VERSE DISCOVERY: Psalm 95:1-7 (KJV, Public Domain)
Once, I had the privilege to attend a Christian concert. Oh, what a blessing and a joy for me to experience some of my favorite performers live in worship. It was a really awesome time.
Good, Christian music can have that effect on you. It may not change your situation, but it can change the atmosphere and how you feel about a situation. Christian music draws you in a realm of worship that can’t be experienced anywhere else.
Apparently, scrolling through my site I found that I have written quite of few things that involve singing, but one of my all times favorites that I have written is simply titled: “Sing!” and it goes like this:
“And I saw as it were . . . them that had gotten the victory . . . and they sing the song,” Revelation 15:2-3, KJV
Songs. Movements of the heart and soul. I don’t know how they come about. Do they start with words that won’t let the mind rest until the lyrics are expressed? Or, is it a tune, a melodious humming in one’s being that beckons to become more?
Songs come and go at any time and there’s one for every occasion. Most great songs come from one’s life experiences. Whether in good times or bad, happy or sad, the man inside calls for a tune to join the ceremony.
Songs express joy and times of rejoicing. A good song motivates one when it’s hard to push forward in life and lifts one out of times of sadness. We see the power of this type of inspiring music in 1 Samuel 16:23, when David played the harp before Saul and the evil spirit left him.
Music is no doubt powerful. The most precious and heart-felt songs come after times of hardship and struggles. When we have gone through the wringer of life, made it to the other side, and have squeezed out a heart that expresses gratefulness to God. Music that tells the world that yes, it was hard, but I made it to the other side. After crossing the Red Sea did not Miriam put a tambourine in her hand and say, “Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously,” (Exodus 15:21, KJV)?
In the book of Revelation, we see songs of deliverance going up before God. They had overcome “the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having harps of God,” (Rev. 15:2, KJV). And, what did they do? “They sing!” (Rev. 15:3, KJV). Their praise cannot be constrained any longer. They have never felt freer then when they had overcome. That kind of joy starts to seep out every crevice of one’s being until it pours over in song, releasing praise to God!
Music and songs are wrought throughout the Bible. The psalmist exhorts us to “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing,” (Ps. 100:1-2, KJV). When the Assyrians were prophesied to be destroyed, Isaiah 30:29 emphatically declares, “Ye shall have a song!” (KJV). When Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises, the earth quaked and prison doors were opened (Acts 16:25-26). After the Last Supper “they had sung a hymn,” (Mk. 14:26, KJV). James said, “Is any merry? let him sing psalms,” (Ja. 5:13, KJV).
I don’t have the best voice, but I have a praise in my soul that I have to let out!
I’m shy in front of other people, but I’m living to please an audience of one! It doesn’t have to be in front of a crowd (yikes!). A praise can wring out of your spirit at any time and in any place.
Give your heart – your spirit – your soul permission to rejoice. God has been so good to us – so, Sing!
You are an overcomer also. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us,” (Rom. 8:37, KJV).
Those in Revelations had every right to sing, and so do you. Just sing! He’s worthy of it today!” (www.wordforlifesays.com).
The focus of that article was singing and rejoicing; worshiping Him because He is worthy; because He has done so much for you and me. In it, you find the same call as today’s lesson to “Make a Joyful Noise!” coming from Psalm 95. If nobody else honors God, we the people of God should readily “Make a Joyful Noise!”
Make a Joyful Noise
Psalm 95:1 “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”
“O come,” to me, rings out an open invitation for all to participate in the worship of God. “Come” is beckoning the hearer to come nearer; to approach God in the manner specified in today’s lesson.
And, the manner specified is through song and “a joyful noise.” Yes, your prayers matter to God and your service also; but God is also attentive to your worship. A well-rounded Christian is active and alive and moving in all these areas.
Psalm 98 gives the same command to “make a joyful noise” and shows how that can be done through the voice and through instruments:
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King,” (Psalm 98:4-6).
Repeatedly in the Bible, we are commanded and shown that God alone is worthy of all our praise, honor, and glory. He deserves this and so much more. Praise and honor through song is something He expects from us and looks forward to. It’s like a love letter from us to Him. What an awesome perspective!
