Oh That We Would Praise The Lord!

Recently I went to see a friend's rock band perform, and the show was amazing! When they played the last song, the crowd went crazy for the guitarists' licks. I mean crazy! People were jumping, screaming, hands raised- the enthusiasm was contagious, and almost the entire crowd out of their seats and shouting, clapping and cheering their performance. My eyes were drawn to one particular woman, who was on her feet jumping and dancing, her hands raised in excitement. As the music built, her enthusiasm grew until her arms were spread wide as if she could fly. Surrounded by this crowd of people having a great time, I couldn't help being struck by how easy it is to give praise- loud, exuberant, unabashed praise- to men, but we shy away from doing the same for our Creator. A pitcher who pitches a no-hitter gets a standing ovation as he leaves the mound, the player who catches the football in the end zone as treated to cheers from thousands of fans- both in the stands and those watching at home. Then we come to church on Sunday and we stand because we're asked to, we clap because we're supposed to. God doesn't want our leftovers. He doesn't need our praise- Jesus said that the rocks will cry out in our place (Luke 19:40). I don't know about you, but I do not want to keep quiet in the presence of the Lord! So when you see me jumping, and maybe dancing, when I lead worship, please don't respond like Michal, King David's wife. When she saw David, dressed in fine linens, dancing and worshiping the Lord, she criticized him for his behavior, to which David replied "...It was before the Lord...I will celebrate before the Lord" (2 Sam 6:21, NIV). Let's celebrate the Lord, together! 

Psalm 47:1- Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. (NIV)
Psalm 69:30- I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. (NIV)
Psalm 98:4- Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. (KJV) 
Psalm 107:21- Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (KJV) 

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