The Diamond of Praise – Macha (Creation Claps!)

The Diamond of Praise – Macha (Creation Claps!)

 A Facet of Praise – Macha (Creation Claps!)

“The area of ancient Israel’s greatest creativity, and so what they did best, was the praise of God.” (Ellen Davis, Getting involved with God).

Macha – A Hebrew praise word that means to clap, to strike your hands together. This term of worship occurs only twice in the Hebrew Bible, in Psalm 98:8 and Isaiah 55:12, and both passages reveal nature in the midst of worshiping God. The Jewish worshipers were so intent on God receiving praise that they delightfully invited all of nature to worship Him! They, with their fertile imaginations, imagined that creation itself, God’s handiwork, is able to praise their Maker. Who’s to say they are wrong?

”For you shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap (macha) their hands…”  (Isaiah 55:12); “Let the rivers clap (macha) their hands! Let the mountains sing together for joy before the Lord! (Psalm 98:8).

SCIENCE FACT: Atoms, the building blocks of all created matter on the earth, are all comprised of impossibly small particles that have synchronized movement. They have an innate knowledge that enables them to cooperate in a natural “dance.” God created them with the ability to move together faster than the speed of light. Electrons move so fast that an electron could race around the earth in eighteen seconds. Scientists have discovered that each atom is “extremely turbulent,” that these particles in the atom “move and interact endlessly.” Surprisingly, these particles all seem to “vibrate coherently.” This discovery of coordinated movement in the atoms suggests that there may be a mysterious intuitive consciousness even at the cellular level in all of creation. Evidently, even inanimate objects have movement and are animate at that basic level.

The great Christian novelist Flannery O’Connor once suggested that we need to discover “a way of reading nature which includes the most possibilities.” Might any of these statements be among those “possibilities”?

(1.) The movement at the cellular level is a form of creaturely self-expression; this “self” is foreign to human experience or knowledge;

(2.) The synchronized movement of the electrons and protons are their form of dancing, of rejoicing, of being expressive according to the way God created them;

(3.) Each cellular particle of every part of creation is vibrating with joy in praise of their Creator, rejoicing in its own existence, and dancing to God’s rhythm;

(4.) All of creation has been blessed to have its own relationship with God; each creature has its own unique way of communicating with God, even at the level of the atom’s inner particles; nature has its own “language” that God can understand;

(5.) Since all of creation is able to “groan” (Romans 8:19-22) under the fall’s curse, creation is thus able to rejoice, now and with the future restoration;

(6.) God’s creation is mysterious to humans to the point that it contains elements that are at the same time fact and symbol, reality and imagination, flights of natural fancy that are so elegant and “perfect” that they must be true;

(7.) Trees are clapping their hands at the subatomic level, expressing joy in their own way, unbeknownst to humans; trees clapping and mountains singing are a “living reality” according to Christian poet and scientist Virginia Stem Owens;

(8.) The following may be literally true, and not a mere metaphor, picturesque language or poetic license:

“Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; and let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’ Let the sea roar and all its fullness; let the field rejoice, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth.”  (1 Chronicles 16:31-33).

“You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance. They drip on the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy, and they also sing.” (Psalm 65:11-13).

“Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Shout for joy, you lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Israel and glorified Himself in Zion!” (Isaiah 44:23).

“The beast of the field will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:20).

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens! Praise Him from the skies! Praise Him, all the armies of heaven! Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars! Praise him, skies above! Praise Him, vapors high above the clouds! Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for he issued His command, and they came into being. He set them in place forever and ever. His decree will never be revoked… (Psalm 148:1-6);

Praise the Lord from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths, fire and hail, snow and clouds, wind and weather that obey Him, mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all livestock, small scurrying animals and birds, kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth, young men and young women, old men and children… (Ps. 148:7-12);

“Let them all praise the name of the Lord. For His name is very great; His glory towers over the earth and heaven!” (Psalm 148:13).

The Scripture seems to take seriously the idea that all creation is able to rejoice, to praise God and worship Him, from the smallest creature to the kings of the earth. As author and writing Professor Laurel Lee once wrote, “Some things have to be believed to be seen.”

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; Let the sea resound, and all that is in it! Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord! (Psalm 96:11-13).