Thanksgiving/praise which acknowledge God’s ‘name’, is a sacrifice that activates the eternal covenant between God and man, it completes the oneness of God with man, which releases all that God is into a man’s present situation, to bring divine ‘peace(shalom)’ into that situation. ‘Shalom’ doesn’t just mean ‘the absence of war or strife’, it means “nothing missing, nothing broken”. In other words, with thanksgiving, the human element steps out of the way for the divine, such that whatever the human element lacks for that situation, or whatever is broken in the human element for that situation, is overshadowed by the completeness that is in the divine.
Let’s try and remember instances in scripture where God was thanked or praised or acknowledged for who He is: Jehoshaphat, The last supper, the raising of Lazarus, the multiplication of food, etc. Acknowledging God’s name verbally and from the heart as a result of faith, releases something very divine and powerful to the benefit of the one doing it.
Now, in other to really understand what it means to praise God, or give Him thanks, which acknowledge His name, we need to understand what the word ‘name’ really means in scripture. When scripture talks about “calling on the ‘name’ of The Lord” or “believing on the ‘name’ of The Lord”, it isn’t talking about ‘name’ as in the situation where you say the ‘name’ of Abraham’s wife is Sarah. It means name as in a situation where you say His ‘name’ shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. That word ‘name’ is translated from the Hebrew word ‘SHEM’, which means ‘the essential reality of who a person is’, not just the language code by which they are called. It is more about the reputation, fame, known abilities of a person, than a designation.
If you look through the lives of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, you will see something very powerful at work. Almost each time they build an altar of sacrifice to God, they pronounce God’s SHEM there, a name that describes the particular ability or aspect of the divine nature that God manifested to them at that point. You see, that was the shadow of things to come, the killing of bulls and sheep on the altars of stone was a shadow of the substance, which is the sacrifice of praise on the altars of our hearts. It’s not necessarily about a song, it’s about expressing with your lips the faith that is in your heart, it’s about verbalising who you believe God is and what you know He can do in your situation. It has passed the level of trying to believe, it is the final stage of faith which expresses confident assurance in the SHEM of God.
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Hebrews 13:15 ESV)
“Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver! The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” (Psalm 50:22, 23 ESV)
Acknowledging God’s SHEM through praise or thanksgiving creates an atmosphere of miracles around you and in your situation, an atmosphere where there is “nothing missing and nothing broken”. It is called shalom, peace! That is what these scriptures below draw from,
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (Psalm 50:14, 15 ESV)
…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:4, 5 ESV)
Now, let’s look at a few more instances in scripture where praise and thanksgiving acknowledging the SHEM of The Lord was used to bring about mighty miracles.
A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord. (2 Kings 4:42-44 ESV)
And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. (Matthew 15:34-36 ESV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV)
Jesus acknowledging this SHEM of God, “Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24 ESV),” acknowledged God in the passage below,
So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:41-44 ESV)
God Bless His word in your heart and make it prosper in you. Amen.