Praise God for the gift of music! Sometimes the emotions and the longings that we feel inside are inexpressible. Words often seem inadequate to describe these depths and heights of human emotion and of the human condition. Our relationships with those who we love as well as our relationship with the Lord cannot be reduced to mere verbal expression. It is in situations such as these that music can be employed to give expression beyond what words convey. What a blessing it is to be given this gift of communicating with one another and with our Creator through melody, harmony, and rhythm! The fact that we can hear and understand one another, pouring the feelings that dwell within our hearts into and through this medium is also a gift.
Our communication through music is far more than just utilitarian. It is the sound of hearts reaching out and reaching up, joining together in chorus, and sharing our individual “voices.” Every person’s voice is an instrument, and every instrument is a voice. Every heart has the capacity to hear, understand, enjoy, respond, and share. Every heart longs to be understood, to tell the story, to experience the joy, to know the Truth, and to be loved beyond what mere words could express. Only a composer knows what was in his heart and what music he heard in his soul as melody and words began to come together in the creation of a song. And only the Creator of songs and singers, of the rhythms of nature, and of the harmony and dissonance of Creation knows what the Symphony of All Life is meant to be. Only He knows the sounds and the expression of the finished work.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN WHO IS ABLE TO JOIN IN SINGING PRAISES TO GOD?
There are several reasons why it really matters whether or not we sing. Before I get to those, however, I must mention that there are also some legitimate reasons why someone may not be singing. As someone who has had some voice problems that have resulted in surgery and other therapies, including vocal rest, I have twice experienced extended periods of time (about a year in both instances) when I have not been able to sing. At one point, almost my entire vocal range was gone, so that the highest note that I could speak or sing was E above middle C. I spent many worship services praising God silently, praying the words of the hymns and choruses to Him in my heart. I played in the Church Orchestra and loved having the opportunity to express praise through my instrument, and I continued to pray that the Lord would restore my singing voice. So, while it is good to understand why singing to the Lord is a good thing to do and is spoken of so often in scripture, it is important to take a moment to share the awareness that we should never assume anything about what any individual does or does not do in any given worship service.
Reasons why someone may not sing may include:
a. Having a sore throat, vocal problems, hearing problems, or some other kind of physical issue that prevents singing, makes it difficult, or requires vocal reat.
b. Having been told at some point in life that one could not sing or was a poor singer may unfortunately prevent a lot of people from trying to sing praises or enjoying the gift of music as they should be able to do. They may be worried about offending the ears of others. Many people can overcome a negative past experience with some encouragement, but some people have not had the benefit of more helpful words and continue to feel self-conscious.
c. Music has a way of bringing emotions to the surface. For people who are in the midst of some sort of trial or who have experienced hardship or loss, their emotions may be so overwhelming that singing could cause them to weep. At such times, these dear souls may need to listen to the messages of encouragement, victory, love, mercy, and hope without placing themselves in a position of opening the floodgates of their tears.
It’s obvious to me that all of the above reasons would certainly be valid and would also be very good reasons for lifting these brothers and sisters in the Lord up in prayers. When you see someone who is not singing, pray for them! The Lord knows their difficulty.
Now, here are some reasons why it is good to sing praises to our God!
1. He is worthy of our praise!
2. He sings over us.
3. Both singing and reading scripture responsively are activities that a congregation can do together and be united in the message that is on their hearts and minds and lips.
4. Singing helps us to both remember and internalize truths from Gods word.
5. Singing the songs that a typical congregation sings teaches us how to praise the Lord and how to worship Him so that we may also do so in our personal worship.
6. There is a scriptural mandate to sing to God. “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.” Psalm 147:1
7. There is a historical precedent for singing to God as a part of worship. From our Biblical heroes in the Old Testament to Paul and Silas in jail, there are accounts all through scripture of singing praises to God.