Sometimes, just saying “Thank You” feels so inadequate. How do I express the overflow of thankfulness I feel for God’s goodness?
Jonah thanked God from the belly of the fish. He what?
What did Jonah have to be thankful for? Everything, …or nothing. I guess it depends on your perspective. However, Jonah sang a song of thanksgiving to God, renewing the vows he made to God and declaring God’s Salvation. And God delivered Jonah!
Towdah Praise: Thankfulness, confession, sacrifice; to extend the hands
Towdah praise is giving thanks as an expression of praise to God. Towdah praise is a sacrificial offering (Lev. 22:29) meaning it must “cost” something. Towdah praise is audible (Ps. 26:7), meaning it is thankfulness “out loud” not just in your heart. Towdah praise is and congregational (2 Chron. 29:31), meaning it is right to offer thanksgiving “together” as a group of believers.
Giving Towdah praise is also an act of fulfilling our vows of covenant with God, which result in God’s rescue and salvation (Ps. 56:12).
Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the fish ends with His singing Towdah praise (Jonah 2:9). His prayer renews the vows he had made with God, and declares God’s salvation. The very next verse has the fish spitting Jonah onto dry land.
Towdah praise is musical (Ps. 147:7). When Nehemiah finished rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12), and it came time to thank the Lord for the restoration of Israel’s security, life, and peace, Nehemiah sent large choirs, two of them, in opposite directions on top of the newly rebuilt wall to celebrate joyfully with “songs of thanksgiving (Towdah).”
Nehemiah, could have sent warriors to march on the wall; he could have had priests come and bless the wall with prayers; but the most appropriate way to say thanks to God for Nehemiah was to gather together singers from all the surrounding regions, assemble them into choirs, and have them circle the city wall singing Towdah praise, and you can bet there was some hand-raising going on!
So how do we more adequately express our thankfulness to God? We gather together; we sing together and extend our hands as a sacrifice to God. We “give” God the renewal of our vows, and allow God to give us His salvation (Ps. 50:23).