The Power of Song
Ps. 146:1-2 Praise the LORD!
Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Ever notice how a song can get stuck in your head? Or how hearing the right song can bring back a memory or change your mood? Song is one of the most powerful memory devices known to man. There are songs we learn as children that stick with us all our lives. Can you even say “A-B-C-D-E-F-G” or “Twinkle, twinkle, little star…” without slipping to the song rhythm? What about all those commercial jingles? “"Bah-da-ba-ba-bah, I'm lovin' it” or “Gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that….”
Song is a powerful memory aid, and there is a reason God intends us to use it. We must use it correctly for it to work its intended purpose.
We often quote Paul when we talk about singing. “Eph 5:19 - speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord….” We use this verse to show that we can’t use instruments in our song service. Not only is this true, but also Paul is discussing walking in wisdom.
WALKING IN WISDOM
He’s talking about not being like the world…about walking in wisdom.
Eph 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Paul says we cannot be like the world. We must be filled with the Spirit. We cannot be filled with the Spirit until our minds are wholly resolved to our worship of God. Singing is a method to prepare us so that we can walk circumspectly, redeeming the time by keeping God’s word in us through song.
TEACHING AND ADMONISHING
Another passage from Paul that we frequently cite to support that our musical praise should be vocal, not instrumental reads: “Col 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 passage can clearly be used to show that instruments are not appropriate for worship. Paul is also urging us to use the power that music can have on our memories to teach and admonish.
Col 3:15-17: 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 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. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Song is a powerful recall device and has a significant impact on our mindset. Through song, we get teaching and admonition from singing. We give truth to one another. We plant the word of Christ in our hearts and minds, and carry it with us through our days.
IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
God expects us to have the proper reverence when we praise Him. It’s apparent in passages like Romans 1 that He will not accept or put up with an attitude that treats Him flippantly or fails to honor Him and give thanks. We must HONOR Him and GIVE THANKS. In John 2, God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. Jesus is speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well. It necessary that our worship be SPIRITUAL as well as TRUTHFUL.
We’re right about not using instrumental music. I’m not trying to lessen the importance of not using instruments is unimportant. That is TRUTH. The scriptures don’t only teach “don’t use instruments;” the scriptures also teach “use the heart and mind.” Singing prepares us to walk in wisdom and redeem the time. Through song, we teach, admonish, and implant the Word so that we can live the elect life. In our singing, let’s keep our focus on both SPIRIT and TRUTH as we honor God and give thanks. Song is a powerful memory aid, and there is a reason God intends us to use it. Let’s use it correctly so that it works its intended purpose.
Ps 146:1-2: Praise the LORD! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.