07 May 2019

Praise to the Lord

The phrase "Praise the Lord" occurs at either the beginning or the end of at least fifteen different Psalms in the Old Testament Bible. In Hebrew, the expression is "Hallelujah." The Greek form of the phrase is "Alleluia" which occurs only once in the New Testament Book of Revelation. "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God. (Revelation 19:1 KJV).

There is a very popular Christian hymn that begins with the same phrase, the lyrics of which were written in 1680 by a young man named Joachim Neander just before he died. The text paraphrases Psalm 103 and Psalm 150. Here is the first verse and surely many people will recognize it:

"Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to the altar draw near;
Join in profound adoration."

There is a side story to this hymn and its author, Joachim Neander. He was German pastor, poet and hymn writer, who in 1674 became a teacher in a Latin school in Dusseldorf while he was studying to become a minister. While living there, he liked to go to the nearby valley (or "thal" in German) known as das Gesteins (“The Rocks”). He sometimes held gatherings and services in the valley for his little flock of friends, at which he gave sermons. In 1680, at the age of thirty, he died of tuberculosis. The valley was renamed "Neanderthal" (Neander's Valley) in his honor, and it became famous in 1856 when the remains of the Neanderthal Man were found there.

Our sins are no secret in the eyes of God.
We will bring our lives to an end with a sigh,
And our spirit will fly to the place of God's choice.
Make your heart the dwelling place of the Lord
So that one day, you too, can shout Alleluia!


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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.