From the beginning of Scripture to its dramatic climax in Revelation, song is never far from God's people. Over the next months, we will look at the extraordinary usage of music and song found in the Bible. Combined with the teaching of the Apostolic fathers (the early church), Scripture provides a striking picture of how music is to be used in today's church.
During our study of Scripture and Song, we will look at many different passages that show the power of music in the life of God's people. One such passage from the book of Psalms (a book we'll quote often) states: Your statues have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. Ps. 119:54
All along their journey, the great musicians of the Bible, Jubal, Moses, Deborah, David, Asaph, Soloman, and Isaiah (and many more), used music to be the soul of their life--and the life of their soul.
Perhaps the reason for song's significance in Scripture is that when we sing, we pray twice. St. Augustine reminds us that the words of our hymns are prayers and, when we sing them, we add another dimension of honor and praise to our song--we pray twice.
Sung praise seems to be God's favorite form of prayer; fifteen times the Old Testament tells us to "sing to the Lord." In addition, the Bible instructs us to come into God's presence with singing; make melody to the Lord, and enter God's courts in song. There are some 242 such exhortations in the Old Testament alone.
Add the twelve New Testament citations concerning singing and you get a pretty good picture of the importance of song to God. In fact, the book of Revelation portrays heaven as continually filled with the songs of the saints, to which our own voices are added when we pray twice. The early church, the medieval church, the church of the reformation, and Christians today sing because singing is what the people of God do in God's presence.
Singing is not a spectator sport; it engages the whole self in prayer. Jean Calvin said that when we sing, "we speak to God using His own words." God is serious about song--and He gave all of His blood-bought ones the ability to sing.
We encourage you to take advantage of this God-given gift today. Sing a great hymn that will strengthen your faith and "praise God from whom all blessings flow!"
To God be the Glory.