TOMMY CAN YOU HEAR ME? HOORAH!
I was recently searching for video of people singing the praise song “Days of Elijah” (written by Francis Robert Mark) to show it to my husband. I want to add it to our selection of praise songs for our band, but I knew if I just sang it for him he would not get the real beauty of the song.
The most enthusiastically performed version that I could find was a video of US Marines in fatigues singing it. I have no idea if they were stationed far away or just on base at home. However, as Marines do, they added their own piece to it – “Hoorah!” “Lift your voice – Hoorah! – It’s the year of Jubilee. Out of Zion’s Hill salvation comes.”
“Hoorah” – not to be confused with “Hooah!” (Army) or “Hooyah” (Navy Seals) – at least not if you don’t want to experience a world of hurt – is the battle cry of the Marines. It made me wonder what exactly these very similar battle cries mean and if it really fit into a praise song?
First of all, there is no fully documented explanation of the roots of any of these battle cries, but there are plenty of plausible theories. My favorite is this: it is derived from HUA – Hear. Understand. Acknowledge. – as a way to let the commander know you were following his orders in the heat of battle. Interesting.
On the last day of Unleavened Bread, the minister giving the message preached primarily from Hebrews 3 & 4. I noted that three times in the space of 20 verses across just two chapters, the writer says, “Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:7-8 and 15 and 4:7) These words are also used in, and possibly quoted from, Psalm 95:7-8. Apparently, this was a big issue back then in the early New Testament times. The issue does not seem to be that God wasn’t talking. The issue is that people were not hearing, understanding or acknowledging God’s voice, His commands or His will.
It reminds me of that scene in the rock opera “Tommy” where Tommy has gone deaf, dumb and blind due to a traumatic experience, and his mother is crying, “Tommy can you hear me?!” over and over. He cannot. But, sisters, we can hear God’s voice, if we will only listen. He speaks to us in His word, the Bible, through messages at Church and through the moving of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds. I must ask myself, “Am I listening?” and, if so, “Is my heart hardened to His commands?”
We Christians know we are at war. God asks us to do many things as part of His battle plan – some things are required of every Christian. However, we also have to admit that some commands are specific to individual Christians – things He may lead me to do that He does not require of others. He tells us all to preach to Gospel, feed the flock and help the poor. But He has gifted us with different talents, different roles and different opportunities to fulfill those commands.
I know God is speaking to me and I hope He knows by my actions that I am listening. I hope He never has to ask me, “Nancy, can you hear me?!” But if He does, I reply “Hear. Understand. Acknowledge.”
Our battles can be intense, but even a lifetime is not that long to wait. We need the assurance that “behold He comes.” Even if His return is far away, through death He comes for each of us pretty soon. Rest assured that God is asking each of us, in our own way, to “lift your voice” today for the preaching of the Gospel, for the feeding of the flock, for the helping of the poor. I had better not harden my heart. I must reply “HUA!”
“Behold He comes – HUA!” This is something we enthusiastically hear, understand and acknowledge. Come, Lord, Jesus.
I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.
About the N.E.W. Church Lady – She is just an average middle aged woman who has been a believer and church attender all her life. She is married with three grown children. She lives in a small town and works in sales. Her hobbies are fitness, reading, cooking, writing and travel.