AS YOU READ THROUGH SCRIPTURE, you find that there is a lot of singing chronicled between Genesis and Revelation. Like so much that surrounds our great God, His precise reason for creating song is a mystery. But, thanks be to God, music is a great gift from our high and holy God to His people
In the oldest book of the Bible, Job (chapter 38), we read that God's act of creation took place with a heavenly choir singing His praises all along the way. Genesis 4:20 tells of Jubal, four generations from Cain who created music instruments. (It is interesting to note that the first song recorded in Genisis would have to be described as a "secular song." See Gen. 4:23,24)
In Deuteronomy 32:47, Moses describes the significance of his "Song of Moses" to the nation of Israel: "It is your life..."
Most children know that the walls of Jericho "fell down" after the trumpets were blown. And young David was assigned the task of playing his harp for King Saul.
In 1 Chronicles 25, we see the incredibly detailed musical organization of the Levites. In 2 Chronicles 5, we are amazed at the astonishing results when music is used in the service of the Lord. (May this one day be a reality in our service of music!)
As we know, the entire book of Psalms was meant to be sung--as was most of Lamentations. Isaiah was a prophet and singer (note how much of Isaiah was sung.) Likewise many of the major and minor prophets were singers as well.
It's important to note a passage in the little book of Zephaniah: In Chapter 3 verse 17, the prophet relates that God is a singer: He will rejoice over you with singing."
In the New Testament, Dr. Luke records the songs of Mary, Zachariah and Simeon. And Jesus' birth was heralded by the greatest choir of all time!
Just before Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, He and His disciples sang an hymn. Scholars tell us that the hymn was in reality Psalm 118, which traditionally was sung at the end of the Passover meal.
In Acts 16, we see that St. Paul (and Silas) sang in jail. Then, in Paul's letters to the churches at Ephesus and Colossae, he urged them to sing often, as it is the consequence of being "filled with the Spirit." And the writer of Hebrews states that when believers praise God together, Christ leads them in their singing! (Hallelujah!)
Finally, in the book of Revelation (a book filled with many examples of Song!) St. John writes of the believer's eternal destiny: "the song of the Redeemed." (See Rev. 4:8, Rev. 5:9,10, Rev. 14:3, and Rev. 15:3,4.)
We mention all of this--and the above is just a brief mention of the more than 600 examples of song in Scripture--because singing is not an option for believers (and for the children of believers!) This holy heritage of song requires Christians to "continually offer up a sacrifice of praise": sacrificial praise that is worthy of our King.
As the choir sings from Sunday to Sunday, let us recognize our great Scriptural and spiritual heritage. Like the Levites of old, we seek to bring a worthy sacrifice of praise to the Lord--a sacrifice that requires a heart filled with His Spirit and a musical art honed by hours of diligent practice.