When the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke the multitudes who were praising Him, Jesus answered, “I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40).
It’s said that when scientists break down the matter that comprises our universe, it actually contains some musical molecules. The Bible speaks of trees clapping their hands in praise, and oceans and the mountains exalting God. All of creation is designed to praise Him. And when you don’t, there’s a connection with God that’s not made, and an emptiness within you that nothing else can fill.
David said, “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:2). Here the word prayer in Hebrew means songs of praise, and the Bible uses it no less than 72 times in this context. So start singing praise to God.
The ark of the covenant represented three things: victory, guidance, and God’s presence. No wonder Israel felt lost without it. But observe how they brought it back from the camp of their Philistine foes: “Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels” (1 Chronicles 13:8). Notice the phrase, with all their might. Away with pale, pathetic, halfhearted praise. Put your heart and soul into it.
Worship brings intimacy with God. When it came to rebuilding Jerusalem, the singers were as vital to the success of the operation as the soldiers and builders. Their role was so important they were paid to do it. So start praising God.
The psalmist said, “His praise will always be on my lips” (Psalms 34:1).
The book of Job speaks about the rain cycle: “He maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapor thereof: Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly. Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds or the noise of his tabernacle?” (Job 36:27-29).
There is a spiritual parallel in this Scripture that works like this: as our vapors of praise go up to God, the clouds of His presence form and the rains of His blessing begin to fall on us. Sometimes we leave church saying, “That was a dry service.” The problem isn’t dry services; it’s dry servants. In praise you are the initiator and God is the responder.
“They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise...the Lord...they raised their voices...At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God (2 Chronicles 5:12-14).”
Wouldn’t you love to have been in church for that service? There’s a story about a wealthy man who dropped a dollar into the offering plate at church, then complained all the way home that he didn’t get anything out of the service. His son, who observed the whole thing, said, “I guess that just proves if you don’t put much into it, you don’t get much out of it.”
Here’s a key to blessing you need to think about: worship isn’t just for God’s benefit, it’s also for yours.
Gil Kinney is pastor of Real Life Assembly Church in Fort Mill.