My son loves using exclamation points. Sorry, let me say that again. My son LOVES using exclamation points! I’ve tried explaining that it’s improper grammar to use exclamation points at the end of every sentence, but to no avail. He will read a sentence ‘normally’, and then again with his best expressive voice. He reasons every time that it sounds better in the latter.
I don’t blame him. I love good expression, and I really love to find it in the pages of the Bible. Some of my favorite lines in Scripture are marked with exclamations.
You’re probably familiar with the parable of the sower, but do you know that Jesus starts off the story by saying, “Listen!” ? (Mark 4:3 NIV) The teacher in me really loves this. I imagine the crowd murmuring to one another, fidgeting with their sandals, and drawing pictures in the sand with sticks. Jesus is about to say something really important, so He exclaims. No microphones necessary.
Paul uses an exclamation while writing to the Galatians, “See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!” This makes me laugh every time I read it. I can almost read Paul’s mind here. “I’m serious now! Listen to what I have to say!” Is there such a thing as ALL CAPS in Hebrew? I don’t know, but if there is – Paul was using them.
The Psalms are full of exclamations. David was a man after God’s own heart, so it makes me glad to know David was so emotional. Here’s just a few:
Save me, O my God!
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion!
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
Begging. Pleading. Praising.
Quite honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever conversed with God using such expression. I challenge you, as well as myself, to pray a psalm of exclamation this week. Let loose! Beg, plead, praise. Whatever it takes to elicit some emotion. Note how it makes you feel and how God responds. I have a feeling it will bring us closer to God’s own heart.
If you have your own favorite Scripture with an exclamation point, please share in the comments below! (See how I did that to get your attention?)