I love talking about my grandchildren. Every other grandparent I know is the same way. We can stand and tell story after story of the things they do, laughing with joy at their sweet sayings and rambunctious antics. The only difference between me and the way my grandparents bragged is that they would pull out their wallets to show pictures of their grandchildren, but I just pull out my phone! Hundreds of pictures and videos to show to anyone who will look!
One thing I love about my two and a half year old grandson is the excitement he shows over everything. I guess he gets his excitement honestly, because with each new thing he learned how to do, we would clap our hands and say, “Yay, you did it!” He quickly learned which things he could do that would bring us to cheer and praise him. And as we clapped, he would also join in with the clapping and shouting, “Yay!” Now he will instigate the clapping and cheering himself. When he accomplishes something now, he will start clapping, saying, “Yay, I did it! Clap Bebaw, I did it!” (Yes, that’s right, he calls me Bebaw. It’s the first thing he could pronounce as a name for me when he started talking and the name has stuck. I love it!)
Now if those around him are not clapping and cheering when something he thinks is good has taken place, he will tell them to clap. During the months when he was being potty trained (from which there are a host of other wonderful stories associated with that feat), he saw his great grandmother come out of the restroom and as she was coming out, Hudson started clapping and cheering, “Good job Nanny, you did it! Everybody clap, Nanny went to the potty!”
Recently, I was at my daughter’s house as she was putting Hudson down for a nap. She said a prayer with him. His parents talk a lot with him about Jesus, trying to explain the best they can to a two year old, about the sacrifice Christ made on the cross for all mankind. During Easter they explained how Jesus died, was buried and then resurrected. They told him that Jesus won. So as my daughter finished saying the prayer with him before he took his nap, he started clapping, saying, “Yay, Jesus wins! Clap your hands, Bebaw, Jesus wins, yay!”
I pray that when he gets to the age of accountability, the time when he can fully understand what salvation is all about and Christ speaks to his heart, that he will be just as excited then as he is now. But even though he doesn’t understand now all that he needs to know, he is speaking truth straight from the Word of God.
Psalm 47:1-2 says, “Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.” (NKJV)
If we would just stop and think about what God has done for us, what Christ really did for us on the cross, we should never stop clapping our hands and praising God.
I had a great-aunt, my grandmother’s sister, who was a special, godly lady. She never had children of her own, so she really doted over all of her nieces and nephews. I can vividly remember the day her husband, my great-uncle, died. We went to see her and when we walked into the house, she came walking down the hall toward us, clapping her hands, lifting them up to heaven and clapping them again. She was praising God that her husband was up in heaven. Even though she was grieving and tears were streaming down her face, she was still offering up praise that her great love was in the hands of a great God.
If you read the rest of Psalm 47 (see below), you will see that the psalmist listed other things, other reasons why people should praise God. Verse 4 says, “He will choose our inheritance for us…” God gave the children of Israel the Land of Canaan as an inheritance. The story of how God led His people out of Egypt and eventually into the Promised Land is full of miraculous acts that proved God was and is worthy of all praise. We also have a land as an inheritance waiting for those of us who are the children of God. That in itself is reason enough to praise Him.
Every now and then, through the presence of the Holy Spirit moving among His people, we get glimpses of the glory of God. We can feel His awesomeness and love. But in our human minds we cannot really fathom the glory that we will one day experience when we enter into heaven.
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)
So until that day comes, until the time when we can be in the actual presence of a Holy God and lift our hands in praise to Him, until then, “Clap your hands everyone, Jesus wins!”
Psalm 47 (NKJV)
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
2 For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
3 He will subdue the peoples under us,
And the nations under our feet.
4 He will choose our inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah
5 God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.
8 God reigns over the nations;
God sits on His holy throne.
9 The princes of the people have gathered together,
The people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
He is greatly exalted.