My wife Pam and I came to Christ during the Jesus Movement, a very significant move of the Holy Spirit that touched millions of people all over the world—people who are still following Christ today. One of the features of the Jesus Movement, at least in my area of Virginia, was strong Bible teaching. As teenagers, we would sit all day in rapt attention, taking notes as Bible teachers opened the Scriptures to us. Another feature of the movement was “praise” songs. These were not merely contemporary songs about Jesus—they were scripture set to music. And surprisingly, the lyrics were often taken directly from the King James Version of the Bible. That combination of teaching and music gave us a solid grounding in the Scriptures. Music has always been a part of the God-worship experience. Today, let’s join in as one of the great worship leaders of all time speaks to us through one of his psalms.
Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth. God has ascended with a mighty shout. The Lord has ascended with trumpets blaring. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm! God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. The rulers of the world have gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For all the kings of the earth belong to God. He is highly honored everywhere. (Psalm 47: 1-2, 5-9 NLT)
Wow! David was an enthusiastic guy, don’t you think? In today’s passage David encourages us to be enthusiastic, too. Let’s listen to it again: “Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth.” Is this anything like your worship service last Sunday? Maybe not, but this kind of praise is appropriate. Why? Because God actually is awesome! The word “awesome” is a word we hear often in our day: the food is awesome; one day at the park was awesome; the weather yesterday was awesome. But those things aren’t really awesome, it’s God who is really awesome! David says, “He is a great King of all the earth!” Then he says, “God reigns above the nations!” Then David gets even more specific: “All the kings of the earth belong to God!” Did you know that? So we praise God, not because of how we feel, but because He is truly worthy of such praise.
This morning, no matter how you feel, stop whatever less important thing you are doing and take a few moments to turn your heart and hands toward God. Praise Him for Who He is…the AWESOME King of the Universe!