149 Cantate Domino
Sing to the LORD a new song; *
sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; *
let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise his Name in the dance; *
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD takes pleasure in his people *
and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; *
let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat *
and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations *
and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgment decreed; *
this is glory for all his faithful people.
This is our psalm for this coming Sunday, Psalm 149. It’s invariably good news when the psalm number is higher than 145, because psalms 146 through 150 are the “Hallels” and “hallel” means “praise.” Each of the last five psalms begins and ends with the word “Hallelujah,” they’re all praise songs. Depending on the Bible translation being used, it might be rendered
- Praise the Lord
The “hallel” means praise, and the “jah” (or “ia”) at the end of the word is short for “YHWH” or “Yahweh.” In last Sunday’s lesson from Exodus chapter three, we heard God tell Moses that his Name is “Yahweh” or “I AM” and will be so throughout all generations forever. Hebrew piety, however, is never to pronounce God’s holy Name, but to substitute “Adonai,” in English, “The Lord.”
Verses 6-9 of Psalm 149 may not be politically correct these days, and whoever feels that way can go tacit while the rest of us sing out. But "PC" or not, victory over the foe was good news for ancient Israel and still is so for us today.
RIght shoe first and Hallelujah!