Handel’s Messiah ∙
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
Revelation 19:6 Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
George Frideric Handel’s oratorio, Messiah, puts to music, beautiful, elegant, and memorable music, the greatest story ever told. In modern times, it has become a large-scale quasi-dramatic production at Christmas time throughout the world. Handel intentionally wrote it to be performed by as few as four singers and only a few instruments: strings, continuo, two drums, and two trumpets. He wrote it in this fashion so it could be performed anywhere. Since its premiere, on April 13, 1742, not one year has gone by without it being performed somewhere in the world. It is the most famous and frequently performed oratorio of all time.
For the children of the King, Handel’s Messiah is perhaps the greatest of all pieces of classical music. It is one long and delightful reflection on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world, the coming King of Kings. The text itself was taken directly from the Scriptures, mainly the King James Bible, and also from the Coverdale Psalter, included with the Book of Common Prayer. Words were seamlessly joined together. Old and New Testament scriptures were juxtaposed were an obvious connection existed. Laid out in this fashion, the power and life inherent within the biblical text were released with all of their heart-gripping wonder.
The oratorio is divided into three parts. Part 1 highlights the Nativity and recites primarily prophecies by Isaiah and others, and climaxes with the announcement of Christ’s birth to the shepherds found in the Gospels, particularly Luke 2:8-14. In Part 2, Handel focuses upon the Passion and concludes with the magnificent “Hallelujah Chorus.” Part 3 covers the Resurrection and Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The words highlight the truth, the allure, the loveliness of Scripture, and exalt the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Subtle undertones and textures in the format of the music are recognized by those who have the training and knowledge to be aware of such things. “All We Like Sheep” is set to music that sounds scattered and rambunctious. You can see a herd of sheep scattering in all directions. “For unto us a Child is born” is sung to a subtle, uplifting, theme which climaxes in the words: “and His name shall be calleth, Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
And of course, the famous, magnificent, triumphal “Hallelujah Chorus.” The uplifting chorus climaxes with the eloquent, intentionally compelling words, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Lord of lords for will ever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah, and King of Kings forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah.
Handel succeeded far beyond all that he could have ever imagined. Messiah lovingly and unreservedly presents the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the fulfillment of prophecy, the Savior of the world, and the coming King. Handel created his magnificent work of art in just 23 days. Surely, he was empowered and borne along by the spirit of God. The music often rises to great loveliness and power. Regarding the Hallelujah chorus, Handel, a German by birth and upbringing, spoke in his broken English, “I did think I did see all heaven before me and the great God himself!”
Oh that all of the children of the King, and even those who are not, could rejoice and enjoy this delightful, uplifting, God-honoring music and Scripture.
Most great vocal classical music was written in languages other than English. Over the years, many works have been translated into English. But frequently much was lost in the translation.
Do you suppose it was a coincidence that Handel was born in Halle, Germany in 1665 and took up permanent residence in London in 1712? The greatest oratorio of Christian truth was written in English quoting from the then ubiquitous King James Version. The words and sentiments behind them were easily understood and absorbed. And for some time now, English has become “the need to know” language for much of the entire planet.
REFLECT & PRAY
Matthew 26:64 And in the future, you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.
Father you are the omnipotent mighty king, ruler over everything. One day Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ will reign among the Your children.
Revelation 19:6 Hallelujah! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.
The Greek word translated Omnipotent or Almighty is pantokrator. Pantokrator comes from two Greek words pantos which means all, every, everything, and krateo which means ruler. Pantokrator means ruler of everything.
This is in stark contrast to what the god of this world is called in Ephesians 6:12. He is referred to as the world ruler, in Greek kosmokrator. Kosmokrator comes from two Greek words kosmos which means world, world system, and krateo which means ruler. Kosmokrator connotes the ruler of the world, the world system.
The enemy’s power is limited and delegated. The power of the Lord Jesus Christ is unlimited. It is the personal power that He possesses as deity. No one can resist the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In one sense, the Lord God Almighty already reigns. He is sovereign. He is in control of all things. But He has reigned from a distance. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns, everything will be different. He will no longer be far off and distant. He will begin reigning in a way that is “up close and personal.” He will be in the midst of His people. He will be in direct “hands-on” control.
No matter how good the leadership has been for planet Earth since the time of Adam and Eve, the planet Earth has never been a holy, righteous, and peaceful place.
Government run by mere humans is incapable of achieving perfect peace and harmony. When the Prince of peace is present on earth. He will establish the promised Kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus Christ will reign.
For the first time ever, the people of planet Earth will enjoy just, holy, and righteous leadership. It will be a time of peace, prosperity, and tranquility. There will be no wars or rebellions for a thousand years.
All the people on earth will have the same “religion.” There will only be one faith. That faith will be in the Lord Jesus Christ, the king of Israel. All who enter into the kingdom of God will be true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.