Now, I have written about the need to “make a joyful noise” enough in the introduction. Here, I want to focus on the word “unto.” “Unto” gives us direction to where this worship is to go.
There are many types of Psalms in the Bible. Some speak of confession and some of wisdom. Some tell history and some cry out against injustice. Some prophesy of the future Messiah and some, like today’s Psalm is considered a Royal Psalm. It is titled such because it declares the kingship of God. It is “unto” Him; it is “unto” the King, “the LORD” which we are commanded to “make a joyful noise.”
He is “the rock of our salvation.” “Rock” represents strength. It pictures one standing on a sure foundation that will not fail. I’m sure many are familiar with that old hymn that states: “On Christ, the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand,” (“My Hope is Built,” Edward Mote, 1834; Public Domain). 2 Samuel 22:32 asks, “For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?” God is “the rock of our salvation” and He is worthy to be praised!
Psalm 95:2 “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.”
“Come before his presence with thanksgiving” shows a grateful heart in action. One who knows not to take the goodness of the Lord for granted. One who dares not enter the place where He is or draws nigh unto Him without reverence for all that He has done for one in their life. Thanksgiving is not a holiday, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a life that knows apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15:5); a life that recognizes their need and dependence upon this great Salvation and can’t help but to say, “Thank You!”
In a previous article titled: “What Ever Happened to Thank You?” it was noted that “There is a great danger in forgetting to be thankful, especially when it comes to recognizing the great work that God has done in our lives… When one fails to appreciate what is done for them they, of themselves, can begin to get prideful. Simply refusing to acknowledge that there was outside help to raise them out of a situation can make one think they have delivered themselves of their own accord and power. Being thankful means being grounded. It is recognizing that we don’t have it all together as we think we do, and we need the assistance of another to help along the way.” (www.wordforlifesays.com)
When we enter His “presence” we are to do so with a grateful heart that doesn’t take His goodness for granted. The article goes on to say, “God is so gracious to us; let us not take Him for granted. We may slight our fellow man once in a while (which we also need to continually watch out for and learn to do better), but don’t slight God. Give Him His due. Is it really that hard to simply stop during the busyness of our day and say, “Thank you?” Does it really cause us that much extra work to simply acknowledge what has been done for you and me with an attitude of gratitude?” (www.wordforlifesays.com)
With that heart of gratitude, we are exhorted to once again “make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” Many know that “psalms” means songs. It shows us the real impact of God-honoring music during worship: He loves it!
For Our God is Great
Psalms 95:3 “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”
Deuteronomy 10:17 mightily declares, “For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.” God is the real thing! There are a lot of false and destructive forces that try to sway man away from the truth of God and His deity over all creation, but the fact of the matter is, He is the real deal. Everything begins and ends with Him. He is the authority over all. Therefore, He is the one worthy of praise.
Too many go through their day without ever considering the fact that hey, He is God, and He should be before all others. With that realization in hand, I want my life to reflect that great truth. I want every word, every action and every thought to magnify the greatness of who He is and all His glory. When I go about my day, I want people to see Him in me. Do I make mistakes? Oh, yeah! But I have a goal. I aspire to do better and to be better every day. God has been so good and wonderful to me, and I feel that as His child the least I can do is showing Him the honor due Him.
“Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,” (Ps. 29:1-2). These two verses have been among favorites of mine for many years now. When you think of “giving to the Lord” one realizes just how futile our efforts can be because of His vast greatness. But, something that each of us can give is honor and praise because He is God!
Psalm 95:4-5 “In his hands are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.”
Another of the Royal Psalms that really emphasizes the truth of this verse is Psalm 24 that opens declaring, “The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods,” (vss. 1-2). He “founded”, and He “established” along with the phrase from today’s lesson “he made it: and his hands formed” really expresses His all-powerful supreme rule over all creation. The word “his” showed here four times, along with the word “he” declares His ownership over all. He did it, not we. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” (Genesis 1:1). Therefore, He should be praised and honored.
We, His People, Worship Him
Psalm 95:6-7 “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand…”
Here, the psalmist reemphasizes the call to “come, let us worship.” Worshipping God is something that cannot be overemphasized. It’s something that we can’t exhaust. It’s something that we better get used to because it will be happening all over heaven for all eternity.
