Even if we are off-key, have limited range, or have nothing very special about our voices–all of us at one time or another, sing. Alone with our music turned up, immersed in melodic sound we sing flawlessly, with great boldness and exuberance. When we strip away our own abilities, or lack thereof, and stand on our own with our voices raised, there is a moment of real joy.
I believe there is a reason why this is such a common experience and why we spend millions upon millions of dollars on music each year. I believe there is a reason why the worldwide “Got Talent” shows and various “Idol” programs that scatter the globe are doing so well. We were all designed to sing.
Singing is for most of us, like everything else, tarnished and twisted by sin. We create idols out of singers, we indoctrinate entire generations with blackened rebellious words. But when we feast on music that exalts Him, when we use our voices, no matter how terrible, to lift up the Lord, we are instantly propelled to the throne of our God.
The entire bible is littered with song. One of the most cherished books, the Psalms, is basically a songbook given to us. “Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name! Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! I will also praise You with the harp for Your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to You; my soul also, which You have redeemed.” (Psalm 30:4, 96:1,71:22-23)
Singing becomes a beautiful offering of gratitude for the myriad of things the Lord has done and continues to do for His children, for His majesty, faithfulness, mighty works, and mostly importantly, our redemption. There is no type of music that exalts Him better than another. There is no style that is more holy than another. A song from a pure heart, a humbled heart, a grateful heart, a song of worship done in spirit and truth–that song transcends everything.
So today, let us look at music differently. Let us use it to declare who He is. As the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 96: 1-5, “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless His name; tell of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.”
It is all too easy in the world to forget what He has done. We fall prey to our own ingratitude and selfishness far too often. We can easily go days, weeks, months, years or lifetimes, without fully surrendering to our God and remembering His wonderful deeds. No more–we stop today. Today let us fall to our knees, recall His faithfulness, His sacrifice, His steadfast hand, and mercy. Today we repent that we have so often used His gift of song selfishly and without acknowledging Him. Today we remember that song was designed for His glory and given to us for our joy.
Today, let us join with the choir master in Psalm 9 when he says, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”