Praise Goes First

Our God is an illustrative God—He doesn’t just tell us things, but instead uses real people and real events to show us who He is and who we are.

Israel was made up of twelve tribes, all named after Jacob’s twelve sons. God used these tribes to illustrate to us how He moves with His people into new places. One of the tribes was called Judah, and Judah represented praise. They would lead whenever Israel set off to a new land, and they would be the first to march out towards a battle. The tribe of Judah camped on the east, because they would be the first to see the sun rise up every morning, and Israel would begin its day with praise going first.

The atmosphere can shift when the hearts of God’s people start to praise Him. Numbers 10:13-14 says, “When the people set out for the first time, following the instructions the Lord had given through Moses, Judah’s troops led the way.” In their history, Israel had hundreds of years of slavery. But God didn’t just promise to bring them out of that slavery—He promised that He would be their God through the entire journey.

Israel didn’t stop praising God after He delivered them from captivity, and neither should we. We all experience spiritual captivity due to our sin, which is missing the mark of God’s standard for our lives. On our own we can’t deliver ourselves from sin, but Jesus came to set us free and take us back into a relationship with God.

Just like praise took the nation of Israel into victory, let your praise take you into the promises God has for your life. Jesus lived a perfect life, died a sinner’s death on the cross, and resurrected to conquer the grave so that we can rest in His freedom. And it doesn’t end there—He stays with us through our entire journey. God dwells among His people now just as He did back in the Old Testament.

God doesn’t want to just bring you out of slavery, out of the darkness—He wants to adopt you into His family and bless you so that you can be a blessing to others. He will do the journey with you; just let your praise go first!

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