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Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Chuck Fromm

The Five Words of Worship provides a filter to view worship songs  through and aid you in preparing a balanced worship service. Here’s a helpful guide to assessing which word of worship best describes a song.  (Of course there are many songs and psalms that include all of the words  in varying combinations, but usually one is predominant.) 

Does it boast of the Lord and His attributes? Hallelujah

HALLELUJAH

Hallelujah is a word of worship from the Hebrew Scripture common  everywhere the biblical faith of God is proclaimed, regardless of  language, dialect, culture or civilization. It is spoken by Korean believers  in congregations of a million strong and in the whispering churches of  persecuted Chinese Christians: it is echoed on the African savannah  in the rich Swahili tongue as well as by Swedes, Spaniards, South Sea  Islanders and the jungle dwellers in the deepest Amazon. 

In fact, wherever there is vibrant faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the  word Hallelujah is lifted in praise to His name. It could be speculated that  the rare phenomenon of a universal word of worship is the result of God’s  reversal of the confusion of tongues that began at the Tower of Babel. But  whatever the case, Hallelujah has, over the centuries, become an instantly  acknowledged exclamation of praise in the worldwide community of  faith. 

A Hebrew word firmly associated with the book of Psalms, when  Hallelujah is found in Latin, it is pronounced, due to linguistic differences,  as “Alleluia.” It is comprised of two elements. The first is the imperative  of the verb “halal,” meaning, “praise.” The second, “Yah,” is a short form  of Yahweh, the principal name of God in the Bible. Hallelujah, therefore, is  properly interpreted as the command, “Praise Yahweh.”  

While there are numerous verbs for “praise” in the Hebrew Bible, they  all have these two things in common: each speaks of public worship and  of vocal worship. Praise connotes a public, vocal response to God and  while believers can and do offer praise to God as a solitary act of worship,  the Hebrew writers have in mind the corporate actions of people in a  community of faith. 

In light of this emphasis Hallelujah, derived from its root verb, “halal”  has the special force of joyful, celebrative boasting, although it has also  occasionally carried a negative connotation when it refers to the arrogant  boasting of the wicked (Ps. 5:5; 3:3; 5:4). “Halal” is sometimes also used  to exalt the physical beauty of men and women (Gen. 12:15, 6.9; 2 Sam.  14:25), but its preeminent context is the praise of God in public worship. 

“Yahweh” is the name of God properly regarded in the Hebrew Bible.  Due to a sixteenth-century misunderstanding of Hebrew spelling, it was  thought by many scholars to be pronounced “Jehovah,” but today most  authorities recognize that the “Jah” – or “Yah” – in Hallelujah points back  to the correct pronunciation of “Yahweh.” The specific combination,  “Allelu-Jah” meaning “be excitedly or joyfully boastful in Yahweh is found throughout the Psalms (104, 106, 115-117, 135, 143, 146-151),  demonstrating its emphasis both as a command and as an exclamation.  

It is important to examine the reason God revealed His holy name,  “Yahweh,” to His people. In Exodus 2:23-3:15, God presented His name  to Moses when the Hebrews were enslaved to the Egyptians and were  crying out for deliverance. Remembering His covenant, God said to  Moses, “I have seen the affliction of my people. I have heard their cry. l  know their sorrow, and I am come to deliver them.” In essence, God is  saying “I AM for my people,” and He underscores this message in verse  15: “This is My name forever, and It is My memorial unto all generations.”  God wants us to call on Him and, it is for that specific reason that He  reveals His name. 

Similarly, by referring to himself as “I Am,” Jesus ties His identity to  the Father and His people, establishing His covenant to their community,  and His promise to maintain that relationship through His loyal love. His  name not only reflects His omnipresence, it also reveals His everlasting  love and care. It is a symbol of His character and, for that reason alone, is  cause for exuberant and joyful praise  

By the same token, the name “Yahweh” ultimately points to the  meaning of the name “Jesus,” which in Hebrew is pronounced “Y’shua”  and means “Yahweh saves.” To praise the name “Yahweh” is ultimately  to praise the name of Jesus, to declare His mighty works and celebrate  His triumphs over death and hell. To sing Hallelujah is to rejoice in the  Savior. 

ESSENTIALS OF A HALLELUJAH SONG: 

1) JOYOUS PRAISE 

2) COMMUNAL CELEBRATION 

3) BOASTING IN GOD 

4) DECLARING THE NAME OF JESUS 

5) CELEBRATING GOD’S MIGHTY WORKS 

HALLELUJAH SONGS:

1) Hallelujah Your Love Is Amazing Brenton Brown/Brian Doerksen SD23

2) God of Wonders Mark Byrd/Stephen Hindalong SD22

3) Again I Say Rejoice Israel Houghton SD45

4) How Great Is Our God Chris Tomlin SD31

5) Our God Saves Paul Baloche/Brenton Brown SD64

6) Do It Lord Tommy Walker/Dale Walker SD68 

 

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More Articles to Checkout

The 5 Words of Worship

The Essentials to a Well-Balanced Life of Worship

Hosanna

Abba

Maranatha

Amen

 

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