God Hears: Shouts!

God Hears: Shouts!

God Hears: Shouts!

Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel!”  (Isaiah 12:6, BCP).

SHOUT, from the Hebrew word ruwa – to mar or break; figuratively, to split the ears or break the eardrums with sound; the making of a loud noise; used by soldiers just before rushing into battle, a battle cry; the signal used to begin the battle with an enemy; used by worshipers as a cry of joy and adoration; an expression of victory or triumph over an enemy; a spontaneous expression of praise and exultation.

Sometimes our best prayers don’t have words. Sometimes our most heart-felt prayers to God are punctuated without language. And God lovingly listens to every nonverbal prayer. Shouting has been one of those expressive nonwords that are as effective as language. Shouts, sudden and loud outcries, as an individual or in a group, are exclamation points to heightened emotions and meaningful thoughts. Consider that the Lord will return with a shout (1 Thess. 4:16). Consider that we will all shout for joy when His glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:13). Consider the momentous defeat of Jericho, when the soldiers and priests marched around the city walls and brought the walls down with a thunderous shout directed by Yahweh. Consider that “David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.” (2 Samuel 6). What do those wordless shouts sound like? Maybe an extended “O!”, or a “yay!“, or perhaps an ancient version of the classic guttural “booyah!” Perhaps these days a joyful shout could simply be a loud “Yes!

How many times in the Psalms are we instructed to cry out, to give a shout? Too many times to recount here… Shout for joy! Shout with passion! Shout to God with the raucous sounds of joy! Lift up your shout to God! Make a joyful shout! Shout joyfully to the Rock! Shout out your praises! Shout with a voice of triumph! Make a joyful noise! David and the psalmists were unafraid to show emotion in their praise of Yahweh. And shouting was just another way of expressing their praise of God without the use of words.