I say “Amen” alot, to many different things. It has become a natural response for me. God is good! “Amen!” After ending a song. “Amen!” Everybody having a blessed Sunday? “Amen?” Isn’t the food great? “Amen!” I just love this apple pie, don’t you? “Amen!” We’re getting too much rain! “Amen!” Hmmmm…. Let’s think about this for a moment. Exactly what DOES the word “Amen” mean, anyway? Perhaps our society is using it too often, and out of context, to boot…..
The word “Amen” is interpreted in Hebrew as…. wait for it….. “Amen”! It’s an universal language! And it appears in our Bible 63 times. It was (and is) typically used to mean something to the effect of “and let it be so”, declaring a statement to be truthful, or to confirm or assert it.
But get this: In God’s Word, in the book of Revelation, 3:14 Jesus is referred to as “The Amen”. Wow! A name of God? Because of that, in MY mind the word Amen is holy!
So am I being too legalistic about the word and how it’s used? I don’t think so. In the Bible, this word is spoken in only a few ways:
. As adoration of the character of God – “Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Phil. 4:20)
. Issuing blessings or greetings of good tidings to other Christians, in the name of the Lord – “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” (Romans 15:33)
. In the Old Testament, as people responded to curses declared upon those who disobey the Word of God (yikes!) – 'Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.' (Deut. 27:16)
If we take the meaning of the word literally, and replace it with “and let it be so”, how would these statements sound?:
The devil is a liar – and let it be so?
That guy is a jerk – and let it be so?
I am so stinkin’ tired – and let it be so?!!!
Bless his heart, he can’t do anything right – and let it be so?
That ‘ol devil has been on me all week…. – and let it be so?!!!
Well, you catch my drift. As Americans, we tend to become flippant about the words that fly out of our mouths. Perhaps it’s time, especially as Christians, that we think about our responses before we issue a great big hearty “Amen”. I know I will.