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Home The Light Articles from 2004 I Will Sing Unto Thy Name

I Will Sing Unto Thy Name

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I Will Sing Unto Thy Name

by Raymond Walton

It has been said that, to the listening ear, there is a song in all God’s creation. There is music in the rustle of the leaves, the patter of rain, and the laughter of a child. Singing is a blessing to him who listens. Christians should realize the importance of singing in their worship to God. We should recognize our opportunities and responsibilities and do our best at all times to worship in an acceptable manner, with reverence and godly fear.

The scriptures teach us that we should sing - that we should sing spiritual songs–songs that teach and admonish, and that we should sing with the spirit and the understanding. We are also taught that we should sing in the night of sorrow and in the day of gladness–that our songs should come from the heart and ascend up to heaven as a sweet savor unto our Lord.

In the life of Christ on earth and during the apostolic age, singing was a part of the divine service. It was practiced by Christ and his apostles. The Lord’s supper, when instituted, was concluded with a hymn. Matthew records, "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives," to a place called Gethsemane where Jesus prayed three times; "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:30, 39). The hour was then at hand when he was betrayed into the hands of sinners to be crucified. It is helpful for us to know that Jesus and his disciples sang on that dark and dreadful night of sorrow.

In the book of Acts, we have a vivid account of Paul and Silas being beaten with many stripes, cast into the inner prison and their feet made fast in the stocks. "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God; and the prisoners heard them" (Acts 16:23-25). Paul and Silas sang the gospel to men who doubtless would not listen to a sermon but did hear the sermon in song. But they were not the only ones who heard them. God, for whom they were persecuted, heard them. In this account, Paul and Silas were blending together their petition and praise to God with their songs in the night. When we have our nights of distress, suffering and sorrow, let us imitate these great men of God as they followed the Lord. We will receive the strength to "drink the cup" as they and our Lord did. This will enable us to hymn songs of gratitude and praise for God’s mercies and His deliverance.

James admonishes the merry to sing psalms (James 5:13). A follower of Jesus Christ enjoys life because he is a child of the king who can supply his every need. He has a genuine joy and peace. David said, "…in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore"(Psa. 16:11). Why would Christians not sing with joy? They are the happiest people in this world. We are taught to rejoice with joy unspeakable (1 Pet. 1:8), and to "joy in the God of our salvation" (Hab. 3:18). Let us "break forth into joy, sing together…" (Isa. 52:9). It isn’t any wonder that James says that if any are happy, flourishing and joyful, let them sing praises to God.

Out of a Christ filled heart all of God’s children should sing. It is for all. Singing is more characteristic of Christianity than of any other religion, and it has often been called "the singing religion." Christians have always sung and all true Christians will continue to do so in hope of singing with the Lord when earth life and time shall be no more–when all of God’s children will sing the heavenly songs of praise to our eternal God with all human imperfections removed.

The importance of singing in worship is emphasized by Paul in his letter to the church of Colosse. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16).

When Christians are filled with the spirit–when their hearts are filled with gratitude and love, they do not have to be urged to sing, for they can hardly avoid speaking to each other in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord (Eph. 5:19).

If we have the same depth and purity of love and devotion the early Christians had, we too will sing from a heart of joy that overflows and can scarcely be restrained from breaking out in songs of thanksgiving, praise and adoration "for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:20).

 

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing His praise throughout the endless ages in that land of eternal song and blissful happiness. Let us come before His presence with a song in our hearts and praises on our lips, for such should come from a devoted and faithful servant of His. –1731 W 17th Circle, Russellville, AR 72801

 

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