An exciting and destructive practice adorns Christian practice when it comes to promises and their fulfillment. One has to admit that human promises depend on God’s say-so, no matter how intense our proclamation may be, or how many evidences we put out in defence of our
Psalm 146 is a prominent hallel; it begins and ends with halal (the verb to praise, to speak with a twinkle in one’s eye), and it demonstrates the praise given in graphic ways. It first warns us off from directing our hallels towards humans (vss 3 and 4)
I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
I will praise AND I will sing look like promises but are cohortatives. The speaker humbly and earnestly seeks opportunity and permission.
“As long as I live” AND “while I have my being” look like oaths
- Ehallah let me praise YHWH
- B’chai, in my life
- Zimrah let me serenade my Elohim
- B’`ôdî, in my continued existence
Did we ever pause, or got overwhelmed by tasks? Does praise and singing ever have to compete in our multitasking environments?
Do we really mean “God willing” or “Hope my will does not fail”? When praise rises we are most fortunate to have been allowed to mind divine majesty.
Please let us not waste such a gift with idle or selfish words in assembly: words we are not familiar with and words that are self-edifying.
Lift up Christ or Shush
This is not saying “hallelujah ” but mouthing what is great about Yah. This hallel says things (vss 5-10) ABOUT GOD and man
- Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;
- who executes justice for the oppressed,
- who gives food to the hungry.
- The Lord sets the prisoners free;
- the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
- The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
- the Lord loves the righteous.
- The Lord watches over the sojourners;
- he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
- but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
- The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Next time you are tempted to promise to praise God without ceasing or in a perfect way, do your best to respect the God who gives you the presence of mind to reflect on his majesty.