“David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.” (1 Chronicles 15:16 ESV)
“So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, to the sound of the horn, trumpets and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres.” (1 Chronicles 15:28 ESV)
“Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!” (Psalm 47:1 ESV)
“Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!” (Psalm 150:5 ESV)
The “clashing” sound in Hebrew is meant to conjure up the sound of a battle cry. A loud, blaring trumpet, calling the troops to charge. I think worship music is meant to do the same thing, which I’ve written about here.
And the harmony of voices in Revelation is so loud it sounds like a thunder storm. It’s still loud.
“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, ’Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.’” (Revelation 19:6–8 ESV)
The music at Redeemer Church is crazy good. We are blessed with very talented musicians and sound engineers. Our worship leader is a beast. I feel like we strike the great balance of great, tastefully-loud music, hymns and some of the best songs of today. I always sit in the front row. And I can hear everyone singing because their voices are rushing over my head. I love it.
But Turn That Down to Turn It UP
Here’s what we all need to turn down—our flesh. Let’s remember that worship is never about us. You may not like a particular song, but if it is solid lyrically, and the church can worship God together, just zip it. Shut it. Crucify your flesh. Worship is not about you. Put your brothers and sisters above your self-interests, unless you want a time of God-centered worship to be about little ol’ you. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3–4). Turn down all complaining, and crank up your worship (Phil. 2:14).
At the end of the service, if Christ is honored and proclaimed, whether it’s just a piano or those electric guitars, “in that you should rejoice” (Phil. 1:18).