GOD’S BIG SOUND
In a study about managing depression, it was discovered that ‘passage lines’ in the brain connect positive words and actions with serotonin, the ‘happiness’ trigger. This explains why passionate praise, combined with exuberant movement such as dancing, actually triggers enjoyment of God.
Psalm 100 tells us how to enter into His presence and it begins and ends with a lot of loud shouting. Silence doesn’t get a mention. After the loud shouting there’s singing with boisterous joy, followed by hearty thanksgiving and more loud praise. There are two reasons why we know it’s loud: firstly, the Hebrew tells us the singing was to be by massed choirs and secondly, the word for praise, in this instance, is tehillah, meaning ‘a praise shout’. This shout of praise expresses the life and soul of the worshipper – something akin to the fans welcoming the team hero as he runs onto the field. When did you last hear a sports hero welcomed with whispered reverence?
The Book of Revelations (chapters 4-7) tells me it’s pretty noisy in Heaven. It is full of loud singing, not to mention ‘noises, thunderings and lightnings’. So when we pray for it to ‘be on Earth even as it is in Heaven’ are we prepared to accept what’s coming? Or don’t we really believe God will answer that prayer? Either way it’s foolish to expect God will answer according to our puny standards. Is it possible we have believed the religious lie that approaching God is best done in silence with folded hands and bowed head? I’m not saying there isn’t a place for silence once we have entered His courts - we certainly need intimate times of quietness so as to hear Him speaking into our hearts – but the thing to notice about Psalm 100 is that ‘come’ is a command, not a suggestion. If we are to enter His presence we need to do it the way He instructs us.
The scriptures tell us that King David, the greatest worshipper of all, was totally outrageous in his worship of his Creator. So many of the Psalms tell us that not only was he a praise shouter (e.g. Psalm 27:6) but he was also prone to praise dance, in the equivalent of his undies, and in public! God, Himself, shouts (e.g. Isaiah 42:13). He even shouts (shabak) over, and through, His people with great joy (Zephaniah 3:17).
Oh yes, I’m sure God loves big, loud sound!