The Messiah’s Hallelujah Chorus is perhaps one of the most amazing works ever in all of Christendom. There have been few works before or since its creation that rival its ability to speak clearly the place of God in his universe. Its message is simple, really, but the delivery is spectacular.
“For the Lord God, Omnipotent, reigneth”
“King of Kings”
“Lord of Lords”
We don’t use language like that anymore. Who says, “reigneth”? Who says,”omnipotent” in everyday language?
Certainly not me.
Even the concept of someone being a king of kings or a lord over lords is foreign to most. We don’t use that terminology in our modern day lives anymore. I do not serve a king in my current day society. I have never bowed to an actual lord before. I’m not a particularly great student of history either. What I do understand about royalty, I have learned from movies. Isn’t that impressive? The only royalty I am the least bit familiar with is England’s Queen Elizabeth, and while she is greatly loved by her people, her real influence in this world, even over her people, is pretty nil. I saw a show recently about how she has people to get in boats to go count her geese. Really?
What I understand about the kings and lords of old is that it was generally a constant struggle to remain in power. Kingdoms rose and fell with the might of armies. Empires lasted only as long as tenuous alliances and treaties were held, and they never held. War was inevitable, because there was always someone else who desired the throne. Kings and Lords were a paranoid lot… I guess for good reason. No great empire ever lasted forever. So the further lines of the Hallelujah Chorus might be difficult to fully comprehend.
“And he shall reign forever and ever…”
No kingdom to date has been able to manage that feat. None. Not one. Even the great Roman Empire fell. Can we imagine a ruler who could reign forever? And ever? But George Frideric Handel was merely quoting scripture when he penned his most famous Chorus.
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15.
It is told, that George was in a bad place personally when he was designing and composing the Messiah. In great debt and deeply depressed, he was compelled to write. And with a tear stained face, he claimed to have seen the very face of God during the writing of the Hallelujah Chorus. We still stand when we hear that part of Handel’s Messiah. Why? This tradition began with King George II, who himself stood when he first heard it, and following his lead, everyone else stood also. Centuries later, we still stand.
Is it simply out of tradition that we stand? Maybe for some. But for many, we stand for the King who is coming and who will reign forever and ever. For most of us, keeping our seat is not possible. We are compelled to stand in honor of the King.
Forever. As Christians, we serve the King who will rule and reign forever… long past any earthly leader or ruler. Long after the wars of this world finish wreaking havoc upon earth’s peoples. Can you see it? Can you picture in your mind a kingdom with no end? A kingdom whose Lord is just, loving, fair and personal? Who knows the name of every person in His kingdom, and cares for them intimately? Forever? Who fears no opposing army because none could oppose him? And none wants to?
If you can see it, then let it sink in. Suddenly it matters a lot less who sits on the “throne” of our current “kingdom”… or any kingdom. We live in this society, but we serve a King. We serve the King whose reign shall have no end. As followers of Christ, we are even now citizens of His kingdom. Does this change anything for you? It should.
We will stand during the Hallelujah Chorus, but seldom, with our everyday lives, do we honor the King who will reign forever and ever. Too many distractions. Too much going on in our world that makes it appear that no one is sitting on any throne with any kind of authority. Too many voices telling us what is important and for what we must live.
It is time for those who love the King to turn hearts toward Him. Open our minds to his rule and his reign. It’s time we begin to prepare for the return of the King. Are we looking for Him? Do we long for His coming? We should. On that day every wrong will be made right, and every man, woman, and child will honor the King who will reign forever and ever. Hallelujah.