June 19, 2014
READ: Psalm 150:1-6
Praise Him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals (v.5).
In an instructional video, Neil Percy, lead percussionist for the London Symphony Orchestra, demonstrates the proper technique for holding cymbals to generate the the loudest noise possible. He begins by holding the cymbals vertically just below his waist. He clashes them together while moving them skyward. Then he ends with both hands extended over his head, the cymbals reverberating joyfully in the air above him. The biggest strokes on the cymbals, he says, might be used in a symphony “[at] the heights of a crescendo, or the combination of a really big stream of notes.”
Clanging cymbals also show up in what could be considered the “grand finale” of the book of Psalms. In the last psalm, the author encourages us to “Praise [God] with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals” (Psalm 150:5). Although the author mentions other instruments, the cymbals have an extra moment in the spotlight since they’re mentioned two times in one verse!
This psalm encourages us to get excited about God. It gives us permission to worship God with zeal and energy—He alone deserves it! We’re to “praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequalled greatness!” (v.2).
Just as it’s impossible to clash a pair of cymbals in a casual way, so also true worship of God cannot be casual. Whether our praise occurs outwardly in the language of music, or inwardly in the depths of our being, fully engaging our hearts with God shouldn’t be a humdrum experience. There are times when we need to be still and reflect on His greatness (Psalm 46:10), but He always deserves a true connection with our souls and the full and joyful expression of our passion for Him! —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
John 3:1-21 ‹365-day plan
Look up Ezra 3:10 to see how cymbals were used in conjunction with the building of the temple. Read Psalm 99:1-5 to fuel your praise and worship of God.
What might prevent you from coming into God’s presence with joyful energy? What kind of things are you passionate about, and how do these things compare with God?