Shout to God!
“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!” (Psalm 47:1 NKJV)
We Christians seem to have two different standards by which we regulate the reactions we have to our experiences. When it comes to the things of the Lord, including our worship services, we may feel we have to be sober-minded—even somber at times—and taken up with ritualistic thoughts, speech, and actions. Nevertheless, when it comes to other experiences in our lives, no matter what our respective individual personalities might be, we’re different. Take, for example the Olympic Games that take place every four years. We don’t see many people being reserved there, do we? In fact, it’s just the opposite. People from all nationalities, ethnicities, and even the most reserved cultures, actually go crazy over a swim meet or a basketball game or the gymnastics finals. Why, then, are we so rigid when it comes to the expression of our faith?
Please understand me. I’m not talking about emotionalism, which is a terrible advertisement for Christ. Our worship must be in spirit and in truth; but we can’t be embarrassed to praise the Lord. In both the Old and New Testaments we are encouraged to lift up our hands in prayer. The Psalmist David prayed, “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands” (Psalm 63:4); and the apostle Paul in his New Testament letter to Timothy, had this to say: “I want people everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing” (1 Timothy 2:8).
Among countless similar exhortations in the Psalms we find the command: “Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!” If we shout about so many other things in life—including the Olympics—why not shout to the Lord with a voice of triumph, saying, “Thank you, Jesus! You’re our Savior and our Provider! Thank you for our salvation! We are more than conquerors through him who loved us! Praise your name, Lord!”
Can we do that today?
Read Psalm 47.