And All God's People Said Amen
A few weeks ago, at outdoor church, we sang, Love Lifted Me.” These few words spoke to me: “When nothing else could help, Love lifted me!” The next day someone shared some disappointing news with me. I had no right answers to give except we have to trust God. I thought back to this song. God also brought to mind the words of a song our guest singer sang, “Amen” by Charity Gayle. It was so beautiful and powerful as she sang, “Blessing and honor and glory and power amen! Holiness has a name and it’s Jesus, Victory has a name and its Jesus. My redemption has a name and it’s Jesus. The Word has a name and it’s Jesus." I decided to look up the lyrics and I saw this song came from Revelation 7: 12. “They sang, 'Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.'" We were recognizing that God isn’t only our Creator but He is our Sustainer. He is the beginning and end. All good things come from Him. When we praise Him we tell of His many blessings! And when we sang, “Amen” we were affirming that which we sang is true! This past Sunday we sang, “The Lord Bless You And Keep You” which also ends in singing “Amen” repeatedly. This time it took on a whole new meaning for me!
Most of us know the word, “amen” as a closing to a prayer. Amen is a Hebrew word that means something like “so be it” or “it is true.” Amen is one of the few words that is pronounced almost exactly the same way in every language! It is fitting that it would be understandable in every language since it holds such a strong meaning for us all! We are saying the same exact word that has been said as a confirmation for thousands of years. The priests, prophets and we see it in so many different situations in the Bible.
Amen is used as a response of group affirmation. Deuteronomy 27: 14-15, “The Levites shall recite to all the people of Israel in a loud voice: ‘Cursed is anyone who makes an idol—a thing detestable to the Lord, the work of skilled hands—and sets it up in secret.’ Then all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’” Moses is giving the Levites instructions for the people and giving the people a proper response which is “Amen.”
Amen was also used at the beginning of a sentence when Jesus is about to tell some truth. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life so it makes sense that He could preface a sentence with an amen. He was letting us know that what He was about to say was true and that He was the authority on that Truth. In Revelation 3: 14 Jesus refers to Himself as the Amen, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.”
In the King James translation, amen is translated as “verily”. In most modern versions it translates to, “I tell you the truth” or “truly I tell you”. Matthew 18: 3, “And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’“ NIV The King James version says, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Mark 3: 28, “Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter…” And the King James version says, “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme…”
When we say “amen” we are agreeing with the blessing! Psalm 106, 48, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, ‘Amen!’” As I was studying this I read that when you are in a group of people praying and you hear people murmuring quiet “amens” or “yes” it is “like background music that supports the one who’s praying and joins him in the prayer. And at the end of a prayer, a deeply felt ‘Amen’ in unison is a powerful moment before the throne of grace.” I like that because saying “amen” during the prayer is an authentic heartfelt expression.
Jesus walks on water. He heals the sick. He calms the storm. As our guest singer said, “He is still the promise.” All power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory and blessing belong to you Almighty Father! May this song become our life through the Holy Spirit. And all God’s people said, Amen!