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Sing Joyful Noise – God’s Commandment for Music as Worship

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Music as Worship. Throughout the Bible, we see God’s people singing and playing music. It has been a part of the Christian walk from nearly the beginning. God’s children have long used music as worship. After escaping from the Egyptians and crossing the Red Sea, the people of Israel sang a song to the Lord.

 

 

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Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:

“I will sing to the Lord,
    for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
    he has hurled into the sea.

 “The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
 The Lord is a warrior;
    the Lord is his name. – Exodus 15:1-3

 

Singing was part of Israel’s formal worship in both tabernacle and temple (1 Chron. 6:31-32, 16:42). The Psalms are songs of joy and sorrow. They both praise and cry out. Hymn singing was practiced by Jesus and his disciples, as well.

 

 

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. – Matthew 26:30

 

The Apostle Paul instructed the Colossians, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:16-17

 

The Bible contains over four hundred references to singing and fifty direct commands to sing. The Psalms, which is the longest book of the Bible, is a book of songs. And in the New Testament we’re commanded not once, but twice, to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another when we meet (Ephesians 5:19Colossians 3:16). Clearly, music as worship is pretty important to God.

 

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a good singing voice. In fact, years ago, while at church service, my oldest son (who was about 14 at the time) said to me while I was singing “Mom, now I know why they call it joyful noise unto the Lord”. I laughed but continued to sing anyway. I adore using music as worship.

 

So why is music as worship so important in our Christian walk?

 

Singing can help us remember scripture and God’s promises

 

Music has often been used to help us remember things. I’ll bet you still remember jingles from television when you were a kid or the ABC song. In Deuteronomy 31, God himself wanted us to use music to help the Israelites remember His words. As Israel was about to enter the Promised Land, God instructed Moses to teach Israel a song so that “when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring)”. Singing can help us remember words.

 

And when many disasters and calamities come on them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.” – Deuteronomy 31:21

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Singing helps us to emotionally connect with the words

 

No matter the language, no matter the time in history, music is a language of emotion. We can probably recall songs from our teenage years that ‘spoke to us” bringing up the same feelings of heartache from a breakup or joy from dancing with friends. Singing also stretches out the words we sing, giving us more time to think and reflect on them. Singing songs of praise and worship help us connect with the Bible and God’s promises in a deeper way than just reading or reciting Scripture.

 

Singing can help us connect with our community

 

Our church, like many others, begins and ends with music as worship. We sing with our church community and our praises are lifted to God corporately. We feel connected to others when we sing together. All of us, singing together, voices united bring us together as chosen people of God.

 

I have many favorite singers and songs by Christian artists. I play worship music while cleaning or cooking, while driving in the car or while creating in my art studio. I love to use music as worship and feel a closer connection to our Lord and Savior.

 

Music allows us to express our love to God with our whole being and soul

Scripture commands us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. This verse emphasizes the entire body, not through outward actions but devotion and love to our Heavenly Father

 

 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. – Deuteronomy 6:5

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In the New Testament, Jesus responds to a lawyer who asked him about the greatest commandment by pointing back to this same passage, saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37).

 

Singing is one of the ways in which we can express our love towards God with our whole being. We engage every part of our being in worship to God – our minds, our souls, our voices and even our bodies.

 

Worshiping through music changes and transforms us. It inclines our hearts to God in ways other forms can’t accomplish. Worship strengthens us, convicts us, builds us up, and even restores us. In other words, when we sing and devote our whole selves to God, something godly happens within us.

 

Music as worship is a commandment from God

Throughout scripture, God commands us to sing.

 

Within the Psalms (which are, essentially prayers set to music, the hymnal, if you will, of the Old Testament) we read:

 

I wash my hands in innocence,

    and go about your altar, Lord,

proclaiming aloud your praise

    and telling of all your wonderful deeds. – Psalm 26:6-7  

 

 

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,

    burst into jubilant song with music;

 make music to the Lord with the harp,

    with the harp and the sound of singing, – Psalm 98:5

 

 

“Worship the Lord with gladness;

    come before him with joyful songs. – Psalm 100:2

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God calls us to sing praise to the Lord and to sing in his presence. The New Testament affirms and confirms this call. Paul urged the Ephesians (and us) to:

 

…Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:18-20

 

 

I have many favorite singers and songs by Christian artists. I play worship music while cleaning or cooking, while driving in the car or while creating in my art studio. I love to use music as worship and feel a closer connection to our Lord and Savior.

 

Do you enjoy music as worship? Why do you think it is important to worship in this way?

 

Because of Him,

Sue

For more on ways to increase your faith, check out this article.

 

 

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Susan is a writer, speaker and the creator of Women of Noble Character ministries. She is passionate about helping Christian women deepen their walk with God through Bible study and creative worship and strengthen their marriages.

She lives in rural North Central Missouri with her handsome and hilarious husband and a myriad of dogs, cats and chickens.

Susan runs on Jesus, coffee and not enough sleep.

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