<<making musical sounds with the voice>>

Singing and music have a unique way of grabbing our attention and are an intricate part of all cultures. In the OT singing, accompanied with music, was a creative way to pass down oral traditions besides enthusiastically expressing joy and thanksgiving to God with a bold declaration or expression of praise, as this selection from Psalms shows (Ps 66:1-3, 81:1,2, 95:1,2).

In the corporate setting (such as in church services) this means of 'singing in agreement with others' that involves our emotions,

Do I ‘sing and make melody in my heart’ to God?

by unifying body and soul in a rhythmic melodious way (which should lead the spirit to worship) should be done ‘decently and in order’, so not to disrupt others in their praise of God as together we sing "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (1 Cor 14:40; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16; Jas 5:13).

Psalms are the collection of inspired songs written under the direction of the Holy Spirit that form part of the Scriptures.The Psalms have a timeless quality and are still relevant to our lives today providing encouragement, comfort and challenge. Many of our current worship songs are based on the Psalms, and when we sing them, we are singing God’s Word.  Hymns although not written by divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit give praise, honour, or thanksgiving to God. They often incorporate portions of Scripture and are filled with rich doctrinal truth. It is recorded Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn at the last supper (Mt 26:30). The term spiritual songs covers a a wide variety of themes that also communicate spiritual truths.

The Bible encourages us to “sing a new song to the Lord” as a natural expression from a heart overflowing with adoration for Him (Ps 40:3, 96:1, 144:9; Isa 42:10; Rev 14:3). Whether a psalm, hymn or a spiritual song, the purpose of Christian music is to glorify God, and He wants us to use this gift as a means of worshiping Him.

Radiating outwards from a pure heart, we can find expression through praying and singing ‘with the mind’ and also ‘in the Spirit’ to honour God, for “God is Spirit, and His worshippers must worship Him in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:23,24; 1 Cor 14:15). Our total person – heart, mind, and body – should be involved in offering our genuine, heartfelt love and adoration, exalting Him for our salvation.

In heaven there will be a lot of singing, so why not get some practice now (Rev 5:9-13, 15:3,4).

The Bible records two significant events that happened when there was heartfelt singing to God. The presence of God came when "The trumpeters and singers joined in unison as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord...Then the glory of the Lord filled the temple" (2 Chr 5:13,14); when going out to battle at the head of the army were singers who sang praises to God. He set ambushes and the enemy destroyed themselves even before the Israelites got to the battleground (2 Chr 20:21-24). What might result if I praised God more?

See also: hymns, music, praise, presence of God, Psalms, tongues, worship.

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