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Musings & Memories

Sing unto the Lord!

Doug Dezotell
Posted 3/18/23

Like so many other Christians, I have a bunch of favorite ‘psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,’ (as Apostle Paul put it).

Most Christians love to sing songs unto the Lord, songs of …

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Musings & Memories

Sing unto the Lord!


Like so many other Christians, I have a bunch of favorite ‘psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,’ (as Apostle Paul put it).

Most Christians love to sing songs unto the Lord, songs of worship and praise. And we also like to sing songs that encourage us and others in our faith.

Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs are great reminders of Who our God is, what He has done for His people in the past, what He is doing do for us today, and what He is going to do in the future.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminds us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Two times in his letters to churches, Apostle Paul encouraged those congregations to sing and praise the Lord with music.

In his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul wrote, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” (Ephesians 5:18–19)

And to the Christians in Colossae and the surrounding area, he wrote these words, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  (Colossians 3:16)

From the beginning of the Christian Community the followers of Christ were a singing people.

All throughout history Jewish people were always a singing people; and we need to remember, Jesus and His first followers were Jewish people as well.

Back in the Book of Exodus, after the Jews (the Israelites) made it safely across the Red Sea, they watched as Pharaoh and his approaching army were swallowed up by the waves.

In Exodus 15, Moses and all the men sang praises to the Almighty God Who made it possible. Those awestruck men sang these words:

“I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously, the horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea.  The Lord  is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise Him, my Father is God, and I will exalt Him. The Lord is a warrior,  the Lord is His name. The chariots of Pharaoh  and his army He has thrown into the sea,

and his chosen officers were drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; they went down to the bottom  like a stone. Your right hand, O Lord, was majestic in power; Your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy.”

And then Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron and Moses, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 

And Miriam and the ladies sang to the men, “Sing to the Lord! For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!”

King David was a singer and a song writer too. He would fit in really well up in Nashville with all those creative types.

He sang songs of victory, and songs of praise to God, and he also sang songs of sorrow, and desperation.

He sang his prayers to God; prayers asking God for protection; and prayers asking God for forgiveness of his sins.

And David wrote and sang songs of worship that became songs that future worshippers sang on their way to the Temple in Jerusalem. 

Jesus and His disciples sang psalms and hymns and spiritual songs together.  They would sing the Psalms of David as they walked on the roads in Galilee and into Samaria and on the road leading up to Jerusalem.

At least three times a year the Jewish men would make their way to Jerusalem for the Holy Days of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles, and they sang the Psalms of Ascent as they traveled.

On the night that Jesus was betrayed and arrested, after their last supper together, He and His disciples sang a hymn and then went out onto the Mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:30)

The Book of Psalms was the songbook of Jesus and His followers because it was the songbook of the Jewish people.

I love the Book of Psalms, that beautiful collection of songs written under the inspiration  of the Holy Spirit. These ancient Jewish hymns and spiritual songs were written by anointed men like Moses and David and Asaph and Solomon thousands of years ago. And they still inspire us today.

Many of us find comfort in reading or praying or singing the psalms.  We turn to the Book of Psalms when we have trouble finding the right words to express our feelings to God.

We can encourage, challenge, and comfort ourselves by memorizing and reciting a psalm; and then sharing them with others.

Many of the hymns and worship songs in our hymnals and songbooks of our churches are based on the Psalms. When we sing them we are singing God’s Word.

A lot of my favorite hymns contain portions of Scripture and are filled with rich doctrinal truths.

The old hymns such as those written by Charles Wesley are rich in doctrine and the Word of God.

A Wesley hymn like, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” is a favorite Christmas carol, and is one of the most moving summaries of the doctrine of Christ in our hymnals.

“Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!” Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;

Christ the everlasting Lord; Late in time, behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate Deity, Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,

Jesus our Emmanuel. Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings.”

The songs of the church deal with spiritual themes. They might not directly praise God, but they will teach a doctrine, encourage the body, or prompt others toward love and good works.

A spiritual song might express the joy of our salvation, might speak of the grace of Christ, or exalt the majesty, glory and power of God.

From Exodus to the Psalms and on to Revelation, the Bible encourages us to “sing a new song to the Lord.”

David sang and wrote these words in Psalm 40:1-32: “I waited patiently for the Lord;

And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,

Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth; a song of Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.”

Apostle John recorded in Revelation 5:8-10 these words relating a scene in Heaven, in the Throne Room of God, and before the Christ, the Lamb of God:

“…The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain,

And have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings  and priests to our God;  And we shall reign on the earth.”

Music finds its highest purpose when we use it as a tool to exalt the majesty, the greatness, and the glory of God. It is a biblical way of expressing our worship of the Lord.

Whether it’s with psalms or hymns or spiritual songs, the purpose of music is to glorify God, and He wants us to use this gift as a means of worshiping Him.

Our singing now is just ‘Choir Practice’ for Eternity.

That Day is coming when we will gather with that Great Choir of the Saints and Angels in Heaven and we will sing together.  So get ready now! Sing unto the Lord!