Psalm 113:1, “Praise the Lord. Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.”
Celebrate the Lord with me by shouting, “Hallelujah!” The word “hallelujah” comes from two root words in Hebrew. “Halal,” which means, “to offer praise in celebration with shouts, joyful cheers and outburst of spontaneous adoration” and “Jah,” is short for “Yahweh,” which means, “Lord.” The combination results in the compound word “hallelujah,” which means, “Praise the Lord!”
When the psalmist wrote, “Praise the Lord,” he was literally saying in Hebrew, “Hallelujah!” He was commanding the people to “halal” “Jah” with joyful praise and passionate worship. If they remained silent, they would have been in rebellion.
The command to praise God with joyful cheers is neither optional nor dependent upon one’s personality. The command to celebrate God is for everyone.
In our church’s worship service, people in the congregation will shout out “Hallelujah” spontaneously and freely, because they want to celebrate the goodness of our God. This kind of vibrant worship may startle someone new, especially if they are used to church being boring. However, this is exactly the kind of prayer God wants from us. We don’t silence them. We encourage them to pray louder, clap their hands and joyfully celebrate God’s love.
Certainly, we also believe there are times to be silent before the Lord and not disrupt the speaker, but we’d rather have “wild fire” than “no fire!” It is easier to help guide an on-fire disciple who is filled with joy than to try to get a “lukewarm Christian” excited. Albert Barnes wrote, “Praise now is one of the great duties of the redeemed. It will be their employment for ever.” Let us all be obedient to celebrate the Lord with gladness.
Think about how people celebrate when their favorite team wins. When the Cubs won the World Series, the people here in Chicago celebrated for days, some even for weeks! Why should sports teams, politicians and rock stars be celebrated while God, the Maker of heaven and earth and the Savior of world, only get golf claps and whispers of thanksgiving? God forbid! This will not happen in my church! I refuse to let a sports fanatic out celebrate me. I will be happier and more passionate about celebrating my God than they are about a person hitting a ball with a bat!
I don’t just want to celebrate God in public with the saints at church. I want to celebrate God with my family in our devotions and in my prayer times. I believe the reason many people don’t like celebrating God is because they don’t really know who He is and what He has done. What has God done for me? Jesus died on the cross for my sins, rose again for my life and is seated next to the Father as my Mediator. He sent the Holy Spirit to make me new, to fill me with power and to grow the fruit of the Spirit in my character. Sin and the devil are defeated, death has lost its sting and heaven has a place reserved for me. I will inherit the earth, reign with Christ forever and every promise God has made is “Yes and Amen” in Christ Jesus!
Who is God in my life? God is my Healer (Jehovah Rapha), my Shepherd (Jehovah Roeh), my Righteousness (Jehovah Tsidkenu), my Sanctifier (Jehovah Mekoddishkem), my Banner of Victory (Jehovah Nissi), my Provider (Jehovah Jireh) and my Peace (Jehovah Shalom). So, like I wrote at the beginning of this lesson, celebrate the Lord with me and shout, “Hallelujah!”
- Remove any hindrances you may have from celebrating God; for example, your personality, hardships or caring about what others think about you.
- Celebrate God with joyful cheers for three things He has done in your life and for three things He is in your life.
- Next time you’re in church celebrate God with His people!