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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

December 13 2023

Wednesday, December 13

Israel’s Hallelujah Chorus


Psalm 113:1-9

1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD!

2 Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forevermore!

3 From the rising of the sun to its going down The LORD'S name is to be praised.

4 The LORD is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens.

5 Who is like the LORD our God, Who dwells on high,

6 Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?

7 He raises the poor out of the dust, And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,

8 That He may seat him with princes-- With the princes of His people.

9 He grants the barren woman a home, Like a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!


Psalm 113 is a hymn of pure praise to be sung from warm hearts full of admiring adoration of the Most High God. It is the first of a group of psalms, Psalms 113-118, that are known to the Jews as “The Great Hallel”. They comprise Israel's "Hallelujah Chorus," so to speak. They were sung repeatedly throughout the year and in their entirety at the annual feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles and at the time of the new moon.


They teach us that God would have His people be preeminently a praising people. The word praise and its synonyms occur in the psalms no less than 186 times. So, no matter how sad and sorrowful some of our life situations along the way, we should learn to praise the Lord. Psalm 113 opens and closes with “Praise the LORD”, which is translated from the Hebrew word, "hallelujah" which means "praise Jehovah".  


Over the many years as I have traveled overseas on mission trips and have had the opportunity to worship with believers in different cultures and with different languages, I have found that there is one word that does not need to the translated. It is the word “Hallelujah”! It is always the same in every language.


It was traditional for the Jewish people to sing Psalms 113-114 before they ate their Passover meal, and they closed the meal by singing 115-118 (Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26). We could think of it as a kind of table grace, sung to dispel the shadows of evening and to give thanks and praise to God for His love and care. It is impossible to read them or meditate on them without thinking of the Lord Jesus there in the upper room. The shadow of Calvary lay across His path. Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha were only hours ahead. There He sat with Peter, James and John, Thomas and Matthew, Philip and Nathanael, and all the rest.


We can only imagine that Jesus may have led His disciples out of themselves and into the eternal truths of the will and Word of God as they sang these psalms together. Perhaps we shall sing them with Him in the glory. He, after all, is the Chief Musician and He it surely is who will lead the anthems of praise that will reverberate around the throne of God in the ages to come.


Psalm 113 gives us three wonderful reasons for praising the Lord. In verses 1-3, we praise Him because God’s name is the greatest. In verses 4-6, we praise Him because God’s throne is the highest. And in verses 7-9, we praise Him because God’s love is the kindest! As we study it, let us remember when our circumstances frown upon us, and the future looks pretty bleak, maybe it would be helpful to recall that scene in the upper room when the Lord sang this song with His disciples under the shadow of the cross where the Lamb of God would be sacrificed for the sins of the world.


And despite how dark it might be in our lives we can still remember the awesomeness of our Great Jehovah and praise Him!


God bless!

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