Guidelines for Living Daily Devotional

August 2, 2019

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted…. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:1-2

A pastor, thinking that he was being humorous, once introduced me, saying, "I've heard him eat and I've heard him sing, and I'd rather hear him eat than sing."  It's no wonder we have become intimidated when it comes to anything much but singing in the shower where no one can hear.

Yet the one who never sings is one who stifles the music soul which gives vent to the deep feelings within.  Actually, no language is more universal than that of music.  Whether it is a cowboy with his guitar, the sheepherder who sits on the back of the old pickup playing his harmonica, the aborigine who sits on the dirt floor of a hut and plays a nose flute made from the bone of an animal, or a great symphony whose combined musical voices thunder the 1812 Overture, music has a way of purging our emotions and expressing our hopes, fears, loves, and likes.

Many of us are intimidated by the professionals whose performances are nearly perfect, yet for those who give vent to the music within there is a great blessing.  Of the seven fine arts, music is considered to be the most heavenly in nature.  Among all races and peoples, singing has played a significant part in worship.  Surely God created man with a song in his heart that had to be voiced.  The book of Genesis links joy and singing together.  Anthropologists tell us that singing and dancing are among the most ancient expressions of humankind, and both were associated with worship.  Ancient singers became the historians telling the stories of their exploits and victories in song.

Musicians who sang or played instruments always preceded the Ark of the Covenant in ancient Israel.  The Old Testament admonishes, "Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints.  Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King.  Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp" (Psalm 149:1-3).

The book of James asks, "Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise" (James 5:13).  Paul links singing with the outworking of God's Spirit in the believer's life.  He says, "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:18,19).

When John the Apostle has a vision of heaven, yes, he includes singing.  He says, "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’" (Revelation 5:13).

So you can't carry a tune, right?  That doesn't have to stop you from letting a melody rise from your soul.  Even individuals who were born deaf, having never heard a violin or a mother's sweet song, still sing, tapping out the melody, striving to understand the rise and fall of the notes.  In the west, eight melodic tones form an octave, but in certain other areas--China, for example--the scale is different.  Yet every race and every group of people who have ever lived sing and enjoy music.

When people are blessed they break forth in song, and only in the darkest days of Israel's history did they put away their harps, their voices silent.  In nature God has an uncountable number of musical refrains, all of which are meaningful, so no matter how you sound, use your voice and breath to praise God in song and to express the music He put in your soul. You are the better for it and so is our world.

Resource reading:  Psalm 149:1-9

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