“To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm. Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.”
How many times have you heard about singing in church that we should be singing whether we have great voices or not? We probably hear someone encourage us to just make a joyful noise unto the Lord quite often. Many have probably heard it said in a humorous way when someone missed a note or was singing way off key. But what does it really mean? I heard a worship team member at a church tell me how they make a joyful noise. They did not have great confidence in their ability to sing.
The word “joyful noise” is translated from the Hebrew word rûa‛ pronounced roo-ah’. The Strong’s Lexicon defines it as:
“A primitive root; to mar (especially by breaking); figuratively to split the ears (with sound), that is, shout (for alarm or joy): – blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph.”
I really like that part about splitting the ears. I have a hard time singing out loudly, especially when the song is not in a comfortable key for me. When I am alone I can belt out all kinds of tunes. I will admit that I am even embarrassed to purposely sing in front of my wife. However, I make up goofy songs all the time and sing them. They are usually about poking fun at something. Our two dogs are often targets of my little ditties. If it just me and the dogs at home, I will sing loudly. The dogs just look at me funny.
Then there are the times my wife will put me on the spot to remind her how a serious song goes and I just cannot find my voice. On top of that, I have a serious problem with my voice. I can only talk or sing for a few minutes before I get a bad pain in my throat. I begin to cough and then my voice is not right for several hours.
Up until I actually saw the definition of “joyful noise” I pretty much thought it best to leave the singing to those who can do it well. After all, who wants to be the object of a sideways look or that closing of eyes so tightly you know the person is trying to close their ears by closing their eyes. It is the same face people make when one runs their nails down a blackboard. Yes! That one you just made!
Taking a close look at the definition has me thinking that maybe all the good singers I have heard in my life who sing praises unto the Lord have been doing it all wrong. Okay, I’m kidding. Of course the Lord honors praises sung to him that come from the lips of those who have practiced and learned to sing well. Those who sing praise in that manner are a joy to us and the Lord. However, the truth of the matter is that the singer who in his heart is truly praising God is heard by the Lord as if his voice were perfect.
Think about it. The voice we have is made of flesh. The vocal chords in the voice box in your throat are just human tissue. The lungs that force the air over those vocal chords are just flesh. The spiritual being (YOU) who is taking control and driving that flesh to live out Godly purpose is the part that will remain. It is the YOU that will go to be with the Lord one day. It is the YOU that will be clothed upon with a new body one day.
Regardless of the the ability or disability we have in the voice of flesh, we should all stand and make that joyful noise. Go ahead . . . Split some ears!