To “bow down” and “kneel” shows honor to the one who receives this form of respect. We often see this in the realm of royalty and would aptly be applied here in a Royal Psalm to Him that is King above all the world and all kings of the world.
Oh, how quickly we tune in when we see royalty on display. Events revolving around those who belong to royal heritage gain our attention when we see their pageantry on display. As people come out in celebration and crowds gather around their televisions worldwide, we take a peek into the lives of those whom we know only afar off, and we watch their beautiful display of majesty on parade (at least on a human level). The celebrations are grand as the people cheer and look on with fascination.
The pageantry that God deserves is far greater “for he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” We belong to Him and should want to celebrate Him in a manner that is higher than any earthly royalty could ever experience. He is the one who watches over our affairs. He is the one who comes to our rescue when we need help. He is the one who cares enough to let His only begotten Son die on the cross because of our mess-ups and mistakes. He did that for us all. Celebrate Him! “For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth,” (Psalm 74:12). Celebrate Him! “O come, let us worship!”
“We are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” God has often been identified as our Shepherd. Psalm 23:1 says, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” He is the only one who can care for His people as He does. God loves you and you belong to Him. He is in love with His flock and declares them as His. “And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the LORD GOD,” (Ezekiel 34:31).
If you are not a member of His flock, I urge you to make that change today. Don’t let another opportunity go by without Him as your protector, your provider, your salvation and your Shepherd. There’s too much at stake. “He is our God” and He can be your God today as well. Turn to Him, give Him praise, and make a joyful noise before your God!
PDF Printable Sunday School Lesson Pack (With easy to read instructions following the P.E.A.R.L. format on how to conduct each lesson with areas for adding personal notes): Sunday School Lesson – Make a Joyful Noise
Adult Journal Page: Adult Journal Page – Psalm of Praise
Kid’s Journal Page: Kid’s Journal Page – Psalm of Praise
Blank Journal Pages: Blank Adult and Kid’s Journal Pages
Draw the Scene: Joyful Noise Draw the Scene
“Make A Joyful Noise Microphone Craft”: Here is a craft that will surely inspire your younger students to sing and make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Basic craft instructions can be found here, although there are many versions out there. After following the basic construction of the craft, print out the PDF: Make A Joyful Noise Toilet Paper Roll Cover. Have students color, decorate, and attach to the toilet paper roll. Ball up aluminum foil into a tight ball or use a Styrofoam ball covered in glitter (can be done in advance) and attach to the top of the roll with regular or hot glue, or tape. Below is a version I did. Enjoy!
“Printable Microphones:” If you like the idea of using a microphone theme but don’t have time or resources, use this printable for students to cut out and decorate (cardstock works best or glue cut out to construction paper, cereal boxes, or cardboard). Attach the memory verse to the back and your students are ready to rock out for God. Enjoy! PDF: Printable Mircrophones (Use this link for accurate printing)
“Making a Joyful Noise Instruments” Though our lesson focuses on singing, making a joyful noise is made with instruments in Psalms 98:6 it says, “With trumpets and the sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.” Below are ideas to praise God with instruments. Enjoy!
“Homemade Kazoo Craft” from Preschool Crafts for Kids (Below is a sample done by my daughter 🙂 ):
“Water Bottle Shakers” from Thecraftingchicks.com (Decorate outside any way you wish and fill with beads, beans or whatever. Very easy project to help the children “Praise the Lord!” Again, done by my daughter 🙂 ):
“Straw Pan Flute” from Classic-play.com
“A Heart of Worship” from Ministry to Children
“Let the World Praise the Lord” from Ministry to Children
“Praise the Lord” from Childrensministry.com
“Why Do We Praise God?” from Kidssundayschool.com
“Praising God with Your Hands” from Ezinearticles.com
“I Will Praise God” Coloring Page from Twistynoodle.com
“Sing Praise to the Lord” Coloring Page from Lessons4sundayschool.com
“Sing Unto the Lord” Coloring Pages from Childrens Gems in MY Treasure Box
“Praise the Lord” Coloring Page from Church House Collection
“When We Praise God” Coloring Page from Hem of His Garment