Praise As A Weapon Of Spiritual Warfare

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It is written:

Psalm 149:6-9-Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, 7  To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples; 8  To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; 9  To execute on them the written judgment—This honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!

The Hebrew language in which the Old Testament is written is truly beautiful and complex. Its’ words and tenses often contain tenses and shadows of meaning that can easily be overlooked. While our English Bibles preserve the authenticity and message of the text, studies into the original languages of the Bible are very fruitful. One example is found here in Psalms.

The Jewish people had something called “Targums” which helped to provide detail about the Hebrew Old Testament. One researcher has noted:

“TARGUM Early translations of the Bible into Aramaic, the native language of Palestine and Babylon in the first century A.D. Targum, in its verbal Hebrew form, means “to explain, to translate.” The most important of these translations still in existence is Targum Onkelos, which was probably read weekly in synagogue services from a relatively early date. The Targums are not simply translations but seem to include a large amount of biblical commentary that perhaps reflects sermons in Jewish Palestinian synagogues. Therefore, the material is of interest to NT scholars who attempt to understand the Judaism of which Jesus was a part.” (Stephenson Humphries-Brooks, “TARGUM,” in Chad Brand, Archie England, et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary: The Complete Guide to Everything You Need to Know About the Bible, 48390-48397 (Kindle Edition): Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers)

With that in mind, consider this interesting commentary from John Gill on this passage of Scripture.

“The Targum is, “the praises of God in their throats, and as twoedged swords in their hands;” making the praises of God and the twoedged swords to be the same: and so Jarchi and R. Jeshuah in Aben Ezra interpret them.” (John Gill, Gill’s Bible Commentary, 144297-144303 (Kindle Edition): Washington, D.C.: OSNOVA)

In other words, the passage is teaching us that our weapons of warfare include praise to God. Notice how this passage is rendered in the Passion Translation:

Psalm 149:6-9 (TPT)-God’s high and holy praises fill their mouths, for their shouted praises are their weapons of war! 7  These warring weapons will bring vengeance on every opposing force and every resistant power—. 8  to bind kings with chains and rulers with iron shackles. 9  Praise-filled warriors will enforce the judgment-doom decreed against their enemies. This is the glorious honor he gives to all his godly lovers. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Other Scriptures remind us of the connection between praising God and victory in warfare.

For example:

Joshua 5:14-So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”

Judges 7:15-And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the LORD has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.”

2 Chronicles 20:22-Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.

The connection with praise and spiritual warfare is especially shown in Psalm 91, where the one who worships God overcomes the attacks of Satan and demonic forces:

Psalm 91:5, 6, 13 (TPT)-You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you. 6  Don’t fear a thing! Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you, nor will the powers of evil launched against you….You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness, trampling every one of them beneath your feet!

These blessings are for the one who is a worshipper of Jehovah. Notice the connections in the Psalms between ‘calling’ on God (Psalm 91:15) and worship:

Psalm 18:3-I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.

Psalm 50:15-Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Psalm 105:1-Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!

Psalm 116:17-I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD.

When we are faced with spiritual warfare, praise of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will be powerful weapons for the church. Worship turns our focus from ourselves and our enemies and focuses on the one true God Who is worthy to be praised, and Who gives His people the victory.

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