The song Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah! has been ringing in my ears. I’ve sat at our piano and pounded out the chords, singing along the last few days.
I like this song. I like the words.
As a youth and later a young adult, we sang this hymn many Sunday evenings when our youth group got together to sing acapella. We sang songs from The Life Songs and Songs of the Church. I have fond memories of singing with some two dozen other young folks.
I remember the evening I realized how closely these words matched the words in Psalm 148. I can tell you whose house we were in that evening and who was hosting us. I can take you to the place where I was standing in the dining room when my mind made the connection.
I especially like this song because the words are taken almost directly from Scripture.
I like singing the heart of God to Him, just as I like praying the heart of God.
When we sing this song, it’s as if we are singing God’s thoughts and words right back to Him. I know that’s bound to please Him!
The other – and the most important – thing that I discovered about this Psalm and this song is that there is a definitive command to give praise to God.
Every person and every being with life and breath is to bring praise to God.
Because He said so, that’s why. And because “His name is excellent, and because His glory is above the heavens and the earth.”
By the time we get to the end of this Psalm (and this song), there’s a resounding chorus telling us that there is no person and no being or thing that ought not to be praising God.
When I look at this Psalm, I realize (again) that every time I pray, the first words out of my mouth ought to be praise.
I come to Him because of Who He is, and not because of who I am.
Sometimes we think we are owed things and answers because of what we’ve done, who we’ve helped, where we’ve gone, and how we live.
Compared to His greatness and His majesty, we have no right to require that He says Yes to our requests.
- Praising Him first helps us remember Who we are talking to – and how insignificant we really are.
- Praising Him first puts us where we need to be – at the foot of the Cross.
- Praising Him first helps us to remember to share our requests, not because of who we are, but because of Who He is.
- Praising Him first helps us change the way we ask.
Read this Psalm here, then follow along with the link to the song below.
The lines with the regular margins are the words of the song.
Those with the indentation are words taken directly from this scripture and used in the song. If you want to follow the words to the song, use the words with the left margin that do not have words in bold.
Now that’s some hymn-writing!
The SONG – words and music by William Kirkpatrick – 1899
The Scripture – Psalms 148 KJV
Hallelujah, praise Jehovah, from the heavens praise His Name;
Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the Heavens; praise Him
Praise Jehovah in the highest, all His angels, praise proclaim.
in the heights. Praise Him all ye angels
All His hosts, together praise Him, sun and moon and stars on high;
Praise ye Him all ye hosts.
Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.
Praise Him, O ye heav’n of heavens, and ye floods above the sky.
Praise ye Him ye heavens of heavens and ye waters that be above the heavens
Let them praises give Jehovah, they were made at His command;
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created
Them forever He established, His decree shall ever stand,
He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: He hath made a decree that will not pass.
From the earth, O praise Jehovah, all ye floods, ye dragons all,
Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps
Fire and hail and snow and vapors, stormy winds that hear Him call.
Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
All ye fruitful trees and cedars, all ye hills and mountains high,
Mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all cedars
Creeping things and beasts and cattle, birds that in the heavens fly,
Beasts and all cattle, creeping things, and flying fowl
Kings of earth, and all ye people, princes great, Earth’s judges all;
Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth
Praise His Name, young men and maidens, aged men, and children small.
Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children.
Let them praises give Jehovah, for His Name alone is high,
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is excellent
And His glory is exalted, and His glory is exalted,
His glory is above the earth and the heaven
And His glory is exalted far above the earth and sky.
(14) He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even the
children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord.
The link to this song takes you to The Table Singers, an acapella group directed by Glenn Lehman. Glenn is married to my double first-cousin, Dorcas Miller Lehman.