MUSIC MONDAYS

Does Heaven Really Fight for Us?

A few weeks ago, I and other staff chaplains at Agape Humphreys, the contemporary protestant service at US Army Group Humphreys (Pyeongtaek, South Korea), discussed worship music during our services. I appreciated what one chaplain friend said in regard to worship song selection. He said 1) let’s make sure it’s clear in pointing to Christ, 2) biblical, and 3) aligned with orthodox Christian beliefs. Some songs are simply fuzzy or poetic. They may use symbolism, and the meaning can be unclear. Worship leaders should pass on these songs. I agree with my fellow pastor, and I’d add one more criterion: 4) worship songs should remind us what we believe–they ought to reinforce core tenants of our faith.

Using this criteria, let’s review the popular worship song, “Raise a Hallelujah” (available on Amazon for $1.29). Here’s the lyrics.

I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me!

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

Sing a little louder (Sing a little louder)
Sing a little louder (Sing a little louder)
Sing a little louder (Sing a little louder)
Let’s sing a little louder (Let’s sing a little louder)
Sing a little louder (In the presence of my enemies)
Sing a little louder (Louder than the unbelief)
Sing a little louder (My weapon is a melody)
Sing a little louder (Heaven comes to fight for me)
Sing a little louder (In the presence of my enemies)
Sing a little louder (Louder than the unbelief)
Sing a little louder (My weapon is a melody)
Let’s sing a little louder (Heaven comes to fight for me)
Sing a little louder!!

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!
Oh, I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah!

Just begin to raise your own hallelujah
I can’t do it for you
There’s a song written on your heart only you can sing
And when you sing enemies flee
When you sing prison walls come falling down
When you sing Heaven invades the earth
So just begin to lift up your hallelujah
Raise it like a banner
Raise it like a flag
Raise it in the middle of the storm
Let it rise, let it rise
Like a symphony to the King
Everything to You, Jesus
We raise it all
Sing a little louder!!

I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah (In the presence of my enemies)
I raise a hallelujah (Louder than the unbelief)
I raise a hallelujah (My weapon is a melody)
I raise a hallelujah (Heaven comes to fight for me)

Writer(s): Jake Stevens, Johnathan David Helser, Melissa Helser, Molly Skaggs

Hallelujah means “God be praised,” and it accompanies rejoicing. Psalm 23 indicates that God operates when we are in the presence of our enemies. The lyric, “there’s a song written on your heart only you can sing” addresses the individual person’s faith decision and how they respond to adversity in their life. “My weapon is a melody.” Choosing to sing what we believe can reinforce our faith and be used to defend us from doubting the faithfulness of God. “When you sing Heaven invades the earth.” God’s Kingdom is advanced when we follow Him in faith and obedience. Singing praise to Him is obedience. (Psalm 96). “Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!” These lyrics are also solidly biblical. God saves His people thru death–not from it. Our forgiveness and grace was bought thru Jesus’ death. We experience eternal life when we walk through the valley of the shadow of our own deaths. This reality proves that death is defeated. It’s hold does not last forever, because King Jesus is alive. Lastly, let’s examine the lyric, “Heaven comes to fight for us.” Biblical? Yes. The angel of the Lord appears before Joshua’s battle with Jericho. Why does he reveal himself to Joshua? To explain that He has come to fight for His people. Ephesians 6:10 tells us to put our strength in the Lord. Why? To remind us that He goes before us in battle. And our battles belong to the Lord (1 Samuel 17:47).

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