What Does it Mean to ‘Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord’?

There are several places in the Bible that talk about making a joyful noise unto the Lord. It can be read in Psalm 66:1, 95:1–2; 100:1, 1 Chronicles 15:16, and in Psalm 100:1-5, as it is written:

A psalm. For giving grateful praise. Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100 is one of the most gritting and lucid verses that specifically talks about praising God through joyful noises.

So, what does it really mean? In order to understand this passage, let’s analyze the five lines one by one.

1. Shout for Joy to the Lord, All the Earth

Psalm 100:1 is a bold statement that also emphasizes shouting a loud call, this verse means that the joyful noise should be a declaration of God’s name. It can include outward expressions of praise.

Modern praising uses different kinds of ways to interpret this particular verse. Some denominations would prefer singing and praising with a decent sound while others praise and glorify using different bands and performances — almost concert-like.

Exodus 15:20-21 reveals that praise can be in the form of dancing and instruments, “Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.’”

However, there is a very important factor to praising and that is that no matter the style of praising, it is important to always put God at the center rather than putting oneself in His place.

Everything should for the greater glory of God and not for the glory of men as emphasized in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

So, the next time we sing joyful songs whether in an a cappella, with music accompaniment, or with a band, let us first check to see if we are praising to show our talent or to praise God alone.

If it is to show our talent on stage, then we are praising in a manner that is not pleasing to God. But if we are praising God’s greater glory, then we are doing the right thing. It is a matter of the heart.

2. Worship the Lord with Gladness

Come before Him with joyful songs (Psalm 100:2).

This second part of the entire passage of Psalm 100 talks about being joyful while praising. Joy is emphasized in this verse and it refers to joyful songs.

Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit, as mentioned in Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” There is a big difference between and joy and happiness.

Joy goes beyond happiness, seeking God rather than our own contentedness. This verse tells us that it is important for us to worship God with joy.

In 2 Samuel 6:14, it says, “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might.” David’s joy is unmistakable when praising the Lord. He was dancing and giving his all to the Lord.

This is one example of joyful praise. Another example is in 2 Chronicles 15:14, as it is written, “They took an oath to the Lord with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns.” They used trumpets and horns to praise the Lord and the Lord alone.

They never really did it so that other people would praise them for their ways. Instead, they used trumpets and horns in order to praise the Lord without selfish ambition.

3. Know That the Lord Is God

It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3).

This next verse reminds us that God is our Good Shepherd and that we are his pasture. That is reason enough to praise Him.

Genesis 1:1 is a continuous reminder that we are created by God and that we belong to Him, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

God owning us means that He is also our supporter and our shepherd. That is why we should praise him joyfully!

4. Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving and His Courts with Praise

Give thanks to him and praise his name (Psalm 100:4).

The fourth verse of Psalm 100 talks about us praising God’s name as we enter His gates of heaven. In 1 Kings 8:22, Solomon’s ways were a perfect example of continually praising God during prayer.

He spread out his hands in praying as a sign that he accepts God as his center, “Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spreading out his hands toward heaven.”

Joyful noise also means that our way of praising should be fitting in God’s eyes, which means that God is at the center of our hearts, and He alone is the reason for praising (1 Corinthians 14). In joyful praising, it is also best that we encourage others to praise God as well.

One example of encouraging others to praise God is found in Acts 16:25, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Paul was praising God as others were listening to Him and this matters to God.

5. For the Lord Is Good and His Love Endures Forever

His faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100:5).

The passage ends by acknowledging hope from God Himself and assurance that God will love us forever.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we can read that we have to praise God in whatever circumstances that we are in because He is always on our side, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

The last passage in Psalm 100 is the same — it talks about God’s faithfulness to us even if at times when we are unfaithful to God.

The last verse of Psalm 100 is one of the most inspiring verses in the Psalms. It is supported in another verse found in 1 Chronicles 16:34, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” We should always be grateful to God for loving us through joyful praise.

The meaning of making a joyful noise to the Lord is that we should praise God and God alone when we worship. We can use our own voice, hymns, and instruments. We can do it loudly so others can hear, or we can bring the noise just in our heads.

What matters is that we don’t praise God for the sake of making ourselves look better or talented. Instead, we should praise God because He is amazing, and He alone is the reason for our joy.

For further reading:

Does God Expect Us to Pray without Ceasing?

What Are the Psalms of Praise?

Why Do Christians Sing Praise and Worship Songs?

What Does it Mean to Praise God?

What Is the Difference Between Joy and Happiness?

How Do You Delight Yourself in the Lord When Your Joy Is Waning?

What Is the Difference Between Talent and Spiritual Gifts?

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Glory Dy has been a content creator for more than 10 years. She lives in a quiet suburb with her family and four cats.

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