I’ve always wanted to do a study of music in the Bible – not so much via concordance, but as I go through my usual reading the Bible through, noting what all it has to say about music in context. There are so many rich references to music there: music touches most of us deep in our souls, and it’s meant to! Some day I will.
But our substitute Sunday School teacher has been going through Isaiah 12 the last couple of weeks. Last week centered mostly on verse 2:
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
I have always loved that not only is He our salvation, He is also our strength; and He doesn’t just give us “grin and bear it” strength, He is also our song.
This week the lesson went on to the rest of the chapter, and one subset of the lesson included verse 5:
Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
Then the teacher shared just a few verses indicating what we’re to sing about. I failed to take notes, but when I had a chance I looked up some of the verses in a concordance. Here is what I found just in the psalms that we can sing about:
God’s righteousness: I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high. Psalm 7:17.
His doings: Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. Psalm9:11.
His bountiful dealings with us: I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:6.
His power: Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power. Psalm 21:13.
His holiness: Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. Psalm 30:4.
His praises: Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. Psalm 47:6-7.
His righteousness in forgiveness: Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Psalm 51:14.
His mercy: But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Psalm 59:16. I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 89:1.
His Name: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. Psalm 66:2.
His righteous judgment: O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Psalm 67:4.
His truth: I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. Psalm 71:22.
His wondrous works: Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Psalm 105:2.
What He has done for us: When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Psalm 126: 1-3.
There are so many other aspects of music in the Bible: where people sang (from “the congregation of the saints” [Psalm 149:1] to our own beds [Psalm 149:5]), to whom they sang, situations in which they sang.
Just this brief study makes me want to burst into song!
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of God’s redeeming love.
Oh that day when freed from sinning
I shall see Thy lovely face
Full arrayed in blood-washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry
Bring Thy promises to pass
For I know Thy pow’r will keep me
Till I’m home with Thee at last.
~ Robert Robinson