I recently flew to Nashville. During the flight, I was reading the Psalms out loud to be a witness to those around me. No, not really. But as I read (silently), something lit up inside.
Have you ever wondered why we sing as Christians? Sure, to praise God. And this is certainly accurate and fitting. He is eternally worthy of every song of praise that will come from our lips!
But wait, there's more!
Psalm 149 gives us some additional understanding as to what is really happening when we sing. Here are some of the verses:
“Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the LORD!”
(Psalm 149:5-9 NASB)
So there we are, with the praises of God in our mouths (singing praise):
- To execute vengeance and punishment
- To bind rulers
- To achieve the justice (that’s how the Common English Bible says it)
What? I thought we were just praising God. Nope. There's warfare, there's governmental authority and princely, priestly action that we're taking in song. (choose your songs well, y’all!)
I think of the scriptures “The word of God is living and active…” (Hebrews 4:12) and the faith-filled, “fervent prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16) Imagine what will happen when we combine all three - Singing, God's word, and our faith!
When our songs do that in our corporate worship time, we can take ground that's been lost, as we advance against the kingdom of hell. Think of it. Has a gate ever been an offensive weapon? Don't think so. It's has a defensive purpose. So when Jesus declares that He'll build His Church and the gates of hell won't prevail against it, He's giving us our offense strategy - beat down the gates of hell, take back territory that has belonged to the kingdom of darkness.
And do all that with SINGING! It’s our glory!