“Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise” (Psalm 33:1-3).
Singing has always played an important role in the worship of God. The psalms were sung in the temple, often in the form of antiphonal praise; that is, responses between a soloist and the choir, then between the choir and the worshipers. Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn after He had instituted the Lord’s Supper. “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30). Paul encouraged believers to speak to one another “in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).
The late Dr. H. A. Ironside, commenting on Psalm 33, wrote, “In the temple of old they depended a great deal upon musical instruments. We may use them in our services today, but the instrument that God values above every other is that which the eye does not see nor the ears hear. The apostle says, ‘Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord’ (Ephesians 5:19). And when your heart is attuned to God, when from the heart you are worshiping and praising, that is the sweetest music that ever reaches the ear of God.”
Why should God’s people sing? It is not merely, as some have suggested, to prepare worshipers for the sermon. Rather, we sing because it is an effective way to express our adoration, our supplication, our praise, or our testimony. Through song we praise the Lord and edify one another.
If you truly love the Lord, join enthusiastically with others in praising Him through song. “Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints” (Psalm 149:1). When you’re all alone and your heart is full, sing! Don’t worry about how it sounds. If the heart is in tune and it’s going out to Him in worship, how precious that is to our Lord. He loves to find the hearts of His children occupied with Him.
“Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely” (Psalm 147:1).