The shortest chapter in all of the Bible is Psalm 117, which says:
1 Praise the LORD, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
2 For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD.
The last sentence has a footnote in the NIV version as posted on www.Biblegateway.com which says that the Hebrew for this phrase is Hallelu Yah. I love that word hallelujah. It is in so many songs and is just such a beautiful word when sung, especially when you realize what it means – Praise the Lord.
I remember when my son was in the 4th grade he was going through a class at church so that he could take his first communion and understand what it meant. One night on the way home he complained to me that the teacher had asked if anyone knew what the word hallelujah meant. He raised his hand and answered that it meant “Praise the Lord.” She “corrected” him by saying that it meant “yippee” or “hooray.” He was so upset because he knew what it meant and that she was wrong.
Although at his young age he couldn’t articulate why her response bothered him so (it might have been partly that he had been “corrected” in front of his friends), I think deep down he understood that she had taken the most important part of the phrase out – and that is the Lord. We often say yippee or hooray about things, but unless we are saying “yippee to the Lord” or “hooray for the Lord” we are forgetting who is the source of the thing we are happy about.
Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible, but it is packed with so much wisdom. It tells us what is important for us to do – Praise the Lord. And why should we praise Him? Because He loves us so, He is always faithful and will be forever. If we remember this, we will be filled with joy and gratitude.
Sometimes great gifts come in small packages and great pieces of wisdom come in just a few words. Hallelujah!