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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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"The Voice Of A Great Multitude"
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise" (Psalm 98:4). "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!' Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory" (Revelation 19:6,7).
Note: The first part of today's message may not connect with all readers. The Bible exposition begins in the fourth paragraph.
Last night I (Stephen) watched a portion of the NFL Monday Night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots. Having grown up in the Kansas City area and then living in New England for several years in the nineties I had a geographical interest and loyalty to both teams. I went to the very first football game ever played in Arrowhead stadium, the home of the Chiefs, on August 12, 1972 (a pre-season game against what was then Saint Louis Cardinals).
Arrowhead Stadium, a huge concrete venue, is conducive to making lots of noise. The Chiefs won their game last night which was good for their season record, but Kansas City fans set another record that doesn't usually go down in the playbooks. Arrowhead Stadium is officially the loudest outdoor stadium in the world with registration by Guinness World Records who had a decibel meter at the game. Last night the crowd registered a 142.2 on the decibel scale, surpassing the 137.6 registered by a Seattle Seahawks crowd set at CenturyLink Field last season.
How loud is 142.2 decibels? Louder than a jet engine at takeoff! According to one chart I read even short term exposure of levels over 140 can cause permanent damage which is the loudest recommended exposure with hearing protection. Actually the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) consider 115 decibels for any time period to be dangerous.
Today's first Scripture text is a jubilant call to praise by the Psalmist: "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise." The singing of our praises to God is an ancient call which many of us still participate in both in public worship and in our own private expressions of praise. This call goes out to "all the earth". Some of us (Stephen) who have not been gifted with a pleasant singing voice can still make a "joyful noise" as we melodically worship God, though one day I'll join the mighty chorus in heaven where I believe we'll all be great singers!
Today many concerts are loaded with special effects stimulating the senses audiologically and visually; light shows, fog machines, scores of screens with rapidly changing images. I actually find these types of shows bring on the jitters for me with a thumping in my chest in timing with the thundering bass. And my hearing, well, it's on decibel overload, that's for sure. (By the way, according to the decibel charts a rock concert is at about 110 decibels. See the link to decibel chart below.)
The passage in Revelation is a glimpse of a future praise service with this awesome description, "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings." Now these are words that convey a sense of awe when multitudes of voices unite in one great chorus giving off resounding praise like that of nature's sound effects. Though it is described as "mighty thunderings" I am sure this great heavenly concert will be at just the right volume for all who join in!
What an amazing concert this will be. It seems to me "the voice of a great multitude" will not be that of trained musicians but rather the redeemed. It will be "as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings." In my mind I picture being near Niagara Falls during a loud thunder storm.
This great voice will be making a great declaration, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!" This line is the centerpiece of Handel's "Hallelujah" chorus and is also a major theme in Christian music through the ages right up to own age. Consider the presently popular song, "Agnes Dei".
Today as we contemplate the absolute truth of God's reign and anticipate by faith the ultimate heavenly concert, "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory!"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You declare through the Psalmist that everything that has breath is to give You the praise, and so we respond by saying, "Praise the Lord!" Though we know in our spirit that You reign supreme and nothing misses Your attention, traveling here below in this sin-filled, troubled world we can easily lose sight of You, our Lord God omnipotent who reigns over the affairs of Your creation. Today we exalt Your name, give You the praise that is due, by rejoicing in who You are and giving You the glory due Your name. Be exalted, O Lord, among the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Sunday afternoon we took a bike ride down the new Chiques rail trail along the Susquehanna River. The new trail head is less than 5 miles from our home.
A new bridge spans the Chiques Creek as it discharges into the Susquehanna River
At the Chiques Creek there is a dam upstream with a waterfall like spillway.
We passed by the base of the Chiques Rock where rock climbers enjoy the steep cliff (in my view though for pros this is probably the equivalent of a hill). We have been to the top of this bluff many times but this was our first visit to the base.
There's a lesson here but haven't developed it yet. This tree appears to have attached to the rock on the bluff.
Old ruins to a 19th century ironmaking operation.
The trail uses an abandoned rail tunnel.
The trail runs right along a main Norfolk Southern railroad which at times provides some great shots for those (like me) who enjoy trains.
Near Columbia the trail passes through a Norfolk Southern rail yard with lots of interesting railroad equipment.
We turned around at the River Park in Columbia and viewed the historic Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River. This coming Saturday the bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic for a large festival known as BridgeBust with activities all across the bridge.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"I Sing Praises To Your Name!" Video
"Agnus Dei - Hallelujah, Hallelujah, For our Lord God Almighty Reigns" Video Michael W. Smith
Chart of decibel levels for common noises
"Why being the 'world's loudest stadium' is a bad idea" Interesting article
"Churches try to make peace over loud music" Another interesting article. What's with all the super loud music in churches?
Rail trail on map
Columbia is listed in Smithsonian Magazine in "The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014"
Here's a photo from the top of the Chiques bluff.
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