Bârak

Larry BruceWorship CornerLeave a Comment

Let all kings bow in homage to him,
all nations serve him.

Psalm 72:11 (CSB)

This post was originally intended to be published in the December Redeemer Monthly, but was overlooked. Posting here, I kept the month omission and this is the reason for the January post date and the skip of a month.

There are some things about which I am not shy. One of those things is my value for certain songs. Those who gather each week to rehearse and lead worship know which songs really move me. Although, if you ask them, they all might give different answers because, well, there aren’t many songs we use in regular worship that fail to elevate my praise and cause me to express myself. In this season of Christmas (this was intended for the December Newsletter, but it is still the Christmas Season), one hymn stands out as my favorite: “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” To me, it is as great a call to worship as ever has been set to music and the refrain never disappoints as it repeats, “O come let us adore Him.” 

That word, adore is my focus here this month. The next Hebrew word for praise is bârak (baw-rak’), and it means to kneel in adoration, to bless God as an act of thankfulness and salutation. It is a beautiful word that definitely draws us into a very different posture than we have previously explored. There is a certain reverence that is called to attention as we bârak in praise. To unpack this let’s open the Psalms to 100 and 103. 

Psalm 100 is a wonderful call or invitation to worship, and verse 4 is where we see two new praise words. The Psalmist says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise (tehillâh – more on that next month); give thanks to him and [bârak] his name.” We are called to sing a new song and to bless the name of our God. The verses of Psalm 100 beautifully draw us in to adore our Creator and Savior

Psalm 103 echoes another of our favorite worship songs, “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord).” It begins with a threefold repetition to “[Bârak] (or ‘bless’) the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, [bârak] his holy name. [Bârak] the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” We also see the same word used at the end of the psalm to frame and bookend that ancient hymn. 

In the same way, as we draw near in celebration of Christ incarnate, born the King of angels, we are also called to bless and adore him. May this new word be a blessing to your Christmas worship and throughout the New Year.

Bârak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *