“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
One of the most majestic and anointed musical compositions of all times was written by George Frideric Handel in the 1700’s. One writer (1) stated, “As it turns out, The Messiah is either a Bible study with a beautiful concert attached, or a wonderful piece of classical music with a free Bible study included at no extra charge. I can’t decide which. I do remember reading that when Handel was alive, the Messiah was one of the most often performed pieces of music in concert, and that Handel gave away most of the profits obtained from his concerts to support orphaned children.”
Performances of Handel’s oratorio, Messiah , have become a Christmas tradition, and for many the “Hallelujah Chorus” expresses the joy which the coming of Christ, the King of Kings, brings. Handel wrote his masterful music in an amazing 24 days and was passionately moved by the Scriptures describing Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and coronation as King of kings. He worked on his masterpiece almost nonstop, with little sleep or food. One day his servant opened the door to find Handel at his work, with tears streaming down his face. Handel looked up and cried out, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself.”
When “Messiah” was performed before King George II of England in 1743, the king rose when the triumphal notes of the “Hallelujah Chorus” were first played. Of course, everyone had to rise when the king did, and the tradition of rising for the “Hallelujah Chorus” began – a tradition that continues to this day.
So, while it is more lengthy than other daily meditations, included in Today’s Devotion are the lyrics and Bible verses and a little bit of history regarding its writing. You will find that Handel’s Messiah is a beautiful study of prophesies and other verses about our Lord Jesus Christ. I trust you will be blessed by reading the scripture and encouraged to find a copy of Handel’s Messiah to gain a deeper appreciation of this inspired musical masterpiece!
George Frideric Handel
(2) Comfort Ye
1. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
2. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. . . .
3. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
(3) Every Valley
4. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.
(4) And the Glory of the Lord
5. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
(5) Thus saith the Lord
6. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Yet once, a little while and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
7. And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come
1. The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in:
Behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.
(6) But who may abide the Day of His Coming?
2. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire.
(7) And He shall Purify
3. And He shall purify the sons of Levi. . . that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
(8) Behold A Virgin Shall Conceive
Isaiah 7:14 (Matthew 1:23)
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name EMMANUEL, God with us.
(9) O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, and be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
1. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
(10) For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
2. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. 3. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
(11) The people that walked in darkness
Isaiah 9:2 (Matthew 3:16)
2. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
(12) For unto Us a Child is born
6. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
(13) Pastoral Symphony
(14) There were shepherds abiding in the field
8. There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. 9. And lo! the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
(15) And the Angel said unto them
10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(16) And suddenly there was with the Angel
13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
(17) Glory to God
14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
(18) Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion
Zechariah 9:9,10 (Matthew 21:5)
9. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee. He is the righteous Savior. .
10. . . And he shall speak peace unto the heathen.
(19) Then shall the eyes of the blind
5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.
(20) He shall feed his flock like a shepherd
11. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; and he shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Matthew 11:28, 29
28. Come unto [Him], all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and [He shall] give you rest.
29. Take [his] yoke upon you, and learn of [Him]; for [he is] meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
(21) His yoke is easy
30. [His] yoke is easy, and [his] burden is light.
(22) Behold the lamb of God
29.Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.
(23) He was despised
3. He is despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. . .
[He] gave [His] back to the smiters, and [His] cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: [He] hid not [His] face from shame and spitting.
(24) Surely He hath borne our griefs
4. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . . . 5. . . He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him,
(25) And with His stripes we are healed
5. and with His stripes we are healed
(26) All we like sheep have gone astray
6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
(27) All they that see him laugh him to scorn
7. All they that see [him] laugh [him] to scorn: they shoot out their lips, they shake their heads, saying:
(28) He trusted in God
Psalm 22:8 (Matthew 27:43)
8. He trusted [in God] that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, if he delight in him.
(29) Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
20. [Thy] rebuke hath broken [his] heart; [He is] full of heaviness. [He] looked for some to have pity [on Him], but there was none; neither found [He] any to comfort [Him].
(30) Behold, and see if there be any sorrow
12. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto [his] sorrow. . .
(31) He was cut off out of the land of the living
8. he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of [Thy] people was He stricken.
(32) But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell
Psalm 16:10 (Acts 2:27)
10. [But] thou [didst] not leave [his] soul in hell; neither [didst] thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption.
(33) Lift up your heads, O ye gates
7. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in.
8. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
9. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in.
10. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.
(34) Unto which of the angels said He at any time
Hebrews 1:5 (Psalm 2:7)
5. For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?
(35) Let all the angels of God worship Him
6. “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
(36) Thou art gone up on high
Psalm 68:18 (Ephesians 4:8)
18. Thou art gone up on high, Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even for Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them.
(37) The Lord gave the word
11. The Lord gave the word: great was the company of [the preachers].
(38) How beautiful are the feet
Romans 10:15 (Isaiah 52:7)
15. How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
(39) Their sound is gone out
Romans 10:18 (Psalm 19:4)
18. their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world.
(40) Why do the nations so furiously rage together?
Psalm 2:1,2 (Acts 4:25-26)
1. Why do the heathen rage, and why do the people imagine a vain thing?
2. The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed,
(41) Let us break their bonds asunder
3. Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us.
(42) He that dwelleth in heaven
4. He that dwelleth in the heavens shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision.
(43) Thou shalt break them
9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
6. Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
15. . . the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever.
16. . . . KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS.
(!) ( Bruce L. Johnson ~ 1998)
Ref: IXTHEUS CHRISTIAN GROWTH DEVOTIONALS
Lord, only Your Word could properly convey the majestic incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and coronation of the Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords! When I consider Your greatness, words elude me. When I think of Your Majesty, I am silenced with awe. When I see Your holiness, my righteousness is but filthy rags. Oh Lord Most High, Hallelujah! The Messiah has come and performed the greatest act of love known in the universe, the Sacrifice Lamb shedding His blood so that I might live, so that I might have life, so that His glory could be revealed through His Body, His Bride! Thank You for so great a gift! Thank You for confirming Your Word through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, our Messiah! For Your glory and honor . . . amen and amen!
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1)
© Jan Ross
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