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A Devo From Scot - Psalm 135


Dear Church,

Hallelujah seems to be a word claimed and used by relatively few in our world today. Even in the church. Perhaps it seems too sticky or loaded or traditional or cliquish. Perhaps its use has been minimized and limited to exclamatory responses or punchlines. Whatever the cause for its suppression, Hallelujah is a word that has popularity, power and passion in the psalms. I invite you to read Psalm 135 today, which begins and ends with Hallelujah - simply translated "Praise the LORD".

Hallelujah is an invitation. It is a command, actually. More specifically, a plural command. This is only proper when responding to God’s character and actions. This is what you will see in Psalm 135, a gloriously poetic rehearsal of God’s divine activity and engagement from creation (verse 7) to Israel’s inheritance in the promised land (verse 12ff).

Hallelujah is a corporate word. It can only be said by an individual voice, but it is at home in a symphony of others. All of the opening commands and subjects are plural in Psalm 135. It’s a gift-word for God’s people.

Hallelujah is an identification word. The “yah” at the end of the word is the name of God, Yahweh, His covenant, relational name. This personal, true, just, holy, omnipotent, gracious God stands in shocking contrast to the idols that fill the corrupted world. The Psalmist brings in this context in verse 15 and following. We are reminded that our current idols are rarely statues of gold and silver, but much more pernicious and subtle desires and “gods” that sit on the throne of our heart. Many of them quite good and honorable. Yet they always collapse under the weight of our trust. Only One is completely trustworthy. Idols inevitably lead to shame.

Hallelujah is a trust word. It is a worship word. A blessing. I’m not sure a short devotional like this can resurrect a proper employment of a word, or bolster its popularity, but I’d like to try. Praise the LORD dear friend. For what He has done, is doing right now, and will do. It’s only fitting. It’s the single word for which your heart was created. Let’s praise Him together.

I love church.

Scot
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