Saturday, December 04, 2010

THE HALLELUJAH FACTOR - PART 1

The word most often used for PRAISE is "HALLELUJAH" which means "PRAISE GOD" and it comes from two Hebrew words, "Hallal" and "JAH". "Hallal" forms the first part meaning 'to boast, to brag on, to laud, to make a show even to the point of being clamorously foolish or mad' before the Lord. And the second word 'JAH' is simply the shortened name of GOD which means YAWEH.

So when we say "HALLELUJAH" we ought to response in extreme excitement, exuberance and exultation. I cannot help making an observation at this point. With the two Hebrew words "Hallal" and "JAH". All that is needed to make it complete is the letter "u". It takes a person like "you" to make the word "HALLELUJAH" a spontaneous response of PRAISE and WORSHIP!

But why HALLELUJAH? Why do we use it? What are we expressing about life, about man, about history, and about God? How does the saying of it affect us? Why is it vital in corporate worship and private worship. None of these questions may be answered in a complete sense this side of heaven, but I believe there are implications in the use of the terms in the Scriptures.

The word HALLELUJAH is used only twenty-four times, all of them in the Psalms and occurring between Psalm 104 and 150. (Psalms 104:35, 105:45, 106:1,48, 111:1,112:1, 113:1,9, 115:18, 116:19, 117:2, 135:1,3,21, 146:1,10, 147:1,20, 148:1,14, 149:1,9 and 150:1,6).

It is further interesting and revealing to note the follow:
- Two Psalms begin with HALLELUJAH (Psalms 111 and 112)
- Five Psalms end with HALLELUJAH (Psalms 104, 105, 115, 116, 117)
- Eight Psalms begin with and end with HALLELUJAH (Psalms 106, 113, 135, 146 to 105)
- Only one Psalm (Psalm 135) contains HALLELUJAH within it (verse 3)

A careful examination of the glorious truths contained within the framework of these twenty-four usages of HALLELUJAH may give us helpful clues toward answering the question, "why HALLELUJAH?

1) IT HAS THE RING OF PURPOSE AND PROVIDENCE

a) God's Purpose In Creation
* Psalm 104 - God controlling the waters, the grass, the beast, the birds, the moon, the sun, the sea creatures, the earth, and the mountains
* Psalm 105 and 106 - Contain references to the manner in which God used His control of elements in the lives of His people.
* Psalm 135 and 147 - God again is witnessed having His way in the heavens, earth, and in the seas.
* Psalm 148 - Is a vital roll call of creation. Everything is commanded to praise the Lord and respons to His beckoning seems to be a reason for HALLEUJAH

b) God's Purpose As It Relates To Israel
* Psalm 105 - The descendants of Abraham and Jacon are called upon to remember the wonders, miracles, judgements (verses 5 - 6) and God's covenant dealings with His people (verses 43 - 45)
* Psalm 106 - Beginning and ending is a HALLELIJAH, is a digest of Israel, their deliverance, their backsliding, their murmurings, their idol worship, their wasting in sin, and God's disciplinary actions. Then the cry at the end of the Psalm, "Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations thatwe may give thanks to Your Name and glory in Your praise. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from verlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, 'Amen!' HALLELIJAH!" (verse 47 - 48)
* Psalm 112 - The purpose of God is extended to anyone who "fears the Lord and delights in His commands" (verse 1)
* Psalm 113 - HALLELUJAHS flank the good news that God raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, seating them among princes. The barren woman He makes a happy mother.
* Psalm 135 - God's dealing with Israel are extolled, especially the havoc He wrought on Egypt by His signs and wonders (verse 8 - 9). In their behal He had struck down nations and kings and gave their land as an inheritance to His people, Israel (verse 8 - 12).
* Psalm 146 - God remains faithful to His purposes. He upholds the cause of the oppressed ... sets the prisoners free ... gives sight to the blind ... lifts up those who are bowed down, love the righteous ... sustains the fatherless and the widow, but frustrates the ways of the wicked"(verse 7 - 9).

2) IT HAS THE RING OF POWER AND SOVEREIGNTY
Through this series of Psalms there is a constant sounding of God's mighty and limitless abilities (see Psalm 104:1, 106:2, 111:2-3, 115:1,18, 135:15-18). HALLELUJAH seems to be the only response that is reasonable in the light of God's greatnes. The crecendos rises in the later Psalms to climax in Psalm 150 with: "Praise Him for His acts of power, praise Him for His surpassing greatness." (verse 2)

3) IT HAS THE RING OF PERMANENCE
HALLELUJAH is inescapably eternal! When we say, sing it, or shout it we are lining up with eternity. Listen to the ring of etenity in these Psalms:
* Psalm 104:31 - "May the glory of the Lord endure forever."
* Psalm 115: 5-10 - "His righteousness endures forever ... He remembers His covenant forever ...the works of His hands are faithful and just, all His precepts are trustworthy, steadfast ... done in faithfulness and uprightness ..."
* Psalm 113:2) - "Let the name of the Lord be praised both now and forever more."
* Psalm 115:18 - "It is we who extol the Lord both now and forevermore."
* Psalm 117:2 - "For great is His love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever."
* Psalm 135:13 - ""Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, through all generations."
* Psalm 146:10 - "The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations."

Have you noticed how many words speak of eternity in the environment of HALLELUJAH? It brings us to breathe the air of heaven, accords the greatness due God's name, and affords us a view of God as He is and things as they are.

Ten times in the last five Psalms HALLELUJAH resounds. Ultimately everything in creation is ordered to praise the Lord. All elements, plant and animal life and kings of the earth, all musical instruments, and "everything thatahs breath" is to praise the Lord! The final, triumphant note is appropriately ... HALLELUJAH!
(An extract from: The Hallelujah Factor by Jack R. Taylor)

1 comment:

Devotions For Music Ministers said...

Great study Ricky. Inspirational too. We say hallelujah when we worship God but to know it's meaning makes it so much more meaningful to say.