From the Preacher’s Pen… Do you read and study the Bible, the word of God? Do you pray and spend time talking to your God and Savior? Do you fellowship, encourage and draw encouragement from the church that is Christ’s body? If you answer, “No” then you are not really a child of the King, are you?
Obviously, this is getting into some of the hard things that God uses to identify His people. So let’s ask one more: Do you sing?
Let’s check out a bit of God’s take on the subject:
Sing and Give Thanks
Have you ever watched a musical stage production or movie? Most people tend to think one of two things about them. One is that this is all very unrealistic. No one actually sings about their problems or sings to the love of their life. The other thought is that this really does describe how people feel! The villain goes to great lengths to boast of all that’s wrong. Those in love are matched in sweet harmony and the good person who wins in the end really ought to burst into a song of joy.
The fact is, David, Paul and the other people of God throughout time would have probably fully understood musicals because God’s people just can’t resist singing their praises!
Paul, in the midst of discussing true Christian living in Ephesians (cf. Ephesians 5:1-13), challenges us as Christians. God knows that we live in a fallen world filled with sin, but we are called to rise above those corrupt standards of morality and be pure. We are called to be the light of God in a world of darkness. That call is well expressed in a song of reminder of our new birth, the move from death to life (cf. Ephesians 5:14) that beautifully parallels Paul’s lesson of Romans 6:1-11.
After briefly mentioning the song of life in Ephesians 5:14, Paul goes on to challenge us to be wise rather than foolish. How? By drunken ecstasy? No! By being filled with God’s Spirit and singing to one another and the Lord (Ephesians 5:15-20) that we might show our thankfulness!
Now, turn back the clock by several hundreds of years and look at a song that David wrote that we know as Psalm 30: a song of dedication for his palace home. This would be the house David would look at to conceive the plans for the Jerusalem Temple (cf. 2 Samuel 7). David, of course, would never live to see that Temple built and certainly was not able to write and sing a song of dedication for it. But he would see his home as a lesson of all that God had done to bless him and all the reasons to better honor the Lord.
That’s the setting for Psalm 30 and you can see the reflections of the brief comments of 2 Samuel 7:1-2 in the song of David. I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. (Psalm 30:1-2)
David shares his hard-won, wise advice with us. God had protected and blessed him all these years and brought him to this moment. Now it’s time for all to see the lesson: Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name (Psalm 30:4).
David concludes his song with a request, a prayer, and his reason for that request. The prayer: Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper (Psalm 30:10). And the reason? That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever (Psalm 30:12).
Do you see the lesson? God’s people sing! They sing when they are happy! They sing of the challenges, problems and burdens they endure… because they know how the song ends… in the rich blessings of God.
One day we will sing the “new song in heaven.” But, to sing that song we need to practice, to tune up, to prepare. We need to sing the songs of praise, the songs of encouragement, the songs of understanding that show the Lord, that show each other and that show the world just who it is that we belong to. We need to sing the songs that let our light shine in a world of darkness.
The next time one of our song leaders invites us to sing… let’s do so with all the joy and thankfulness of God’s own children!
— Lester P. Bagley