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“HIS PRAISE ENDURES FOREVER!”

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Psalms 111

“………Holy and awesome is His name” -Psalm 111:9

Psalms 111-118 are known as Hallelujah Psalms where Psalm 111 is the first of its series. Hallelujah is a Hebrew word and is made up of two parts. The first part is “hallel” which means “praise” and the second part is “jah”, which is from ‘Yahweh’, the Hebrew name for God. So then Hallelujah means: “Praise the Lord”.

Each of these Hallelujah Psalms is full of reasons why we should praise the Lord. The Psalmist begins in our English Bible ‘Praise the Lord’ which is nothing but ‘hallelujah’. Verse 1 says “I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.”  When we consider the phrase, “with all my heart” we can realize that his worship and praise was sincere and wholehearted because it comes deep down from his heart. He was someone who worshipped “in spirit and truth.” Further, he worshipped in the assembly – the place where others also gathered. The assembly in Old Testament times referred to the gathering of God's people. In Greek the word for church is “ecclesia” – and it refers to those who have been called by God "out of the world” to be part of the people of God, and we come together as the body of God's people to worship Him and to serve Him.

 

The Psalmist had countless reasons to praise the Lord.  He narrates through the Psalm - verses 2-7 he tells of God's mighty works.  Not only are His works glorious and majestic, they are faithful and just. Then continuing to Verse10, he speaks of His wonderful precepts, or teachings which are trustworthy and stands forever. His works describe Him- He is just, faithful, gracious and compassionate. The Psalmist concludes: "holy and awesome is His name” and "to Him belongs eternal praise” (Psa. 111:9-10).

One of the most famous and best loved pieces of Christian music is the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. The words of the Hallelujah Chorus are based on verses in the book of Revelation: "Hallelujah: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever. King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Hallelujah!”

It records that when Handel wrote the Messiah, back in 1741, he was so absorbed in what he was doing that he hardly left his room and hardly ate. The whole Messiah (260 pages of choral & orchestral music), took him only 24 days to complete. One day when a servant came into his room to bring Handel something to eat, he found him with tears streaming down his face. Handel had just finished composing the Hallelujah Chorus. Handel said, "I did think I did see all Heaven before me - and the great God himself.”   Later Handel tried to describe his experience by quoting the words of Paul in the Bible saying, "Whether I was in the body or out of my body when I wrote it I know not."  Such an awesome God is HE and His name is ‘I AM!’  This piece of music whenever it is played over or sung, we feel that heaven has come down!

As we listen to the words of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ may our hearts rejoice in the KING of kings and LORD of lords who shall reign for ever and ever! HALLELUJAH!

Prayerful thought:

"When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart."

Lamar Boschman

Listen:Hallelujah Chorus

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