Singing Was God's Idea
Music was God’s idea. He invented it and gave it to us as a common grace for all. You might be surprised to know that the Bible has more than 400 references to singing and includes 50 direct commands to sing – not suggestions, but commands. From God’s perspective, singing isn’t optional. It’s an activity all God’s people should do, both alone and together. Perhaps that is because God knows the many benefits we can enjoy from singing. Think about all the people in the Bible who used songs to express their love to God and overcome obstacles. For example, after the Red Sea had parted and God’s people were safely on the other side, Miriam wrote a song about how the Egyptian charioteers had been thrown into the heart of the sea (Exodus 15). Through the ages, different songwriters have taken Miriam’s words and arranged them to various tunes. But no matter how her words are sung, they always remind God’s people of his victorious power over all his enemies. King David was a skilled musician. Not only did he play a stringed instrument, he also wrote many of the psalms. Bound together, they became Israel’s hymnal. They were intended to be sung more than read. That way, they were more easily memorized. These songs could then be remembered at a moment’s notice – whether in corporate or individual worship. David loved using different orchestral instruments as well. Along with the lute and harp he wanted trumpets, tambourines, pipe instruments, and loud clashing cymbals to accompany the music he wrote (Psalm 150). He wanted everything that had breath to sing and praise the Lord. David played his harp to soothe King Saul’s ravaged and anxious mind (1 Samuel 16:23). Every time David did this, Saul’s temper would abate and calm soon followed. Music helped control Saul’s mood swings. King David also adjured Israel’s worshippers to sing to the Lord a new song, one played skillfully (Psalm 33:3). He knew there needed to be a constant flow of new songs that Israelites could write, sing, and memorize. God’s people memorized God’s Word by singing songs together. Singing is thoughts put to music. Sing God’s thoughts. Memorize the truths in his Word, and proclaim them through song. As you do, you’ll drive those truths deeply into your heart. Sing God’s truths, and you will sing anxiety away.