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By Rich Peterson

We went with the trumpet-playing priests – and the singers…They played and sang loudly under the direction of Jezrahiah the choir director. Many sacrifices were offered that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away (Nehemiah 12: 41-43, NLT).

One of the near misses as a couple came on an evening my wife and I participated in a very charismatic worship/concert experience. I don’t even remember the artist, but I do remember my wife (girlfriend at the time) wondering if she could remain with me after she thought I had raised my hands during one of the songs. I hadn’t, but it took some doing on my part to explain that it was actually the person sitting next to me that had done so.

Please understand that the lifting of hands was not an acceptable expression of corporate worship for either of us at that point in our faith journey.  We were not raised in that kind of worship environment.

In contrast, look at the ways the people of God engaged in celebrative worship: They marched around the wall, sang, and rejoiced with such gusto that neighbors from miles around heard the ruckus. In fact, Old Testament expressions of worship included singing, shouting, standing, kneeling, bowing, clapping, raising their hands, raising their heads, raising their voices, dancing – and nobody in the Old Testament could celebrate what we alive in the time after the NEW Testament can celebrate! We celebrate Jesus! We celebrate life in and through Him! We celebrate abundant and eternal life through our faith relationship with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

In the biblical view of worship only God SITS – He sits enthroned while worshippers kneel and stand and bow before him as a gesture of submission and servitude.

God sits enthroned while worshippers stand and sing and lift holy hands and hearts before Him as a gesture of praise and adoration!


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