Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Clap for God

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 47:1-9

TO CHEW ON: “O clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph?” Psalm 47:1

Clapping is an interesting human action. Its #1 definition in the dictionary is “to strike with the palms of one’s hand against one another resoundingly and usually repeatedly, especially to express approval.”

When do we clap?

At concerts, lectures, and readings. At baseball, hockey, basketball, and football games. But in the middle of worship at church?

Here the Sons of Korah are urging worshipers to clap for God. Why? They give some reasons: Because He is awesome, the great King of all Earth, He controls nations and gives victory over them, gives an inheritance to His people, and is exalted.

This psalm shimmers with exuberance, energy, joy, and victory. It’s a psalm we’d read and identify with on a good day. Not so much on a bad one… or maybe that’s exactly the time it should be required reading—at the beginning or in the middle of a battle.

I love the story of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20) and how when he was threatened by surrounding nations, he reminded himself and the people of who God is. He told God how helpless he felt in the face of these threats. God responded by giving Jahaziel prophetic encouragement for him. The Levites replied in praise “with voices loud and high.” And the next day, Jehoshaphat arranged his army in an unusual way:

 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
“Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.”
Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated (2 Chronicles 20:21,22)
Their praise moved God’s hand. Isn’t that wonderful?

In the light of that, maybe we could read, quote, and follow Psalm 47’s example of praise not just when things are good, but as part of our battle strategy. We could use it as a weapon of praise, a physical expression of faith (with clapping, singing, and speaking praise) reminding us of who God is.

PRAYER: Dear God, You are awesome and King over all Earth. Help me to remember this next time things aren’t going well with me, and give physical expression to my adoration of who You are and my faith in what you will and are doing with singing, praising, and clapping. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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