Yadah, Yadah, Yadah!!

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 107:1

We all bring our own baggage to the day, to every day, and often especially to the holidays. As we approach our country’s official Thanksgiving Day, most of us are grappling in our hearts with deeper things than the busyness of our schedules.  Life is a mixed bag. There is an Old Testament concept of “thanks” that can help us sort things out, experience real catharsis and growth, and please God all at the same time!

The Hebrew, “yadah,” often translated as thanks, thankful (like the Aramaic, “yeda“) stresses “recognition and declaration of a fact, whether it is good or bad.”*  Simply, to “yadah” is to confess, thank, or praise. **  This is relieving.  Thanksgiving is quite the opposite of  the denial of the negatives of life, of raw positive thinking, pretending, and stuffing (not turkey stuffing, but pushing down your real thoughts and feelings).  The good is easier to see and appreciate when the bad is not ignored or denied.

Please let me assimilate “yadah” into English usage as a noun and verb. Here goes.  Yadahing first requires the purest honesty one can muster. There “it” is: my God, my world, my life, my self.  The state of my house, my garage, my gardens, my work, my passions, my relationships, my character.  Yadahing firsts confesses what is true — one must have eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to learn.  What is true of God? Of me? Of my life? My relationships?

Way back in Leviticus 16:21, God instructs Moses  to instruct Aaron to “lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat and confess (yadah) over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel. . . .”  (Read the context.)  This reminds us of I John 1:9, which encourages us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness”!  Yadahing initiates serious and joyous catharsis!

Yadahing is not only laying out on the table all of our sin, but also all of the baggage we have that weighs us down — our confusion, regrets, double-mindedness, doubts, and whatever is lurking within.  Hebrews 12: 1-3 urge us to “lay aside every encumbrance (weight, baggage) and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Yadahing is confessing what is wrong and hard (sinful, broken, helpless, unjust) and confessing all the good and right that we can comprehend — about God Himself, and God’s work, and God’s work in our lives and in the lives of others as He transforms us. . . .  (It’s getting “gooder and gooder,” as my dad would say.)

Yadah-Thanksgiving leaves behind no “cognitive dissonance” (or clashing of what one really thinks deep down with one’s words and actions).  In honesty, yadahing sees our Good God interacting redemptively in a broken world with broken people to bring about His Kindgom.  “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done”  — here as well as in heaven.

As we yadah, we sort things out, experience real catharsis and growth in Christ, and please God all at the same time!  Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God,” which means that with faith, it is possible to please God.  But faith can never be separated from yadah. Yadahing confesses what is real — understood by our senses, consciences, and our faith that God is who He claims to be in His Word. The work of yadahing proves faith not to be an irrational mindset, but the very substance of an honest, active, spiritual life.

As we yadah, the elephant in the room takes its rightful place, relegated as our sin or with  our sin under the towering cross of Christ.  Yadahing corrects our sense of proportion.

Yadah: to confess, thank, and praise. Yadah.

God is good — even when bad surrounds and invades — God is good. The evil is temporary and will be banished– His Kingdom is here and is coming. Good — the expression of God’s pure character — is as eternal as He is. The best is yet to come for all God’s children (Revelation 21:1).  “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).   I confess these truths, and I thank and praise Him!

Yadah — I confess the LORD is ever with me. Yadah — Thank You, Lord.

Yadah — I declare that His creation, though racked by the cosmic fall, is breathtakingly wonderful.         Yadah –Glory to Him!

Yadah — I know a New Heaven and Earth are coming, shaped by total goodness, beyond imagination. Yadah — Anticipatory Praise!

Yadah — I confess that God is kinder to me than I deserve. Yadah — Worshipful gratitude!

Yadah — I admit, happily so, that He is in the details of my life.  Blessed, blessed, blessed.

Through yadahing, I’m awakened to His showers of blessing.

Endless Yadahs . . . .

Yadah — Hallelujah!

* Key Word Study Bible from the “Lexical Aids to the Old Testament,” p. 1731. Yadah is used dozens of times in the OT. “Yeda” (Aramaic) is only used twice, in Daniel 2:23; 6:10.

** Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible. This concordance is similar to Strong’s.

Categories: Joy & Suffering -- Good & Evil, Spiritual Growth | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Yadah, Yadah, Yadah!!

  1. Yedah Karen… and a blessed Thanksgiving to you and Paul as well.

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