Let Loose the Alleluias!

Psalm 148

Praise the Name of the Lord

1Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!

3Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

5Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
6And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

7Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

9Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

11Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!

13Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!

Let Loose the Alleluias!

After a 40 day fast from Hallelujahs/Alleluias, the word is back!

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

After a month and a half of somber contemplation and repentance, Easter gives us permission to rejoice! Alleluias fill the songs of Easter.

“Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!”
“Alleluia! Jesus is risen!”

In the famous “Hallelujah Chorus” the word “Hallelujah is sung over 150 times!

Hallelujah/Alleluia is the word of the season and it’s the word of today’s Psalm too. Psalm 148 is a Hallelujah Psalm from beginning to end. It is, unquestionably a Psalm of praise! In fact, the word “praise” comes up 12 times in 14 verses.

Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

But why? Why should we praise the Lord? Why raise our songs of Hallelujah?

The Psalm doesn’t answer the question until the last two verses. Verses 1-12 call for a wide variety of things to praise the Lord, including angels, the moon, sea creatures, fire and hail, snow and mist, mountains and hills, fruit trees and cedars, kings and princes, and much more. Seemingly all of creation is called upon to praise the Lord.

But why?

13Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!

It all leads up to verse 14. “He has raised up a horn for His people.”

But what does this mean? What is this “horn?”

We find the answer in the first chapter of the gospel according to Luke.

67And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
68“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,

Zechariah, after his son John (the Baptist) was born and having been told that John would prepare the way for the coming messiah, let loose with a prophecy of praise! Remember, he had been mute from the time he had found out about his wife Elizabeth being pregnant until this time, so much like we were thrilled to finally sing Alleluia again, Zechariah simply couldn’t wait to share the good news he had heard. The Messiah was coming! The “horn” is Jesus!

So Zechariah let loose with praises for God because God was raising up the horn of salvation.

And today, we too praise the Lord for raising up Jesus as the horn of salvation.

We can let loose a rousing “halleluiah!” We can sing “alleluias” at the top of our lungs, praising the Lord for raising up the horn of salvation, for sending His Son to be the Savior we need.

Praise the Lord, the Psalm instructs us.

And we reply,
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

About the author

Ben Meyer is a husband, father, pastor and child of God. He has served as a pastor in Missouri, Illinois, and now at Hope Lutheran Church in Sunbury, Ohio and has presented at the Rural and Small Towns Missions national conference. He enjoys sports, fishing, hiking, reading, and spending time with his family.
View more from Ben

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