Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Singing As Praise

Today's post is a follow up to this previous article, which was originally published at Matthias Media.

SINGING IS A VITAL FORM OF PRAISE

How should we think about praise? The first thing to note is that, according to Scripture, praising God normally has two faces or aspects to it: we can praise God to God and we can praise God to others. In this sense, a parallel exists with the way we can praise one another. For example, I can praise my wife by telling her how wonderful she is, or I can praise her by telling you how wonderful she is.

The second thing to note is that praising God doesn’t always have to take the form of singing. Indeed, it would be a mistake, biblically speaking, to equate praise with singing. Whilst praise normally involves words, everything we do should be for the glory and praise of God (1 Cor 10:31; Phil 1:11).

But, thirdly, there’s likewise no escaping the fact that singing is a vital form of praise. Many Scriptures (particularly many of the Psalms) bear this out. Not only do they link praise directly with singing, but they frequently speak of the two faces of praise in virtually the same breath, often sliding from one to the other with barely so much as a gear change! Consider, for example, the opening verses of Psalm 96:
Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous works among all the peoples!
The point could not be clearer. We sing to the Lord, blessing his name, and we sing of the Lord, declaring his glory. And, of course, we often (if not always) do both at once. For even when we’re singing of the Lord to others, he is present to receive his praise!

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