How many times have you sat in church and sang or said the word hallelujah? Do you know what it means, or have you ever stopped to think what that word means?
Hallelujah is actually a Hebrew term and not an English word. The first part “halal” means to boast or exalt. The second part “yah” is a shortened version of Yahweh, which is the personal name for God. Hallelujah simply means to “boast in the Lord” or to “Praise the Lord.” When you say this word you are ignoring self and magnifying the Lord is your only concern.
The last five Psalms (146-150) in the Bible are called the Hallelujah Psalms because they begin and end with the phrase, “Praise the Lord.”
These five Hallelujah psalms encourage and compel us to offer the Lord praise in all circumstances. In times of blessing, it is easy to offer the Lord praise. But what about those times when we are struggling or hurting? The hardest and last thing we may want to do is praise the Lord. How do you praise the Lord in those times when you are overwhelmed by the responsibilities and pressures of life, when you are fearful to the point you can’t move forward, when someone you loved and cared for hurts you deeply, when you are angry concerning the injustices and unfairness you experience all around you, when you are told you have cancer or some other terminal disease, or when the reality that your loved one only has a few more days left until they pass away from this life? How do you praise in these hard times when those words don’t seem to flow from your lips?
The only way you can praise the Lord in these difficult and painful times of struggle is to remember who God is – His character, His love for you and the fact that He promises to work all things out for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. We can also praise the Lord when our focus is on the fact that this world is only a temporary stopping place for a child of God. One day we will be with the Father in His Heaven for all eternity and there will be no more pain, suffering or sorrow. By praising the Lord we take the focus off ourself and earthly things that are temporal and focus on God and Heavenly things that will last forever.
As these five Hallelujah Psalms encourage and exhort us to do, we should praise the Lord at all times because He is worthy of all our praise, honor and worship.