Words from the Heart for Saturday May 27th, 2017
O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
Psalm 47:1 (KJV)
Clap Your Hands
There is nothing disrespectful about this loud worship! Our God is a great God of victory. Something happens when we begin to celebrate openly what He has done. Ask the Lord to give you a voice of victory. Then, become part of the shout praising our conquering King!
In June of 2016, the Liberals in the House of Commons decided to quit clapping. It was an attempt to increase the decorum during Question Period. Meanwhile, in the British Columbia Legislature, independent MPP Vicki Huntington brought forward a motion to do away with applause in that chamber. Not only did the attempt fall flat, but she received the loudest cheer of her political career. Huntington said she could only smile as her plea to ban applause in British Columbia’s often raucous legislature was met with deafening applause and prolonged desk thumping from a chamber packed with cheering Liberals and New Democrats. It’s not that she is opposed to clapping for a good speech. But she said that clapping and back slapping take up too much time in the 30 minutes allotted for question period each day.
The clapping of hands to express appreciation, or praise, or joy, is universal. It happens in every culture that I have experienced, on every continent I have visited. And I’ve been to all of them except Antarctica, where I’ve seen movies of penguins clapping! Clapping of hands is not only universal, it appears to be ancient. King David gives this command in Psalm 47:1: “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” We clap our hands for all sorts of human experiences – at a concert, a sports venue, a graduation. Clapping expresses joy, appreciation, praise, support. And we are called to express all of these emotions when it comes to our relationship with God. When our sins are forgiven and we experience the joy that Jesus brings to our lives, we want to clap. When we realize all that the Lord has done for us, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude, we clap. My sense here is that this isn’t a command. Clapping is a natural response to all that the Lord means to us. I think what David is giving here is encouragement. Go ahead and clap. Don’t hold back. Let your praise naturally flow out of you, through clapping and shouting. We here in Canada tend to be a reserved people. So we should heed Paul’s encouragement. When we get excited about what the Lord has done, clap and shout with a voice of triumph.
These have been words from the heart.