Joy – BT4
What does it mean to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” in worship?
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Many of our English bibles say “joyful noise” or something tame like “let us sing” or “sing aloud” or “sing for joy” or “heartily sing” or “cry out,” but the original Hebrew and Greek words are so much more intense! Some do at least get the idea of “shouting” right, but The Passion Translation was closer with “shout our loudest praises to God” or Christian Standard Bible “shout joyfully,” and surprisingly the Message Bible nailed it with “raise the roof!”
Psalms 95:1-6 actually says, “Come, let us joyfully shout/praise (a) to Yahweh; let us shout out/howl joyfully like a battle cry to (b) the Rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout out/howl joyfully like a battle cry to (b) Him with ‘hit, twanged, plucked, or twitched’ songs with/without singing (c)! . . . Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before Yahweh, our Maker!” This celebration comes from actually being in the presence of God, and we can enter into this with gratefulness! <Notes> a) Hebrew: ranan; Greek: ainos, b) ruwa’, alalazo, c) zamiyr, psalmos.
Psalms 100:1-2 is identified as “a thanksgiving/acknowledgment psalm (a): Shout out/howl joyfully like a battle cry to (b) all the earth. Worship/serve/be subject to the Lord with gladness/joy/mirth (c). Enter before Him with ringing shouts of extreme, triumphant joy/gladness (d). I don’t believe this verse is teaching us to be fake with God. If we feel in the dumps, we can surrender in confession this to Him and also surrender “these member(s) of our body to God as instruments for righteousness” (e), in this case our mouths for shouting, joyful praise! <Notes> a) Hebrew: zamiyr; Greek: psalmos, b) ruwa’, alalazo, c) simchah: joy, glee, gladness, mirth, gaiety, pleasure in festivity; euphrosune: merry/cheery outlook from inner triumph, d) r’nanah, agalliasis: Luke 1:14, 44; Acts 2:46; Jude 1:24; Hebrews 1:9, e) Romans 6:13.
1 Chronicles 15:16 says: “[King] David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy (a).” I long for those days! <Notes> a) simchah: joy, glee, gladness, mirth, gaiety, pleasure in festivity; euphrosune: merry/cheery outlook from inner triumph.
Job 38:7 says: “The morning stars joyfully shouted/praised (a) in a united chorus, when all the sons/angels of God shouted out/howled joyfully like a battle cry (b)” or in the Greek “with great voice all My angels praised Me.” Man, I can’t wait to see this! <Notes> a) ranan, aineo, b) ruwa.
Psalms 66:1 is a song (a) [or] psalm (b): Shout out/howl joyfully like a battle cry (c) unto Elohiym all you lands.” <Notes> a) shiyr, atos, b) zamiyr, psalmos, c) ruwa’, alalazo, d) Elohiym: plural in number for rulers, judges, superhuman beings including gods, the Godhead, and angels.
Psalms 47:1 says, “All you nations, clap your hands! Shout out/howl joyfully like a battle cry (a) to Elohiym in celebration.” a) ruwa’, alalazo.
Psalms 81:1-2 to another chief musician: “Joyfully shout/praise (a) or in the Greek: “Ring out shouts of extreme, triumphant joy/gladness (b) unto Elohiym our strength; Shout out/howl joyfully like a battle cry (c) to Elohiym of Jacob. Lift up a psalm (d) and/coupled give/set/play the tambourine, the sweet sounding lyre with the 10-stringed harp.” There are other similar verses: Zephaniah 3:14; Isaiah 16:10, 44:23; Ezra 3:11; Zechariah 9:9. <Notes> a) ranan, b) agalliao, c) ruwa’, alalazo, d) zamiyr, psalmos.
1 Samuel 4:5 says Israel “shouted out/howled joyfully like a battle cry” (a) or in the Greek: “screamed or cried from the depth of the throat (b) so loudly that the ground shook! In Ezra 3:13 this was so loud that “the sound was heard a long way off.” <Notes> a) ruwa, b) alalazo.
As Christian musicians, isn’t it too bad that so many English bibles water down the meaning of the original languages and in many cases are so misleading – see Bible Info? Like “let us sing.” It actually means “to shout or howl joyfully as with a battle cry” while singing, clapping, and playing instruments loudly with festive joy – so loud that it could be heard far off! Now that is what I call a rowdy celebration! No wonder so many of our churches are boring! Maybe the problem is that so few churches actually experience the presence of God! So of course, they are going to be bored! So many people in churches fight to keep from falling asleep. Blah, blah, blah they go on and on with so many empty words, as if the monologue sermon is the main point of coming together, even though you can’t find that anywhere in the NT or early Church history! One pastor would just read from his iPad. I thought I would die – worse than my monotone high-school geography teacher!
The early Church until 70 AD was mostly Jewish and according the Alfred Edersheim, after scripture was read by a person, there was ample opportunity for dialogue and discussion. Still by 150 AD we don’t see any sermon mentioned by Justin Martyr, only that readings were done by “the president” of the assembly. But once the secular Roman Empire merged with the Catholic Church around 300 AD, the bishops, and soon only one, controlled ALL the speaking in the Church, so that Rome could have complete control! There really needs to be a reformation, especially when you see what the NT says congregations should be doing “when you come together” – it’s called Body-Ministry!
Lord, we are tired of snoozing in church services, rushing through 4 songs so we can listen to a long boring sermon and looking at our watch thinking about lunch! Lord, we are tired of announcements taking up more time than worship! We are tired of all the loud worship bands drowning out the congregation. I’m tired of a revivalist playing “the sounds of revival” and then when the congregation couldn’t reach that in 10 minutes, turn up the recording thinking that would help! I’ve seen so many people put tissue in their ears to keep from going deaf, when they can’t even hear the person next to them singing! And if the band suddenly stops, you hear a whimper from the congregation – this shows you exactly how “in the presence of God they really are.” Pitiful!
Lord, we are tired of feeling like we have to force ourselves to worship, because our flesh could care less, and it seems the pastor can’t wait for it to get over so he can speak for at least twice as long. It’s almost as bad as watching Joe Biden check his watch every time the casket of a marine is unloaded from the plane, marines that got killed because of his botched military planning, though he boasts in his great foreign policy. Lord, I can’t watch pastors and people looking at the watches any more in so many worship services. God, help us!
Lord, all we care about is really experiencing Your presence! Lord, teach us how to completely surrender our plans and schedules, and instead pursue You with everything we have – and meno REMAIN there UNTIL You break through the demonic walls of apathy, depression, and distraction. We cancel those religious spirits that will keep us busy talking or moving instead of abandoning ourselves in utter pursuit of You.
We can’t wait for Your presence to actually show up so churches can stop “faking it until they make it” by “programming worship services” ahead of time – I’ve been in so many of these meetings – to use mass psychology and sociology to manipulate emotions toward a desired experience. Lord, save us from these worldly methods to achieve a desired end. Save us from the “might and power” of the old, religious covenant and bring us to the “by My Spirit” of the completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW Covenant! Save us by breaking through all The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit, especially by bringing us back from ‘the one man show’ and their ‘golden monologue” to Body-Ministry by the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit!