“And the sound was heard far away.” Ezra 3:13b (NIV)
Noise travels, especially when it’s loud! We live about 3 miles from Sanford Stadium at UGA. On Game Day we can hear the sounds of cheering, the band and the sound system blaring to the nearly 100,000 people in the stands. When Ezra finished laying the foundation of the second Temple the people gathered to celebrate and worship, and to weep. It says the sound could be heard at a distance. When Moses was coming down from the mountain top he could hear the roar of his rebellious people who had fallen away while he was gone. They were partying with all their might, and apparently making quite a racket (Exodus 32).
Recently I wrapped up a few months marinating in the word “loud” as found in the many passages in the Bible. It all started around thinking of heaven. The sights and the SOUNDS, are always dramatic, thunderous and LOUD! I totally came out of this seeing that quiet, passive worship, though may have a place in contemplation, is not meant for corporate worship! And it doesn’t matter what we feel about it, God likes it loud! Worship is not about our preferences and likes. It is for God!
In the Book of Revelation, we constantly find “mighty angels” having to shout their announcements and decrees. Their authority is not found in the volume of their proclamation. They could have released it with a whisper. They shouted it because it was needed to be heard over the loud thunderous voice coming from the Throne and the multitudes worshipping before Him!
Likewise, I believe our corporate worship and prayer is meant to be loud. We are told to shout for joy and to enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise (Ps 100:1-2). I’m not simply talking about the volume of the worship team, I am referring to each of us as worshippers! Our passive non-emotional worship is simply a symptom of where our hearts are! To worship the One who is worthy, who gave His life for us on a rugged cross, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, with our hands in our pockets, mouthing a few of the words is a pathetic display, perhaps a mockery to Him! Come on Church, give Him your all!
May our worship be so loud that it is heard and felt in the neighborhoods around our churches! May we come out of our corporate worship and prayer gatherings with our voices a bit hoarse from our shouting unto the Lord!
Pray that as churches gather for worship, that God would release a cry in their hearts and voices with a loud shout with all their might for Him and His glory. Pray that His people would worship Him loudly and wholeheartedly. Pray that the shock waves of our loud prayer and worship would resonate across our city, through neighborhoods, over school campuses, shaking walls and foundations in homes and businesses, and awakening those churches still slumbering! Thank Him for the privilege to shout for joy unto the Lord with all your heart!