“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
Galatians 6:9 NASB
I listened to all of Handel’s “Messiah” on Friday night for the first time. What a blessing YouTube can be.
It really is an amazing work. It is Scripture put to song. It is prophecy and fulfillment laid out. You can read the libretto on Stanford University’s website.
The oratorio that debuted in 1742 was only translated back into Hebrew — the original language of the Biblical prophets — in the 2000s. While the translation was first performed publicly in 2007, I was in Jerusalem when a more professional performance was put on in May 2010, though I didn’t get to attend.
As I was listening Friday night I pondered the timeline:
- Many of the promises of redemption are 3,000 years old and older.
- Those who are disciples of Yeshua of Nazareth believe he partially fulfilled the Messianic promises nearly 2,000 years ago and that he will fulfill the rest at his second coming.
- Not 300 years ago German-born Georg Friedrich Handel put music to Charles Jennens’ English lyrics.
- More than 30 years ago, a woman named Irene Levy conceived of a Hebrew translation and eventually found translators and support in the 2000s.
- The first public performance of the Hebrew-language “Messiah” was 2007. LiturgiKal Concert Choir, led by David Loden, performed the first professional performance in 2010.
On the human scale, that is a long stretch of time. Sometimes it feels like what God really calls us all to is to wait.
- The prophets gave their words and wait.
- Jesus came and left and even he waits (Acts 1:6-7, Revelation 22).
- Handel and Jennens wrote their songs and wait.
- Irene Levy and David Loden brought those songs back into Hebrew and wait.
We all wait.
Hebrews 11. We call it that Hall of Faith, those who have gone before us. We focus on their deeds done in faith. The writer of the letter says, “All of these had their merit attested because of their trusting.”
We look at all those great names and deeds, and we miss the message. They aren’t heroes because of what they did. The heroic action is waiting. Just waiting.
This is best seen in Abraham’s life as he and Sarah waited for Isaac for so long. Still, all of them acted in faith as they waited for the Redeemer first mentioned in Genesis 3.
When I say wait, I don’t mean just sitting down and staring up at the sky. Our heroes of faith weren’t just lounging. They were being faithful to the work at hand with what they were given to do while waiting for the ultimate redemption.
“All these people kept on trusting until they died, without receiving what had been promised. They had only seen it and welcomed it from a distance … All of these had their merit attested because of their trusting. Nevertheless, they did not receive what had been promised, because God had planned something better that would involve us, so that only with us would they be brought to the goal.”
Hebrews 11:13, 39-40 CJB
Can we wait a little longer? We MUST wait a little longer.
As I heard the Hallelujah chorus, I could hear all the songs ever written for the King of Kings played at his triumphal return to Jerusalem to take the throne of David once and for all.
What a glorious day that will be!
- VIDEO: “Messiah”, performed by King’s College, Cambridge Choir (YouTube)
- Libretto of “Messiah” (Stanford)
- VIDEO: Handel’s “Messiah” translated into Hebrew (CBN)
- VIDEO: Excerpts of “Messiah” in Hebrew (David Loden)
- LiturgiKal Concert Choir