I come from a pretty reserved lot. Swedish/Swiss/German. People groups not exactly known for their outbursts of enthusiasm. Oh, and then add that I’m basically an introvert who nearly died the other day when my car horn got stuck ON in the middle of rush hour traffic. Seriously, I was looking for a rock to hide under. Rocks big enough for me and my car were in short supply on the busiest route out of West Palm Beach at 5:00pm. I’ll do anything not to call attention to myself.
All that to say that when I came across a verse the other morning that talked about shouting joyfully, I was tempted to just write it off as a nice way to say we should be thankful that God is who He is. Surely, there’s not supposed to be literal shouting. Right?
And then I decided to really study it.
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Psalm 95:1-2
To “shout joyfully” comes from a Hebrew word that literally means to “give a ringing cry”. “Jubilant shouting” was another definition, and then there was “raise a sound, cry out, give a blast”.
An introvert’s bad dream. But on the other hand, even we introverts usually have no problem cheering for our favorite teams or giving a hearty round of applause for a great performance – maybe even a standing ovation. Doesn’t God deserve at least that?
We may be settled in faith traditions where public displays of worship aren’t all that common. And yet, maybe we need to shake things up a bit and not be so reserved in our gratitude and celebration of our God and King. We’re told to shout! Sing! Cry out! Be jubilant!
Don’t look for me to be dancing the aisles anytime too soon. But I’ll be thinking about those Israelites and their shouts of joy a little more often when I read through the Psalms. And if you do hear a shout, don’t panic. It might just be an introvert who broke loose when they found their joy.
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. Psalm 5:1
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! Psalm 47:1
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your King is coming to you! Zechariah 9:9