Whether you know it or not, you are a singer. I know, many of us are afraid of singing, but we are all singers. God made us that way. As children, most of us sing. Maybe we sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Jesus Loves Me,” but there’s something very natural about singing. To sing is part of what it means to be human. It’s part of how God designed us.
Our ability to sing is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14). Vocal chords begin developing at around the 12 week mark. Regardless of how we sound, breath flows from our lungs through the vocal folds, pushing into the mouth, and is shaped by our tongue and lips. God designed us to sing.
More than that, God designed our brains for song. When singing, our minds are uniquely focused to judge pitch and lyric, engaging the intellect, imagination, emotion and memory. It is well known that to memorize words, it’s easier to do if it is set to song. Singing is that much a part of how God made us.
I used to think that singing wasn’t very masculine. I learned that from others who probably thought the same thing. But some of the most significant men of the Bible were especially noted for singing. All throughout the Scriptures, God’s people use the gift of song to praise the giver of song.
When the young shepherd David wasn’t killing lions, bears, or giant, he was a wonderful musician, and wrote many of the “hymns” (psalms) of the Bible.
Solomon, the smartest man in the Bible, who was also extremely wealthy (2 Chronicles 9:13 reminds us that he received over 25 tons of gold every year, in addition to special taxes by traders and merchants and gifts from other kings), was especially known for his singing and song writing.
Paul, who was known for his zealous and dangerously manly work in the name of Jesus, even to the point of his own head being cut off, assumes that Christians will be “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart…” (Ephesians 5:19, also Colossians 3:16)
All told, there are over 400 references in the Bible to singing and 50 direct commands to sing.
Why does God care so much about singing? One reason is that God Himself sings. Zephaniah 3:17, God “exults over you with loud singing.” The night Jesus was betrayed, Jesus sang a hymn with his disciples (Matthew 26:30). Our God sings.
In the Church we sing songs that usually fit the season we are in. Some of our favorite memories are singing Christmas hymns at Christmas time. This April, we will sing our way through the rest of Lent, which has more somber, serious melodies and words corresponding with the depth of our sin and the sacrifice of Jesus. And we will end April with full throated shouts of resurrection Joy during the Easter celebration.
So sing! Sing to better hear and remember God’s Word. Sing to connect emotionally to God’s Word. And finally, sing to express our unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. There’s not much better than a church full of people singing God’s Word together.