Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! 2 For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. 3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. 4 He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
5 God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm![a]
8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. 9 The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!
This Psalm celebrates the ultimate rule of God over all the earth and all the peoples of the earth. When we realize this, there is but one response, and that is utter joy. We turn our eyes away from the corrupt rulers of the world and fix our eyes on Jesus. When we realize that all shall be well under his rule, we sing, shout and clap.
Interestingly, there is a command to celebrate. I think we often wait for something immediate that we can see, feel, and touch before we rejoice. What the Psalm declares is not yet realized. The eternal kingdom of God is yet to be fully revealed, but it is real none the less. It is in celebrating that we begin to touch that kingdom and jar our minds into seeing what is unseen and yet is as real as the ground we are standing on.
Enter into this celebration! Clap, sing, shout the praises of this King. How else could we possibly respond?
What part does exuberant celebration play in your worship? Think about the reign of Christ and clap, sing and shout to your Lord.
O Lord, I am far too tepid and cerebral when I think of you. Help me to develop a heart of worship that expresses itself outwardly and joyfully. I will clap, sing, and shout for you are the King over all the earth! Amen.