I’ve always been a loud guy, so my Sunday School teachers often felt compelled to tell me to use my “inside voice” at church.
So, I complied and continued to comply until about ten years ago when I studied Psalm 100 as a model for worship.
In Psalm 100 we read,
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Knowing this Psalm was used in ancient worship services, I found it surprising to read the words, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth” in the first line.
Church is supposed to be a quiet place, right?
Sorry….wrong. (Forgive me, I was using my outside voice.)
Yes, there are times during corporate worship when we’re supposed to “be still and know that He is God,” but there are times when we’re supposed to “shout for joy” because we know that He is God.
Just this morning, as I was reading Leviticus during my quiet time, I read about the people of Israel’s reaction to observing Aaron make sacrifices on their behalf:
And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.
What typically makes you shout for joy?
A good play from your favorite team?
Seeing your favorite band in concert?
Getting a great parking space at Wal-Mart?
One of the things I love about Journey Christian Church is that the people of Journey are willing to shout for joy to the Lord.
People at Journey shout for joy when we sing, when we give, and occasionally in response to something I say in a sermon.
A lot of churches are a little more reserved and I understand why and respect their right to worship God with a little bit of reservation.
But, I praise God that I’m a part of a church that loves to worship God without reservation.
I praise God that I’m a part of a church that gets as excited about God as they get about the Broncos.
I praise God that I’m a part of a church that gets more excited about God than they get when they find a good parking space at Wal-Mart.
I don’t want us to ever lose our passion for God and our willingness to shout out in joy in gratitude for what he’s done for us.
Think about the reasons we have to shout for joy…
He created us.
He loves us.
He’s given us peace.
He’s blessed us.
He’s given us hope.
He’s shown us grace.
He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins so we could live for eternity with Him.
What great reasons to get loud. What great reasons to shout for joy.
I’d like to see more shouting for joy amongst Christians.
I think more of us should use our “outside” voices inside our church buildings.
The average worship service could use a little more whooping and hollering.
Where did we get the idea that we must be quiet when we worship?
Not from God’s word.
In the passages I’ve referred to in this post, the word that is used for “shout” is, “ruwa,” which means, “to shout, raise a sound, cry out, give a blast”
Let me give you a glimpse of what worship is going to be like in Heaven.
We see God shouting.
and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices.
And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.
And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go…”
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold…”
We see the angels shouting.
And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?”
Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”
Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
In Heaven, we will be shouting.
saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the hapless Texan who vacationed in England? While there, he attended a religious service and was amazed at how quiet and reserved it was. Not one word was spoken out of turn. All of a sudden he heard the minister say something he really liked. “Amen!” he shouted. Everyone in the church turned and stared, and the usher came running down the aisle. “You must not talk out loud,” admonished the usher. “But I’ve got religion,” the Texan protested. “Well, you did not get it here!” the usher replied.
Do you have religion?
I hope you do.
As my friend Mark would say, WE NEED SOME CHURCH UP IN HERE!
Yes, that was my “outside” voice!
I think we are much too loud about things that are not important and much to quiet about what really matters!
Remember, this passage was used by the Israelites in their worship services.
As I said earlier, I believe that there are times when we’re supposed to “be still and know that He is God,” but I also believe there are times when we’re supposed to shout for joy all the earth.
I will shout for joy for what God has done for me.
I will shout for joy for what God has done for you.
I will shout for joy for what God has done for my family.
I will shout for joy for what God has done for my friends.
I will shout for joy for what God has done for this world.
I will use my “outside” voice because my “inside” voice just won’t cut it this time.
THANK YOU LORD!
I LOVE YOU!
I PRAISE YOU!