By David Jimin Shin '20
For those of us who were brought up in the church, we’ve been singing praises and songs of worship ever since we could hold a note.
Some of the major reasons why we choose a church or fellowship may even be how the time of worship is structured and what songs the praise team sings. Some of us sing expressively, with our hands up in the air, and others close their eyes and take in the environment, the music and the atmosphere. But have we ever recently sat down and asked WHY we sing?
I could just end my devotional right now by saying that God is good, and so we sing in praise of Him. But, there are some more points to keep in mind.
Well, firstly, we’re technically told to sing praises, as seen by the numerous verses from the Bible. We can look at the books of Psalms and Ephesians:
Psalm 33:1-3 (ESV): Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
Ephesians 5:19-20 (ESV): addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This should be enough reason to sing – God tells us to do so. But singing is a lot more than simply obeying. Singing helps us connect emotionally to God. Countless Pubmed articles explain how singing taps into a greater emotional range than simply talking. People aren’t just singing with their eyes closed, raising their hands, and sometimes even crying during worship; praise allows for a space and time for us to focus on Him and Him only, helping us to reflect on whatever we went through during the past days or weeks and to offer ourselves fully to God, building our faith and putting our trust in Him. (“And I will build my life upon your love/It is a firm foundation/And I will put my trust in you alone/And I will not be shaken”).
Singing praise also brings us closer to one another. I know, it might sound a little strange, listening to the person next to you sing out of tune. I’m not talking about a musical connection. Every time I stand in front of a group and lead worship, I hear so many voices singing, and it’s probably one of the greatest feelings ever. To see the congregation singing as one body is really beautiful, and I’m grateful to be a part of leading worship every time.
Going back to the Ephesians verse, we are to address “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (5:19). Address, call out to, interact with, have fellowship with one another, by singing with the person to the left and to the right, standing in front and behind.
And probably the greatest reason, we sing because GOD IS GOOD. It’s not some weird coincidence that a lot of the worship songs out there talk about how good He is. It’s because He is. Period.
As Revelation 4:11 says,
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
As the Creator of the Universe, from the smallest of atoms to the largest of stars, God deserves all the praise that we can give, with all our heart, our soul, our mind, with every breath in our lungs (Matthew 22:37 ESV).
And to end, I want to emphasize that He loved us first, not the other way around. He loves us for who we are, forgives us for all we’ve done, and even sacrificed His own Son to die for us. And what better way to respond to his love than in songs of praise, songs of thanks. And so, I’ll be ending this devotional with one last song: (“Thank you Jesus/Just as I am I come/Hallelujah/Oh what amazing love”)