Monday, November 22, 2004

Yada, Yada, Yada

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
(Psalm 106:1)
Fans of Seinfeld will, no doubt, recognize “yada, yada, yada” as one of the sitcom’s many buzz lines. It was used as a conversation filler, a vapid formulation along the lines of “blah, blah, blah.”

In the interest of redeeming the culture a little bit, I’d like to introduce a new understanding to that phrase. Or more precisely, I’d like to reach back to an ancient Hebrew word: yadah.

Yadah is built on the root word yad, the Hebrew word for “hand.” It literally means to hold out, or extend the hand. This gesture is characteristic of offering thanks or praise. Consequently, it is used in the Old Testament variously to express gratitude and worship. When we give our thanks to the Lord, we extend uplifted hands, stretching forth ourselves in worship.

We lift up our hands to give ourselves to the Lord, or to entrust something into His hands. We lift up our hands in surrender to Him, also an act of trust. We lift up our hands to receive blessing from the Lord. We lift up our hands for our Father to take us up into His arms. We lift up our hands to say, “Here I am, Lord. I see You, do You see me?” Lifting our hands to God is an act of thanks, an act of praise, an act of trust.

So, the next time you hear the phrase, “yada, yada, yada,” don’t think “blah, blah, blah.” Redeem the culture. Think “praise, praise, praise,” “thanks, thanks, thanks,” or “trust, trust, trust.”

Extend your hands to heaven and joyfully shout, “Yadah! Yadah! Yadah!