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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Williams


“Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence.” Psalm 89:15

What is this call to worship? In Hebrew, it is teruah - a shout of joy, praise or triumph. Interestingly, the same word is used as a war or battle cry. 

This shout is an acclamation of joy or a sound of alarm. It comes from the root word rua - to split the ears with sound! This shout isn’t a wimpy little thing. No, this is the shout that comes when your team just won the World Series or the harsh, angry, piercing growls of troops storming into battle. 

King Cyrus allowed the exiles to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. When the builders had completed the foundation, the priests took their places to blow their trumpets. The Levites (the worship leaders) clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord. “With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.” Ezra 3:11 They shouted - teruah - an acclamation of joy.

In Joshua 6, the Lord told Joshua that he would deliver the city of Jericho into their hands. But first the army must quietly march around the city once each day for six days. According to the Lord’s instruction, “Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!”” ‭‭Joshua‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

On the seventh day, Joshua instructed them to circle the city seven times. And, when the priests sound the trumpet blast, to shout for the Lord has given them the city. Just as the Lord had said, they shouted - teruah - they sounded their battle cry - and the walls came tumbling down.

After meeting temporarily in a school for five years, my church moved into its first building. That very first Sunday, our pastor led us in a shout! That very shout was a call to worship! That very shout was an acclamation of praise and joy for all that God had provided in His perfect timing. It was also a battle cry to let the surrounding community know we were there and ready to take back what the enemy had stolen.

Shout to the Lord. Teruah - an acclamation of praise. Shout to the Lord. Teruah - a battle cry. A call to worship. Shout! 

“O Lord, how blessed are the people who experience the shout of worship, for they walk in the radiance of your presence.” Psalm 89:15 TPT

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