Today the psalmists tell us to sing to the Lord and why we should sing praises:
Sing -“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 92:1).
Why – “For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands” (Psalm 92:4). We sing praises to the Lord because it is by His works by His hands that we have victory, not in our own doing.
Sing – “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms” (Psalm 95:1-2).
Why – “For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land” (Psalm 95:3-5). We sing praises to the Lord because He is the only God, the God of Creation, who is sovereign over all.
Sing – “Oh, 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. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples” (Psalm 96:1-2).
Why – “For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary” (Psalm 96:4-6). We sing praises to the Lord not only because He is the only God, the God of Creation, but also because strength and beauty are in His sanctuary, here on earth and in heaven. The Bible explains that the tabernacle built by Moses and the priesthood established from Aaron’s descendants in the wilderness were a shadow of the heavenly sanctuary and the ultimate High Priest, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 8:5). The glory of the heavenly sanctuary is far greater than the earthly sanctuary. The church, which consists of those who trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior, are heavenly people with a heavenly inheritance (Hebrews 9:15); and for this we sing praises to the Lord!
We see worship of the Lord through songs all throughout the Bible. The first song recorded in Scripture is in the Exodus Era after the Lord parted the Red Sea and brought the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt. They sang the Song of Moses, a praise song, while Miriam led the women in dance (Exodus 15).
In the wilderness, the Israelites sang a song of joy when the Lord provided water (Numbers 21). And when Moses passed his leadership off to Joshua right before the Conquest Era, Moses and Joshua taught the Israelites a song of remembrance (Deuteronomy 32).
In the Judges Era, Deborah and Barak sang a victory song after Jael drove a tent peg through Sisera’s head (Judges 5).
In the Kingdom Era, the women sang a victory song for Saul’s and David’s battle success (1 Samuel 18). After the death of Saul and Jonathan, David sang a song of lament (2 Samuel 1). David also sang a song of lament after the murder of Abner (2 Samuel 3). Plus, there are three song books in the Bible: Psalms, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations.
The prophets also use songs during the Divided Kingdom Era to warn the people and to mourn the Israelites’ rebellion and destruction.
Singing is a powerful tool of expression. Songs are used to worship, praise, remember, celebrate victories, mourn, and to give thanks. At the end of our reading today the psalmist speaks about the day that Jesus will return to judge the world – “For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth” (Psalm 96:13). And when Jesus, the Lamb of God, does return to execute His judgement, those in the heavenly sanctuary will sing to the Lord:
- “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth’” (Revelation 5:9-10).
- “And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!’” (Revelation 15:3).