Should Christians Ever Howl in Worship?

February 14, 2022

Various forms of the word howl occur in 34 verses in Scripture:

Deut. 32:10  He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

Isa. 13:6  Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Isa. 14:31  Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times.

Isa. 15:2  He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off.

Isa. 15:3  In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly.

Isa. 15:8  For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beerelim.

Isa. 16:7  Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kirhareseth shall ye mourn; surely they are stricken.

Isa. 23:1  The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.

Isa. 23:6  Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle.

Isa. 23:14  Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste.

Isa. 52:5  Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.

Isa. 65:14  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.

Jer. 4:8  For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.

Jer. 25:34  Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.

Jer. 25:36  A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard: for the LORD hath spoiled their pasture.

Jer. 47:2  Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.

Jer. 48:20  Moab is confounded; for it is broken down: howl and cry; tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is spoiled,

Jer. 48:31  Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kirheres.

Jer. 48:39  They shall howl, saying, How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him.

Jer. 49:3  Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, and his priests and his princes together.

Jer. 51:8  Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

Ezek. 21:12  Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon thy thigh.

Ezek. 30:2  Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day!

Hos. 7:14  And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.

Joel 1:5  Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.

Joel 1:11  Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

Joel 1:13  Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.

Amos 8:3  And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

Mic. 1:8  Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.

Zeph. 1:10  And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.

Zeph. 1:11  Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.

Zech. 11:2  Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.

Zech. 11:3  There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

Jas. 5:1  Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

It is plain that the Spirit never uses the word to communicate any kind of positive emotional state; the word certainly never denotes in Scripture gladness or joyfulness.

Based on how the Spirit has used the word in Scripture, I conclude that any sort of howling in corporate worship would never be acceptable to God.

 

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Rajesh

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Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.