Key Words: Amen
Key Words: Let the “Amen” Sound from His People Again
2 Corinthians 1:20 - For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.
We have finished within the last year an Old Testament expositional series through the Minor Prophets (the Book of the Twelve), as well as a New Testament book, 1 John. Now we will look at a few broader biblical concepts. This series is on Key Words - the words we use in worship, in sacred actions and responses. We say words like “Amen,” and “Hallelujah” and “Glory” and “Holy” throughout worship and in our reading of Scripture. But do you know know what they mean? Is it just a sound of consonants and vowels put together with no comprehension? I am afraid often it is just a sound without meaning and intention. But by the end of this series we will know why we say what we say and we will say it with heart and soul and voice. So Amen, praise the Lord, and Glory Hallelujah!
The first Key Word that we will consider is, “Amen.” We say it continually, but what does it mean? What should it mean when we say it? How should we say it? Amen was originally Hebrew word which meant “to be firm,” or “to prop.” So this root meaning is extended from something being “firm” or “hard” to the more abstract idea of “truth,” or “faithfulness.” Scripture says God is the God of Amen, the God of truth (Isa. 65:16 ). It is a one word affirmation, “let it be so.” That’s why it is at the end of prayers (Ps. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52). But the earliest uses of the word are to confirm the words of a covenant and invoke the fulfillment of the terms of the covenant (Num. 5:22, Deut 27:15). For example, there is a catechism of curses for infidelity to the Lord in Deuteronomy 27. “‘Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen” (Deut. 27:15). Amen is therefore a word which confirms a covenant or oath.
The final affirmation of God’s covenant promise to be the God of Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 12, 15, 17) comes in the person of Jesus (Gal. 3:14-16). As our text says in the NJB version, “For in him is found the Yes to all God’s promises and therefore it is ‘through him’ that we answer ‘Amen’ to give praise to God.” Jesus is the Amen of the God of Amen that He has fulfilled His Covenant! Therefore when we “answer” “Amen” it should be with the full knowledge that God’s “Amen” cost Him the life of His Son. Amen!
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more