Make a Joyful Noise: What Did the Psalmist Mean?
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Make a Joyful Noise: What Did the Psalmist Mean?


The Psalms are a collection of religious songs, prayers, and poetry that have been cherished by believers for centuries. One of the most beloved themes found throughout the Psalms is the call to “make a joyful noise” to the Lord.

At first glance, this phrase may seem simple, but upon closer examination, it reveals profound insights into the nature of worship and our relationship with God.

In this blog post, we will explore what the Psalmist meant by making a joyful noise, and how it can shape our understanding of worship and praise.

The phrase “make a joyful noise” appears several times in the Psalms, but it is most famously found in Psalm 100. This Psalm serves as a powerful invitation to praise God and give thanks for His goodness and faithfulness.

As we delve deeper into the meaning of this phrase, we will discover that making a joyful noise is more than just singing or playing instruments; it is a profound expression of our love for God and our awe at His greatness.

Make a joyful noise: what did the psalmist mean?

The Importance of Praise and Worship

Worship is a central aspect of the Christian faith, as it allows believers to express their love, adoration, and reverence for God. Praise, on the other hand, is a form of worship that involves glorifying and thanking God for His goodness, grace, and mercy.

Throughout the Bible, we see various examples of how God’s people worshiped and praised Him. One of the most significant examples is found in the book of Psalms, where the authors often express their adoration for God through poetry, songs, and prayers.

Psalm 100 is a perfect example of a psalm dedicated to praise and worship. It begins with the exhortation to “make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!” (Psalm 100:1, NKJV).

This call to praise extends not only to the people of Israel but to all the nations of the earth, emphasizing the universality of worship and the recognition of God’s sovereignty over all creation.

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The Hebrew Word for “Joyful Noise”

To better understand the phrase “make a joyful noise,” it is essential to examine the Hebrew word used for it, which is “rua.” This word carries several meanings, such as “to shout,” “to raise a battle cry,” or “to sound an alarm.”

In the context of worship, “rua” suggests a passionate and exuberant expression of praise, reflecting the overflowing joy and gratitude that believers should feel when worshiping God.

For example, in Psalm 98:4, the Psalmist writes, “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises” (NKJV). This verse encourages us not only to sing praises but also to “shout joyfully,” indicating that our worship should be marked by a sense of enthusiasm and wholehearted devotion.

Musical Instruments in Worship

In many instances throughout the Psalms, the authors use the metaphor of musical instruments to describe their praise of God.

In Psalm 150, for example, the Psalmist calls for the use of various instruments, such as trumpets, harps, and tambourines, to praise God: “Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!” (Psalm 150:3-4, NKJV).

These verses highlight the importance of using music as a means of worship and praise. By incorporating various instruments, the Psalmist emphasizes the diverse and multifaceted nature of worship, inviting all people to participate in this joyful expression of love for God.

Using musical instruments in worship not only enriches the experience but also allows individuals with different talents and abilities to contribute to the collective praise of God.

Personal and Corporate Worship

Another essential aspect of making a joyful noise is the balance between personal and corporate worship. In some instances, the Psalms focus on individual expressions of praise, such as in Psalm 34:1, where the Psalmist declares, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (NKJV).

This verse emphasizes the importance of maintaining a personal attitude of worship and thanksgiving throughout our daily lives.

However, the Psalms also stress the value of corporate worship, as seen in Psalm 95:1-2, which reads, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms” (NKJV).

By using the plural pronoun “us,” the Psalmist invites all believers to join together in worship, highlighting the communal nature of praising God and the unity that it fosters among His people.

The Heart of Worship

Ultimately, making a joyful noise is about more than just singing songs or playing instruments; it is about the heart’s posture towards God. In Psalm 51:17, King David writes, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise” (NKJV).

This verse reveals that genuine worship comes from a heart that is humbled and surrendered before God, recognizing His greatness and our dependence on Him.


As we consider what it means to make a joyful noise, we must remember that true worship involves not only our voices and instruments but also our hearts and lives. We should strive to cultivate a heart that is passionate about praising God, filled with gratitude for His love and faithfulness, and fully devoted to His will.

In conclusion, making a joyful noise, as described by the Psalmist, is a multifaceted and profound expression of our worship and adoration for God.

By examining the Hebrew word “rua,” the use of musical instruments, and the balance between personal and corporate worship, we can gain a richer understanding of what it means to truly worship God with our whole being.

As believers, we are called to make a joyful noise to the Lord, not just through our songs and music, but also through our lives. Let us be intentional about cultivating a heart of worship that passionately and exuberantly praises God in all circumstances, both individually and as a community of believers.

And may our joyful noise be a pleasing offering to the Lord, a testament to His greatness, and an invitation for others to join in the celebration of His goodness and grace.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.