“Come before Him with joyful songs.” Ps 100:2b
We are invited into the very presence of God in this verse. The word translated “before him” is the Hebrew word “paneh”. It literally means “face”. In other words, we are coming face to face with God.
And, how are we invited to enter? With singing!! With joyful songs!!
Everyone in our house sings - all the time - and I love to come into God’s presence with singing but what if you can’t sing or don’t like to sing? Does this let you off the hook? I’m afraid not. Thankfully, we are told to come with “joyful” songs not “tuneful” songs!
We saw on day one that there are around 50 verses in the bible which talk about shouting to the Lord. That’s impressive enough but did you know that there are over 400 verses about singing. This is clearly one of God’s love languages. He reveals His face to those who come into His presence with singing.
Not only does God love to hear our singing, but He loves to sing. Look at the trinity:
- God the Father sings over us. One of my favourite verses is Zephaniah 3:17. It tells us that, “He rejoices over us with singing” or, to put it another way, “He sings joyful songs”. Sound familiar?
- Jesus sang hymns of praise while He walked this earth. He sang praise songs to God with His disciples (e.g. Matt 26:30) and Hebrews 2:12 says of Jesus, “In the midst of the congregation I will sing praises”
- The Holy Spirit. Look at what happens in Ephesians 5:18-19. We are told to be filled by the Spirit and immediately what follows is a call to the singing of hymns, psalms and spiritual songs!!
So, we see that God loves to sing and loves us to sing. That should be reason enough to sing to Him but there are also benefits for us.
- Singing reminds us of the truths of God’s word
Isn’t it interesting that people with advanced dementia can still recognise, and often sing, songs they learnt as a child? Songs imprint deeply on the human memory so how much better is it to sing songs which will plant His truths deep into our minds? In Deuteronomy 31:21, Moses was instructed to teach the people a song so that, “when troubles come upon them, the song would serve as a witness for it will not be forgotten”. As we sing songs about God’s character - about who He is and what He has done - we will not forget these truths “when troubles come”.
- Singing makes us joyful.
Singing also releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain. Endorphin-induced happiness is temporary but songs of praise bring JOY. Happiness is circumstance-dependant but joy is eternal and independent of what might be going on around us.
• Learn this verse and recite psalm 100 so far.
• SING – get some worship music on and sing joyful songs and come face-to-face with God and if you’re not sure HOW to sing, here’s what hymn-writer John Wesley wrote in his 1761 song-book, “Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half-dead or half-asleep but lift up your voice with strength.”