Yadah, Yadah, Yadah
Maybe you remember the Seinfeld episode where they use the phrase, “Yada, yada, yada” in the way you might normally expect to see it used, meaning: more stuff happened, but it wasn’t important enough to mention (and so forth, and so on). “I saw Jon Bon Jovi at the market today, and yada, yada, yada, I’m headed to a concert this Friday!” It wasn’t important enough to mention, but truthfully, it leaves a hole in the story. So, when it comes to using this phrase, you get the idea, right?
But here’s the thing. I recently noticed in a study Bible that the Hebrew word Yadah means to praise, or to confess. That puts an entirely different spin on the word. The study Bible stated, “This verb signifies speaking out loud concerning the praiseworthiness of God. It can also refer to the verbal confession of sins and wrongs. In some contexts, the elements of praise and confession are combined.”
Example. 2 Chronicles 5, we see this stated, “The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison, to praise (yadah) and give thanks to the Lord. They raised their voices and praised (yadah) the Lord with these words, ‘He is good! His faithful love endures forever!’”
Example. Ezra 10, we see these words, “While Ezra prayed and made this confession (yadah), weeping and lying face down on the ground in front of the temple of God, a very large crowd of people from Israel gathered and wept bitterly with him.”
Example. Daniel 9, we hear Daniel state, “I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed (yadah): ‘O Lord you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.’”
In this last example we see Daniel confessing and his confession is a praise to God, so both uses of the word yadah come into play.
Within this word and its duel meaning we may find what not only we as individuals need, but what our country needs to recover what has been rapidly slipping away in recent years. We often hear people encouraging us to pray that God will intervene and repair what is needed to make our country strong again. But I have long thought that praying alone is not enough. God cannot be treated like a magic wand, with us simply asking for him to do something and he in turn responds. As the verses above using the word yadah indicate, there is a need to turn to God in repentance, confessing our sins, confessing Jesus as Lord, and praising him for what he provides no matter the circumstances.
Even in the well-known verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14 which states, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Now, yes, this was written to Israel as a nation, so we take it out of context to think it’s being said to the democracy of our country. But there is a principle involved that still impacts us individually for sure and will at least pay dividends for a country if enough people comply. The principle is this: to gain God’s involvement we play a part beyond praying, we must also humble ourselves, seek God, and turn from our wicked ways in repentance. These actions show we want more than a blessed country, we want relationship with God as an individual, and we want others to have that same saving relationship with him, as well.
Yadah, yadah, yadah.
Cross Point: “Through Jesus continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Don’t neglect to do good, to share what you have, such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Heb. 13:15-16