January 31 – Hallelujah!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 31 – Hallelujah!

Revelation 19:1-9

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” 

And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” 

The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried:  “Amen, Hallelujah!” 

Then a voice came from the throne, saying:  “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” 

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:  “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 

Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.

The great multitude has returned in its worship of God.  What John hears here is a ‘great roar!’  And the word that he hears them sing, “Hallelujah,” has never before been heard since the “Hallel” Psalms of the Old Testament.  In fact, even in those Psalms, the word is generally translated “Praise the Lord”.

The word “Hallelujah” is a combination of two Hebrew words:  “Hallel” which means ‘praise’ and “Jah” which means ‘God’.  John transliterates the Hebrew words into Greek to give us the word “Hallelujah”.

After the voices proclaim Hallelujah, they tell us what happens next.  Without much ado, no big trumpeting announcement.  We don’t even realize that it is coming up.  But, here it is. “The wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.  Fine linen, bright and clean was given her to wear.”

Just two sentences, preceded by loud proclamations of praise.  The bride is here.  The wedding is occurring.  This wedding focuses on the bridegroom, not the bride.  The bride has made herself ready to be presented to her groom. In this day and age, the focus is completely on the bride.  Everything revolves around her desires and her needs.  Everything is prepared to her specifications.

On that day, the church – the bride will prepare itself for the bridegroom, the Lamb.  The bride is ready.  She is the church.  Paul says in II Corinthians 11:2 that he wants to present the church to Christ as a virgin.

The bridegroom is ready.  This is Jesus Christ.  In John 3:29, John the Baptist identifies Jesus Christ as the bridegroom, to whom the bride belongs.  He identifies himself as the friend who attends the bridegroom, waiting with expectancy to hear the voice of the bridegroom.

In Old Testament and New Testament times, the period of engagement occurred for a period of time while the bridegroom prepared his home for his bride.  Then, one evening, he and his friends would go to her father’s home and take her back to the home she would live in with him.

We are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb as part of the Church, His bride.  Everything has been made ready.  Hallelujah!