us to communion with God, a place where we meet with God and a place where He completes us and calms the storms in our lives.
Application: Singing or speaking words of praise doesn’t necessarily bring you into communion with God – it’s the heart in loving pursuit of His Person. God, and God alone, can complete us, giving us peace.
By Melanie Stone