July 26 EncourageOgram

July 26, 2021 

Dear Fellow-Worshippers! 

Today I am thinking about the shout > Hallelujah!  Surprisingly, this cry only appears in Revelation 19 in the NIV translation!  Surely the announcement of the reign of our Lord Jesus deserves a long and loud shout of praise! 

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” 3 And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” 4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!” 6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  

NIV Revelation 19:1-6

Hallelujah is a transliteration of the Hebrew phrase.  It combines the verb “hallel” with the name for god “jah.” The “jah” at the end of the word is a shortened form of the most sacred name for God – Yahweh.  This name means “I AM” and is the name God gave Moses in Exodus 3:14. It was so sacred to the faithful Hebrews that they refused to pronounce it when reading the Scriptures. There is a great theological truth in the name since God is self-existent and has always existed and always will. He is immutable and will never change! He simply IS! The verb Hallel means to boast or take pride in.  It is closely related to the verb to shine!  Hallel is found in the Old Testament 167 times.  My lexicon says, ”This root connotes being sincerely and deeply thankful for and/or satisfied in lauding a superior quality(ies) or great, great act(s) of the object.” When we praise the Lord we acknowledge both His greatness in His perfect character and His mighty miracles.  There are long sections in the psalms of hallel songs which were sung as they approached the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. Most of these worship songs begin with the command: “Praise the Lord” in our English translations. The Hebrew phrase Hallelujah appears only 23 and all of them are in the book of Psalms.  

As I meditate on this amazing command to praise the Lord, I am eager to shout it out!  There are an infinite number of reasons to yell at the top of my lungs: Hallelujah!   However, let us be certain that our praise is truly directed at the Lord for who is He and for what He has done, is doing or will do! 

For the Sabbath day. It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, 

NIV Psalm 92:1

Today, Betsy and I return to Colorado. We have had a relaxing time on vacation primarily visiting family and friends.  We rejoice in the prospect of seeing you and worshiping together this Sunday.  We sing hallelujah!   

Your servant,
Pastor Rick

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