Yesterday morning, I was on the train listening to a worship song and I was really getting into it, singing along. Of course, I didn’t do this out loud. I was just mouthing the words, but nevertheless, I noticed a strange look from the person sitting next to me. (I don’t know. Maybe people in Japan just don’t do this).
Anyway, I really didn’t care what he thought, so I just kept on going.
On Sunday, our pastor was talking about shouting and and singing things with conviction. He asked, “If you’re at a baseball game, are you going to whisper, “Go team go.” No you shout it with conviction. (Just to give a little background, in Nishinomiya where I live, there’s a baseball team called the Hanshin Tigers, and the fans are crazy. And all game long, they are cheering and singing. Actually, all Japanese fans do this, but the Tiger fans are especially crazy.)
Anyway, that’s what I thought about as I read this psalm. I don’t think you can just say this psalm in a whisper. It’s the kind of psalm you have to sing and shout out loud.
Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy. (1)
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises. (6)
It’s hard to miss the exuberance of this psalm. No less then four times in one verse are we exhorted to sing to our God.
Why all this excitement? Why all this joy? For one thing, we praise him for who he is.
For the Lord Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth. (2)
We also praise him for what he has done.
He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. (3-4)
In context, this is talking of God bringing Israel into the promised land. But for us as Christians, God has given us victory too. Victory over Satan. Victory over sin. And ultimately, victory over death. And because of his love for us, we have an inheritance waiting for us in heaven. Not only that, we have a life worth living here on earth as we follow him. As Paul wrote,
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. (I Corinthians 2:9-10)
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s something to sing and shout about.