Have you ever watched a group of people cheering on their favorite sports team winning a game? Or, have you witnessed the squeals of a group of young children when the announcement is made that they’re going to an ice cream parlor?
How would you describe these expressions? Jubilant? Ecstatic? Wild? Victorious?
You could call it.. joyful noise. See, we know what joyful noise sounds like. It’s, well, noisy! And it’s uninhibited. And, it’s extraordinarily happy!
These sounds are a part of normal life.
So, why is it that many times when you step into a gathering of those who have come together to worship Jesus, it’s so . . quiet? Sometimes, even . . . boring? The Scripture in Psalm 100 paints this picture…
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
The worship imperative of the first verse shouts to believers across all the centuries that when we come before God, we are to make a joyful noise! And, I love that there is no condition put on when it’s appropriate, or not, for making some noise (to God).
It’s not that we do it when things are going great; or, when our prayers are answered. Not just when we’re having a good day; or, when we’re in a good mood. Or when we’re not — like, “Hey, if life is rough, and things are hard — that’s when you should lift up the shout of praise.” Doesn’t say that.
Also, it doesn’t make any qualifications for your personality type. :Like, “Are you naturally quiet? OK, don’t worry about it.” Or, “Are you more of an introvert? OK, leave the joyful expression to the extroverts.”
Nope. None of that. It also makes no qualifications for your cultural background. You know, like a footnote at the bottom of the page: “Are you from a conservative ethnic culture? OK, well you can be quiet and reserved in the presence of the Lord.” Or, “Are you from a boisterous tropical culture climate? This is for you!” Not there. No such notes or qualifications.
This is for EVERYONE. Every color, every personality, every age group, in any situation or circumstance: Make a joyful noise!
What is the condition then? What is the motivation? Simple:
We belong to the Good Shepherd. We are His! (see verse 3).
And, He is good! And His love endures forever (v.5)!
And those things are always always always true! So, we always have a reason for joyful noise and celebration. Because we are always His; He is always leading us well; HE is always GOOD and His Love is strong, steadfast and constant – it cannot be diminished or overtaken.
So, next time you’re in a gathering of people who’ve come to worship the Lord… or even when you come before him in a personal time of prayer and worship …. I will be expecting you to make some noise, a LOT of noise. Not just any noise but joyful, happy, boisterous noise. You belong to God, you have a lot to celebrate!