The Hortatory Subjunctive

Surely the title of today’s blog will cause some to read the devotional just for curiosity sake.  My thoughts today actually are focused on the New Year and thinking about how to be better in the New Year.  So what does that have to do with the title of today’s thoughts?

The word hortatory means aiming to exhort (note the root of the word exhort, that is hort).  Hortatory expressions are usually encouraging statements urging others to join together in some action.  The expression is usually “Let us…”  I once taught a class I called the Salad Subjunctive by examining several passages containing the phrase “let us.”  Get it?  Salad, lettuce. The lettuce subjunctive.  Ok, so I’m not much on comedy but it helps me remember.

The phrase “Let us” is found 192 times in the NKJ version of the Bible.  The Bible has much to say encouraging us.  Here are but a few examples.

Galatians 6:10

Therefore, as we have opportunity let us do good to all


Nehemiah 2:18

So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.


Psalms 122:1

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.”


1 John 4:7

Let us love one another, for love is of GOD


Hebrews 13:15

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to GOD, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.


Ecclesiastes 12:13

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.


The last “Let us” statement in the Bible is found in Revelation 19:7 where we read,  Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife (the church, i.e. you and me, GT added) has made herself ready.

Clearly this means there is personal preparation necessary. There is no proxy obedience. Let us be about that preparation.  Let us so live that when we come to the end of our lives we have made ourselves ready.  We will indeed be glad and rejoice.

May we remember the words to the old song.

Let us then be true and faithful

Trusting serving every day

Just one glimpse of Him in glory

Will the toils of life repay.





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