Saturday, February 24, 2018

Praise in Song
Part 2

In continuing with this theme of praise in song,
I have been doing some research into
how many times certain words appear in the Bible.

Here's a list of some of them:

Sing – 119
Sung – 10
Sang – 15
Song – 88
Singers – 37
Singing – 25

Then there is the word “play”.
In the musical context it is found 5 times
and the word “playing” is found 3 times.

Okay, so what is all this in aid of you ask?
Well, it was mainly to satisfy my own curiosity
but I also wanted to do a bit of digging into
what the Greek or Hebrew words were for
each word and in what context they were used,
to gain a better understanding of praise and worship and song
and when it was used in the Bible and how much importance
God puts on these things. (I might go into the meanings
of these words in a later post)

I found that there are so many verses on the
subject of praise in song that it would take quite a while
to list them all and even longer to read them all.
(that's not to say that you shouldn't, I have found
them all very interesting and eye opening to see just
how often people in the Bible used their voice
or musical instruments in praise of God).

We know that music often has a greater effect
than the spoken word in expressing moods
and feelings of the soul, but there is definitely a need
for discernment as not all music is worshipful and
glorifying to God.

And nothing should ever take the place of
the Word of God being boldly preached
and Bible doctrines being taught through teaching
and preaching and the spoken word.

Too often, we're seeing in our churches a shift
from the emphasis being on the Word of God
being preached, to the Word of God being sung.
There needs to be a balance.

As a musician, I love the time of worship in song
and I love to sing and play about the Saviour
and glorify Him through music. When I am singing
the words to a good, sound and worshipful hymn or
chorus, I am able to focus on the words of the song
and sing them as a prayer to God and sometimes
it does my soul more good then a dead sermon that has
not come about through hours of study and prayer.

We know that Saul used the power of music to
calm his troubled soul.

1 Samuel 16:23
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God
was upon Saul, that David took an harp,
and played with his hand:
so Saul was refreshed, and was well,
and the evil spirit departed from him.

Yes, music can lift one's spirit and give courage
and it can be used to teach the gospel.
How many children's choruses do you know that
teach Bible doctrines and stick in your head
long after you sing them?

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

This verse in Colossians reminds us
that we can teach and admonish through
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
But notice that it also says to sing with grace
in your hearts to the Lord.
Grace in your heart. To the Lord!

Also a reminder of who we are to sing to.
To the Lord. Not for praise of man.
Not for entertainment. Not for self, but for Christ.

The songbook of the Bible,
the book with the largest collection of songs,
is the book of Psalms. The majority of these
psalms are attributed to King David.
In reading through the Psalms, we are given
a glimpse into David's life and the trials he went through.
But through it all, we see him giving praise to God
continually. Despite what he was going through,
he was able to see God's hand working and was
able to sing God's praises and worship Him.

Now, we don't praise God just to stroke His ego.
No! Our praise of Him is commanded, yes,
but that is not the only reason to praise. God
knows that praise of Him, also benefits us.

In praising the all-powerful creator, it puts
things into perspective and helps us to see
how big God is and how little our trials really
are in comparison to His greatness.

It also helps us to focus on the reality of
something permanent in our all too temporary
world. God is not shaken, He is our rock, the God
of our Salvation. It gives us something to hold onto you.

In praising God, we get to know His characteristics
and build a stronger relationship with Him.
When we learn more of His character it only
makes us love Him more and want to be more like Him.
And this drives us to praise Him.

Now I know I said that I'd try and divide
this subject into little bite size pieces,
but it's so hard! Every time I take a bite,
it's like the widow's pot of oil, it just keeps
increasing! There just seems to be more of it.
So for now, I'll leave you with a few verses from
the Psalms to chew over in the meantime.

Psalms 40:3
And he hath put a new song in my mouth,
even praise unto our God:
many shall see it, and fear,
and shall trust in the LORD.

Psalms 98:1
O sing unto the LORD a new song;
for he hath done marvellous things:
his right hand, and his holy arm,
hath gotten him the victory.

Psalms 96:1
O sing unto the LORD a new song:
sing unto the LORD, all the earth.