Friday, May 11, 2012


TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 96:1-13

TO CHEW ON: "O sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His
salvation from day to day." Psalm 96:1-2

Do you sing? Day after tomorrow is Sunday. If you attend church somewhere, chances are you will sing there. You may sing songs that you know in a style that you enjoy, or new songs that excite you, or even be expected to sing along with music that is not to your taste.

What is singing anyway? The dictionary defines "sing":
"To produce word sounds that differ from speech in that vowels are lengthened, pitches are clearly defined, and voiceless consonants are minimized."

Wow - that sounds like a sterile activity! Though that clinical description of singing may be 'anatomically correct,' it misses the whole emotional aspect of "sing" that must be experienced to be understood. A commentary in my Bible gets much closer to capturing that meaning, especially as it relates to Christians:

"Singing is a dynamic and vital part of our devotional life with God. The Psalms refer to singing more than seventy times. Even if you feel that you do not sing well, know that your heavenly Father loves the sound of your voice (Song of Solomon 2:14). It is not important how well you sing, but simply that you sing. Praise is a pathway to joy" - "Truth-In-Action Through Psalms, Book four: Psalms 90-106," New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 770-771.

Not only are the Psalms full of singing — it's all through the Bible. Here are some examples to help us understand when, why, what, and how we sing.

We sing:

- when we're victorious (Psalm 27:6).
- to celebrate the One who brought us salvation (Psalm 95:1).
- aloud and loud (Psalm 81:1).
- accompanied by instruments (Psalm 81:2).
- to the Lord (Isaiah 12:5).
- and to one another (Ephesians 5:19).
- with the mind and with the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:15).
- all kinds of songs  (Ephesians 5:19).
- arising from the overflow of God's word in us (Colossians 3:16).
- from happy hearts (James 5:13).
- a new song, finding fresh reasons and ways to sing praise (Psalm 96:1 our focus verse).

As my Bible says about this verse specifically:
"Sing a new song to the Lord. Whether you are a professional musician or simply one who has a thankful heart, put your praise into song. Offer your song to God as a sacrifice of praise. It is pleasing to the Lord." -- "Truth-In-Action through Psalms Book four: Psalms 90-106," New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 771 (emphasis added).

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for songs and singing. Please "tune my heart to sing Thy grace." Amen.

MORE: "Any Given Sunday" and some songs for the road...

Carolyn Arends' song "Any Given Sunday" captures the variety of the songs we sing in church:

Any given Sunday...
... you can count on singing
There’s every kind of music
There’s hymns and Bach and folk and pop
And most of it’s in tune

Read the rest of the lyrics and Carolyn's comments here. Catch a sample of the song here (click the >| part of the player till you get to Song 4).

Jan Cox in her blog Under the Cover of Prayer has put together a singing road trip for us. Drive and sing along with her here.

(From the archives.)

Bible Drive-Thru

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