Psalm 146. Hallelujah #1: God Is Large And In Charge.

Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 146. (MsgB)

Hallelujah! O my soul, praise God!
All my life long I’ll praise God, singing songs to my God as long as I live.

Don’t put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
Mere humans don’t have what it takes; when they die, their projects die with them.
Instead, get help from the God of Jacob, put your hope in God and know real blessing!

God’s in charge—always. Zion’s God is God for good!

Hallelujah, we’ve finally arrived.

The last five songs in the Book of Psalms.

Jewish scholars appropriately call these final five tunes (Psalms 146-150) found in the Book of Psalms, the Concluding Hallel.

Original, don’t you think?

Hallel is an interesting Hebrew word. It translates as ‘joyous praise’ or ‘to boast’. Hallel can also be a word that refers to a person who acts madly or foolishly. When the word hallel is used in the second-person imperative masculine plural (hallelu), and then combined with the shortened Hebrew name for God (Yah), we have our very familiar English word, Hallelujah.

As I see it, one way to describe a person who is hallelujah-ing is to say that the person is going bananas in his or her joyous praise of God! Kinda reminds me of the wild-n-crazy picture we have of King David as portrayed back in 2ndSamuel when the newly appointed King of Israel brings the Ark of the Covenant back into Jerusalem.

In verses 14-15 of 2nd Samuel 6, we find these words…

Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

Some translators believe that ‘wearing a linen ephod’ meant that David had stripped down to his undies! Others wonder if the king just might have been marching down the street in his birthday suit! Either way, in verses 20-22, Michal, daughter of King Saul, is openly embarrassed by King David’s outrageous demonstration of praise (hallelujah). But David speaks out boldly here, telling Michal that he would be willing to become even more undignified than this when it comes to joyous praise of his High King!

Hallelujah, you see, is a pretty impressive word to King David. Maybe that’s why it appears twenty-four times in the Book of Psalms (Psalms 111-117 and 145-150).

So as we close this 150-blog session on the Book of Psalms, let’s do this…

How about if we look for 5 big reasons to give joyous hallelujahs to God here in the last 5 Psalms?

Here’s Hallelujah Reason #1: God is large and in charge.

In truth, there is no bigger entity in all of the cosmos outside of Yahweh. Oh yeah, I know that there are many in our modernized world today who want to tell us that God is just a figment of the human imagination. But I, quite honestly, find it exciting when I run into more and more science-lovers who are quick to admit that our cosmos just could not have evolved out of nothingness. I’ve read that the physicist who originally came up with the Big Bang Theory, while not a Christian, does readily admit that our universe could not have formed without a higher power behind the scenes of the ‘big bang’!

Indeed, Yah, the abbreviated Hebrew word for the unspeakable name of Yahweh (I AM who I AM), is large and in charge.

God’s in charge—always. Zion’s God is God for good!

And as I see it, what better way to begin the end of our blog sessions than with this amazing truth?

My prayer: Hallelujah, God, my Father. Bless Your Holy Name. Like King David, I desire to be a person who is never ashamed of my joyous praise and intimate worship of You, the High King of Heaven. You are indeed large. You are forever in charge. I declare Your sovereignty and foreverness. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: So how have I dialed down my joyous praise or down-sized my exuberant worship of the High God of the Universe? Am I ashamed or embarrassed, at times, like Michal, to allow my hallelujahs of God to exceed all other excitement in my life? What might it look like for me to be more like King David who was never too stately or proper to humble himself before our Creator-King?

So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?

Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.

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