Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WORSHIP: is loud bad?

So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-edom with rejoicing.
1 Chronicles 15:25

David marked his love for the Lord with expression in his worship. He could not help it. It was his passion for God and thankfulness for God's blessings coming out. David had an artistic side to him that was expressed most in his worship of God. We have the book of Psalms as testament to this. We know he played musical instruments (most notably the lyre) and he led this loud worship service as the Levites carried the ark to Jerusalem. I am sure it was quite a spectacle. The text says there was shouting with the loud music of horns, trumpets, cymbals, harps and lyres (1 Chronicles 15:28).

Praise ought to be heartfelt. And every personality is a little different, but expression is the key. There is nothing more disheartening than being in an assembly of Christians who are just "going through the motions" in a worship service. I don't mean liturgy. I have been in intense, meaningful liturgical assemblies. I mean instead that the worship has degenerated into passionless procedure. May we spare God our dry drudgery!

Personally, when I hear a few complaints about the volume or the content of the "performance level" in a worship service, I tend to go to this episode in the life of David for an evaluation context. In my mind, I wonder if the complainter might be a little like Michal (1 Chronicles 15:29) who despised David's display of rejoicing. There are certainly technical matters to consider in any worship gathering. The sound engineer ought to be able to keep things at a controlled decibel level for the size room. But in the end, a little shouting and rejoicing seems to me to be a biblical precedent to gauge authentic praise and worship! And no sound console should contain that!

I do know this... when I get embarrassed at my own worship of God, it is NEVER because I got "way too into it". It is always because I felt too reserved or I held back or I failed to truly worship God in spirit and in truth. Rejoicing is expressive... whatever that looks like for any person... and that must be the gauge by which we measure honest to goodness, heartfelt praise.

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