May 26, 2016
God gives us blessings and continually showers us with good things, but like spoiled children we take His gifts for granted. The sun comes up in the morning and provides the right amount of heat and light. We couldn’t live without the water and oxygen He provides. How often, though, do we sing praises to Him for all He does for us? “[[A Psalm of praise.]] Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5. Many Christians think we have poor singing voices so we keep silent, but God wants us to make a joyful noise and it doesn’t matter if we’re off key or not. God loves to hear from us in prayer and in song. Have you ever watched a sports event? The fans always cheer loud when their team makes a touchdown or hits a home run. The same is true at concerts. The fans sing along with the songs and cheer for their idols onstage. Why is it that something like a sports event or a concert can inspire shouts of joy, but the Creator of the Universe only gets a quiet song on Sundaymornings? Jesus Christ provided our only way of salvation. Now that’s something to sing praises about!
We all know that King David wrote many psalms and sang praises to God. His songs varied in theme, from asking God to come against enemies to crying out for forgiveness to all out songs of praise. No matter what the subject, these psalms are filled with praise to God. David was surrounded by people who also sang praises to God and wrote psalms to Him. We are blessed that those beautiful psalms are included in our Bible. Take time to read through them and “Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.” Psalm 66:2. Sing His praises dear brethren! He is the Creator and your Redeemer. Sing out and make a joyful noise to Him.
What a blessing it would have been to have sat in the courts of King David and listened to his songs of praise to God. He was not shy about his love for the Lord. Did he have perfect pitch when he sang? We don’t know, but we do know that he sang God’s praise. [[A Psalm.]] O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things…Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King” Psalm 98:1a, 4-6. The joyful noise to the Lord doesn’t just mean with our voices. Harps are melodious and trumpets are loud but musical. We need to have some volume to our praise! This doesn’t mean to just make loud blaring sounds that are disorderly and nothing but noise. God doesn’t cause chaos and so our praises need to be orderly. Don’t just pound on the piano keys and say you’re praising God, but do make a joyful noise to Him.
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” Psalm 95:1-2. The “ rock of our salvation” is an interesting phrase. Many times in the Old Testament a “rock” is just a “rock”, but other times it refers to God. In the New Testament, Paul wrote about the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4. Long before the cross, Jesus was the spiritual Rock of salvation. The men who wrote the Psalms understood this truth and sang praises to Jesus. Christians today need to sing His praises too. We know what He did for us and He is worthy of our praise.
There is a time to sing reverently, but that shouldn’t quench our joy. Many of the Psalms were written in times of trouble or need. David’s heart was always turned towards God and his desire was to seek the Lord always. “[[A Psalm of David.]] Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.” Psalm 28:1-2. How often do we face troubled times and try to handle things on our own without turning to God? When sickness comes or friends turn against us, do we turn to Jesus for help? We need to sing out to God in the bad times and in the good. Lift up your hands and reach out to Him; reach out with your voice in song and with your hands in supplication and praise. Don’t be shy! He loves to hear from you no matter what the situation.
The New Testament writers also encourage us to make a joyous noise to the Lord, even when things look bleak. When Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi, they used that time to praise God and witness to the prisoners around them. The jailer benefited as well. They sang songs even while enduring the misery of having been whipped and thrown into jail. “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Acts16:25. Even in a bad situation, singing praises to God is a strong witness. While they were singing an earthquake shook the prison; the prison doors were opened and the bonds fell off. The jailer was about to commit suicide when Paul called out that the prisoners were still there. The jailer gave his life to Jesus right then and there because of Paul and Silas’ witness of God. Had the jailer heard the songs of praise? Just think what a witness for Christ you can be if you always sing out His praises making a joyous noise to the Lord.
Some denominations claim that we shouldn’t use musical instruments in worship services. It’s true that human voices raised in praise of God sound beautiful, but there is nothing in the New Testament to forbid instruments in praise. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16. The Greek word psalmos is translated “psalms” and is defined as “a striking, twanging of chords of a musical instrument; of a pious song, a psalm”. Musical instruments don’t hinder praise. Our attitude in song is important. We need to have grace in our hearts, rather than anger and resentment, when we sing.
There are innumerable hymns that bring glory to God. Some of my favorites are “Holy, Holy, Holy”, “How Great Thou Art”, and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. Other songs strengthen us, such as “Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus”, “Onward Christian Soldiers”, and “On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand”. Do you need encouragement? Sing “It Is Well With My Soul”, “Just As I Am”, or “Just a Closer Walk With Thee”. We need to listen to the words when we sing these songs. I’m always disappointed when I’m at a worship service and the song leader says to sing just a few of the verses. It’s as if these beautiful songs of worship and praise have to be hurried through in order to get to the next item on the agenda of Sunday morning services instead of using them as a powerful way to worship of God. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, but make it quick so we can get on with our day. Very sad.
Whether you sing contemporary songs of worship and praise, read the Psalms, or sing the majestic hymns, be sure you make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed