So, why do we sing in Church? Quite simply, because God’s Word, the Bible tells us to. More than a hundred different verses tell us to sing.
A Psalm. Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD! Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
We sing to tell of the marvelous things the Lord has done.
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Moses and the people of Israel sing because the Lord has triumphed gloriously. Can you imagine the relief, not to mention the joy and excitement of the people after narrowly escaping the Egyptians? At least from their perspective it was a narrow escape, but God had the situation under control.
Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
We sing to make known His deeds. We need to remind ourselves of what God has done as well as declare His deeds to others.
Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Notice the common thread. We are to sing to tell of the wonderful and glorious things God has done- from creation to salvation to the end times and everything in between. We are declaring God’s Worth-ship to each other and to the world. Music has the ability to touch people’s hearts in a unique way. The Lord used the song God of Wonders to bring me to Him. As I was listening to this song one day, it just hit me how amazing and wonderful the universe is. I began to think about how carefully balanced the conditions are to allow life to exist on this planet (see Lee Strobel’s Case for a Creator for more on this). I suddenly realized God’s signature is all over his handiwork- everything that exists is His creation. This realization made me weep because it came to me so suddenly and seemed so obvious- like a light bulb came on in my brain. The apostle Paul says,
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
God made me aware of His presence through music. A simple song was able to “turn the lights on”, so to speak.
Why do we sing? We sing because God created us to sing. We are made to find joy in His creation and to give Him glory. The Bible’s song book, the Book of Psalms, has a lot to say about singing. Here’s a small sampling:
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.
Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds!
Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Here’s an interesting passage that gives us a glimpse of what’s happening in Heaven in the end times.
Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished. And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire–and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
We may not often think about this, but when we are worshiping God with our singing, we are joining in with what is already going on in Heaven.
Finally, one of my all-time favorite verses.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Can you imagine God rejoicing over you with singing? Despite the fact that we are totally unworthy of God’s love, He loves us anyway. He loves enough to rejoice over us with singing. How can we not sing in light of all that God has done for us?
Next week we’ll take a look at “what we sing”. Stay tuned…