LET’S HEAR YOU SAY IT, HALLELUJAH! –
The compilers of the Psalter wanted the pilgrims to have a closing hymn that would both serve as a crescendo of praise, as well as a benediction. So they chose this psalm written by a returned exile that could not contain himself because of his desire to praise the LORD Eternal in every way possible and by every means available. He uses words that expose a broad spectrum of human emotions revealed by a variety of musical instruments. In so doing the psalmist teaches the pilgrim that every experience in life offers an opportunity to activate one’s heart and mind to accept a new awareness of God’s goodness. Man’s soul should not remain insensitive and silent. No! No! Let the soul shout praises to God for who He is, what He is, and why He is.
“Say, Hallelujah! Let us celebrate the LORD in His holy sanctuary; let our celebration ascend into the heavens. Let us celebrate Him for His miracles; let us celebrate Him because He is awesome. Let us celebrate Him with the trumpet blast, and with piano and guitar. Let us celebrate Him with the tambourine while we shout. Let us celebrate Him with stringed and wind instruments; let us celebrate Him with tympani’s and cymbals! Yes, let everything that lives and breathes celebrate the LORD! Say, Hallelujah!” Psalm 150:1-6
Reflection: Georg Frideric Händel was born in Halle, Germany on Monday, February 23, 1685 to a local barber and his wife. He began to play the organ in church by age 17. A year later he played violin and harpsichord in an opera house. He rose to such prominence that Ludwig von Beethoven once stated, “Händel is the greatest composer who ever lived. I would gladly bare my head and kneel at his grave.” On day Händel suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed on his left side. But he continued on with his music, and was invited to give a series of concerts in Dublin, Ireland to benefit various charities. While there, Händel decided to write a new piece of music. So, for the next 24 days he labored to complete a composition which he simply entitled, “Messiah.” It turned out to be his greatest work. One of the most remembered parts remains the Hallelujah chorus at the end of the second movement. Its repeated refrain gains such volume and pitch, that when sung it usually brings people to their feet. Händel died in London on Saturday, April 14, 1759. Eighteenth Century music historian Dr. Charles Burney said of this work, Messiah: “It has fed the hungry and clothed the naked, fostered the orphan and enriched succeeding directors of Oratories more than any single musical production in this or any other country.” This final psalm provides a similar chorus to that which completes the sacred hymnbook of the Psalms. What better way to close out such a beautiful collection of prayers, songs, and praises to God’s heart. It helps focus the soul, mind and spirit, channeling them into a joyous act of praise and worship to an all deserving Creator God. So when you may feel low and the troubles of the world seem to weigh you down, join the psalmist and Händel by singing that inspiring chorus again and again: “Hal-lelujah! Hal-lelujah! Hallelujah, Hallelujah; Hal-le-lu-jah!” Yes, let everything that lives and breathes, praise the LORD! 07/02/13
– The End –
THIS COMPLETES THE “NUGGETS OF WISDOM” FROM THE PSALMS
Adapted from “To God’s Heart, The Psalms for Today: An interpretive paraphrase and study guide for those seeking God’s guidance,” by Robert R. Seyda, New Global Publishing, 2006
If you wish to start over with Psalm 1, please go to “Archives,” then “January 2015” and scroll to the bottom of the page. The Lord bless you for your dedication to God’s Word.