Monday, June 8, 2015

Praise that Pleases!

In the Old Testament we read of the Ark of the Covenant being released out of the captive hands of the Philistines who had captured it during the sinful reign of Eli, Israel’s high priest and his two sons. (1 Samuel 4:11)

The Ark was most important to Israel as it was the place where God’s presence was manifested in power and glory and was the place where Israel’s leaders would meet to commune with God and consult with Him.

When David was anointed king over Israel, his first order of business was to bring back the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and provide a place there where once again the people could be amongst the manifest presence of God. The story of this action is found in 1 Chronicles 13-17.

The excitement over the restored presence of God was the setting for the most active and expressive worship recorded in the Bible.

In 1 Chronicles 15:16 David appointed singers and musicians to praise and worship God. And keynote of their praise was joy! “Sounding by lifting up their voice with joy.” (verse 16)

The New Testament is so consistent with lifting up worship with joy to the Lord. In Philippines 4:4 we are commanded to “rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”

Praise is commonly associated with noise. The Psalms declare at least seven times with the words, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Psalms 89:15 says “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound.”

Why the expression of joy, or joyful praise? Truly, there is no joy which can compare with the joy of the Lord. Our praise and worship should be an expression of joy over God’s presence living in us. We are God’s temples, or mobile arks of the New Covenant. Just as there was a direct relationship between the Ark of the Covenant and the noise of song, praise and rejoicing, there is the incredible presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of His Spirit living in us to which we glorify Him with praise, worship, song, and rejoicing continually from our hearts.

Yes, praise is expressed with noise. But noise is not obnoxious to God. He loves for us to lift up our voice with joy.

Many times in the Old Testament we have the accounts of people facing difficult battles, but before they even entered the battle they would praise God with shouts of praise and God would give them victory.

A note for us to “lift up our voice with joy” when we face our battles in life! PTL!