Sing, Praise, and Bless the Lord (Guest Post)

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
~Psalm 96:1-3

A boy sits under a low, scrubby tree during the heat of the day. The sheep he is tending are scattered in the field’s few other patches of shade, lying still and waiting for the heat to break. But the boy is thinking of a very different place. A few hours ago with his sheep he passed through a river valley, where the grass was sweet and the water cool. Seeing his sheep well fed and watered, his heart was moved in praise to God, and out of his spontaneous gratitude he started humming a song. Now, waiting for the heat to pass, he plucks the gut strings on the lyre he made and crafts a hymn about God’s provision for him. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul...


I imagined this scene reflecting on David, once a shepherd, later a king, always a poet. In writing Psalm 23 he used his own experience as a shepherd as a metaphor for God’s loving care of him and turned his prayer into a song of praise.

God’s people have always expressed their praise and prayer in song—Moses and his sister Miriam sing of God’s deliverance in Exodus 15; Mary and Zechariah sing of God’s faithfulness in Luke 1; Psalms is a whole book devoted to songs, both of praise and anguish, need and provision.

What is it about singing? Why have God’s people always held it to be important? These are questions I muse often. I don’t have all the answers, only some thoughts, and the experience of singing itself.

First, singing involves the whole person: it's physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. When the Holy Spirit enables us to sing wholeheartedly to God it focuses us on worshiping Him; it helps us toward glorifying Him with our whole selves.

Second, singing usually involves words; it can speak a message, voice a prayer, and proclaim truth. What we may not realize is that singing truthful words impacts us as much as those who hear us.

Third, singing is often (though not always or necessarily) done in company—and when voices are unified it can be a powerful sign of unity of heart and belief. How many different occasions in history can you think of when an oppressed people kindled their hope and rebellion in song? In the same way, singing truth (words from the Bible, for instance) helps bring God's people together.

So today I'm asking: Will you join God’s people and the hosts of angels, and raise your voice in song to God? What do you have to sing to God about?
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. ~Psalm 95:1-7

Robin sings at home, at church, and in the car (which has seen some truly operatic moments). With the goal of glorifying God in her life, she studies music, the Bible, and writing, and hopes to be a church music director in the future. She believes the making of music offers many opportunities for lifting up the Gospel. She blogs as Edith at Observatory of the Quotidian

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