Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

February 4: Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah

This week, I invite you to read my blog post on Ephesians 5, which, for me, is a “life passage” for worship.  In Ephesians 5:19, we are instructed to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.”  This directive has become a bit of a theme for me, as I try to include both hymns and songs in our worship repertoire on Sunday mornings and in our “Worship Song of the Month” devotionals, and also to choose some hymns and songs that are based on Psalms. 

This month, we will be singing a hymn that is even more directly tied to the Psalms. Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah is an example of what we call a metrical, versified, or rhymed Psalm. Throughout the month of February, we will look at Psalm 146 (NIV) side by side with the metered version, and enjoy singing what is essentially Scripture itself.

Today, let’s look at the first verse of “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah.”

Praise the LORD. 

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah.

Praise the LORD, my soul.

O my soul, Jehovah praise.

I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

I will sing the glorious praises of my God through all my days.

Do not put your trust in princes,

Put no confidence in princes,

in human beings, who cannot save.

nor for help on man depend.

When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;

He shall die, to dust returning,

on that very day their plans come to nothing.

and his purposes shall end.

In this part of the Psalm and song, we instruct our souls to praise the LORD (in all caps, meaning Jehovah or Yahweh or I AM). We call him by his most intimate and holy name, and then we commit to worship him our entire lives. We remind ourselves to put our trust only in God, not in earthly rulers or leaders or human helpers. Our plans and the plans of those on whom we would rely will ultimately end. Only God’s purposes extend beyond a lifetime, from generation to generation, throughout eternity.

For Reflection: Remind your “soul” of all that God has done for you. Remind yourself that, even when you fail, leaders fail, or the people around you fail, God never does. Commit to praising God for the rest of your life. Praise the Lord!

Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month: Kids’ Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve written a “Kids’ Edition” devotional, so I thought I would share a story for kids—and for all of us—as we look at our Worship Song of the Month Only a Holy God.  This story reminds us to get “up-close and personal” with God.

This past summer for our son’s sixteenth birthday, we visited Niagara Falls.  My husband David and I had seen the Falls many times, but it was great to be there with our kids—several of whom were experiencing these waterfalls for the first time.  A first for all of us was hiking the American Falls.  We donned our ponchos and walked down to the bottom of the Falls. 

In my opinion, the Falls are even more beautiful up-close.  We touched the mossy rocks, felt the mist spraying us, and reached into the falling water.  And looking up, the Falls loomed over us—tall and majestic. 

As we walked up the steps next to the Falls, the water at our feet increased and the mist became heavier.  Partway up, a landing was set up so that we could try to walk towards and under the Falls—emphasis on “try.”  The power of the water pushing us back was amazing, and the rushing sound of the water was overwhelming. 

Later that day, our family also got to ride in a giant boat that takes passengers as close as possible to the curve of the Canadian Falls.  The closer we got to the Falls, the more the boat was rocked back and forth by gusts of wind, and spray washed over us in waves.  At one point, a burst of wind and water knocked us all back so hard and suddenly that everyone on the boat screamed in unison. 

Experiences in nature can remind us of the beauty and power of our God, who created everything in the world.  And in the same way that getting “up-close” to a natural wonder increases our appreciation of that wonder, we need to get up-close to our holy God to truly know and experience how wonderful he is. 

When was the last time you prayed by yourself, not just with your family or in church?  When did you last read your Bible?  Do you ever sing worship songs when you are alone?  I encourage you this week to get “up-close and personal” with God.  Find a book of the Bible that interests you, and start to read a chapter each day.  Write down a sentence or two about what you read, so that you can hear what God is saying to you.  Then take a moment to pray and maybe even sing. 

As we sing in our Worship Song of the Month, “Only a Holy God,” God invites us to worship him. So, go ahead—get up-close to our sovereign, beautiful, powerful, and holy God.

“Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

“By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalm 42:7-8)