Hello, my friend. There is something about spring that for many makes it the best season of the year. It is like resurrection, after a long, silent winter of dark and damp. It is like a song of jubilation. As you know, Doris was born in Oxford, England, and I love that country. And I echo Robert Browning’s familiar poem, “O to be in England, now that England’s there, and whoever wakes in England sees some morning, unaware, that the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, while the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough in England–now.” Spring, what a time for remembering the greatness of our God.
So our Psalm for today is appropriate, PSALM 47, a joyous expression of the writer’s exultation of God. How is God described in this Psalm? He is awesome, the great King over all the earth, subduing evil, choosing our inheritance for us, He has ascended among the sounding of trumpets, He is King of all the earth, reigning over the nations, and all the kings of the earth belong to God.
So what should be our response in our worship? We should clap our hands, shout to God with cries of joy, singing praises, singing praises, singing praises. And the whole Scripture here is a remarkable challenge not only to love the Lord, but to praise Him. How often we traditional, conservative Christians are so feeble in our expressions of praise. People attend a thrilling Vikings game and their whole being expresses their excitement. People experience joy when their children make some new discovery in their work or study, and they are so eager to talk about it. But we are so expressionless in our praise, so motionless in our celebration of the awesome God we love and serve.
Don Wyrtzen puts it so freshly. He says, “Church services are not sit-coms which ‘couch potatoes’ view for entertainment. They should be dynamic encounters with God.” Why is it that we are so passive in our praise? We view the charismatics in their exuberance, and conclude that they are superficial. We notice some preacher who is deeply gripped by his message and we say he is a manipulator. All the while we reflect neither joy nor excitement at what indeed should be an awesome walk with the God of the universe. We all need to take this brief psalm to heart, and review what may be robbing us of the joy of spiritual exuberance and may be robbing God of the praise and honor he deserves.
“Thank you, Lord, for this sharp reminder that we are commanded to praise you with shouts and cries of joy. Forgive us for allowing our excitement to be focused on earthly things, and allowing our eagerness for you and your word to become so casual and lifeless. We are thankful for the blessed reminder of your Word and praise you for the joy of sharing it this way. Bless my friend who is along, and especially anyone who may be in the grip of discouragement or even of despair. Help us to know, Lord, there is power in praise. Thank you for your love.”
And thank you, my friend, for your sharing this way. Cheerio!
These meditations on the Psalms were written by Village Schools of the Bible Founder, Monty Sholund and first published in book form as Monty’s Musings on the Psalms in 2000.