8th November 2023
Heidi Ennis offers
Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.
Psalm 149 is number four of five psalms referred to as the "Hallelujah Psalms."
But the author is calling us to sing a new song!
The phrase "Praise the LORD "is translated from the Hebrew word Halleluyah (Hallelujah/Halleluiah).
Hallelu- means praise and Yah- is a shortened form of Yahweh (YHWH).
Psalm 149 is titled in some translations - Sing to the LORD a New Song(ESV)
But in this song, there is praise and there is violence, there is thanksgiving and there is vengeance.
What does it mean to praise the Lord? Is praise the same thing as worship?
Praise is worship, raising hands and singing. But it is also so much more.
Praise does not just happen on Sundays.
It is not solely available in church, and it is not always outward and loud.
Sometimes praise is quiet and introspective.
Sometimes praise is reflecting and listening.
Is waiting quietly for the Lord also a form of praise? To listen for His voice?
To stop and feel His presence? To sit in awe of His love and mercy?
Praise is the release of love and joy and honour from the heart of the created to the Creator in whatever form that may take.
Why is there always so much talk about worship and praise, and why do churches spend the first half hour of service every week doing it?
For one, the world will seek to distract us, to knock us down, make us feel unworthy and unloved.
But praise focuses the heart back onto what is important and all that we need.
And , we praise the Lord because He is our Creator. Our Maker.
All of creation worships its Creator.
We can look around and see the beauty in the universe, the sun and the moon, rejoice in new life, but all of it already sings praise to God, the Creator. And so should we.
It pleases the Lord for His children to praise Him, even from bed!
Sometimes the nights are times when we feel far away from God, when nightmares or worries creep in.
Let Psalm 149 be a reminder that God understands this and has a solution ... continue to sing His praises even in bed.
The people of Israel were called to praise the Lord with their mouths and to keep a sharpened sword in hand to do God's will.
We are not called to hold a real sword, but when we praise the Lord are we also ready to do whatever He asks?
Or is it easier to praise and thank the Lord, then ignore His command of faithfulness or to run from sin or to love a neighbour?
The Israelites were ready to do God's will with their sharpened swords.
We are not called this way, but God's word has also been called "the sword of the Spirit."
Do you know and wield the sword of the spirit?
The word of God is Truth - love, healing, redemption, strength, joy, peace ...
what would you add to my list?
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
For the word of God is alive and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Jesus is called the Word of God (John 1:1) and when He speaks, that Word comes from His mouth like a sharp double-edged sword which He will someday wield as word and as weapon.
To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people.
This was once literally the duty of Israel:
when they came into Canaan they fulfilled the righteous sentence of the Lord upon guilty nations.
Father in heaven, thank you for this beautiful little Halleluyah psalm.
Thank you for your word that we can hold in our hands and that gives us the strength and peace to face each day.
Help us to know your word and to lean on the truth of your love.
May we praise loudly and wield the sword of truth so that all around us will come to know you too.
Thank you for your faithfulness.
We love you. Amen
at the foot of mountains
words from a writer in the shadow of mountains
Heidi Ennis lives in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington State
where you can often find her staring at rivers or mountains or trees.
Hi. I'm Heidi.
I love hearing people's stories.
Someone once told me that we're all just travellers in this life, tourists trying to make our way to the next destination.
Some of us are lost, some are stuck and afraid to take the next step.
Some of us run and never stop to look around.
Some of us just keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting it's in the right direction.
But everyone travelling this path of life has a story to tell.
I have a Master of Education in Guidance and Counselling, but in 2010 I left my career to pursue my passion of writing.