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A Hopeless Mess - Daily Treasure - October 15

  • 2021 Oct 15

A Broken Hallelujah: A Hopeless Mess

by Sharon W. Betters

TODAY’S TREASURE

Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity God put us right. A pure gift. God got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where we were intended to be all along. And God did this through Jesus Christ.” -Romans 3.22-24 The MSG

Leonard Cohen, author of A Broken Hallelujah was Jewish. For a time he also practiced Buddhism. He was not a professing Christian and there is a dark message in this song as well. In explaining the message of A Broken Hallelujah Cohen said: “I know that there is an eye watching all of us. There is a judgment that weighs everything we do.” This message shows up in the last phrase of A Broken Hallelujah:

I did my best, it wasn’t much And even though it all went wrong I’ll stand before the Lord of Song With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.

For the one who lives life trying to please that One who is watching and ready to judge, these are words of despair, because no matter how hard we try we fall short. We mess up. We sin. We realize we cannot ever be enough to please God. When our mantra is to just try hard and hope for the best, there is no assurance of God’s love and acceptance because it is only through the sacrifice of Jesus that we are redeemed – not by trying hard.

For a child of God, one who has been forgiven and experienced salvation purchased by Jesus, these are words full of hope. We know that our best is at best a mess. We might “do everything right” but tragedy forever breaks our hearts. Our best often leads to a place where everything goes wrong. Like King David or Samson, we make life-changing choices that lead to agony and life-long consequences. We deliberately gossip, slander, hold onto anger and bitterness. We struggle to obey God’s call to gratitude and “long obedience in the same direction.” Today’s Treasure, Romans 3:22-24 reminds us that:

We are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity God put us right. A pure gift!

That truth drives us to the Cross where we experience forgiveness in a way that makes us want that grace again and again. When we come as God’s children, cleansed by the blood of Jesus, broken and repentant we discover that all the time His grace covered us.  His blessings were new every morning. At that moment, we surrender with a broken hallelujah for His mercy. Only the redeemed can sing such a broken hallelujah. Revelation 14:3 says:

…and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.

No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. God gives us a new song through redemption that comes from knowing Jesus as Savior. While millions sing a generic Hallelujah, those who truly know Jesus sing a different Hallelujah. A Broken Hallelujah starts with a personal relationship to God through Jesus, and a growing sense of His constant presence and overwhelming love and grace. Knowing what God has done through His Son, Jesus, and the grace He extends to His children every day enables us to sing a broken hallelujah and even more, to live a life that is a broken hallelujah. 

Leonard Cohen recognized his best wasn’t good enough. He didn’t understand he could come to the end of his life with confidence and because of Jesus, he could stand before God with nothing but a Hallelujah that flowed from gratitude for the sacrifice of Jesus. Instead, he would stand before God with Hallelujah on his lips, hoping for mercy.

Once more, review Today’s Treasure and be reminded  of the indescribable gift of salvation that compels Hallelujah to flow from our hearts, whether in the everyday mundane or broken seasons of life:

Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity God put us right. A pure gift. God got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where we were intended to be all along. And God did this through Jesus Christ.” -Romans 3.22-24 The MSG

PRAYER

Oh Lord, thank you for the gift of Jesus, through Whom You provide a way for us to experience forgiveness and eternal life through His sacrifice. Thank you it’s through redemption we learn to sing Hallelujah.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon W. Betters is the author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness, and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a non-profit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children, and fourteen grandchildren.

For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.




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