By Daniel Hagan, Trinity Worship Leader
From the very beginning of creation there has been cause for worship. Everything on the Earth and above the Earth and below the Earth reveals to us the glory of God. He is infinitely worthy of our praise and there are so many examples of His people worshiping him throughout the Bible. And while worship takes on many forms, one common thread among all nations and cultures is music. It seems to be intrinsically tied to our very beings! Let’s look at some examples in the Bible of worship through song, so that we can learn from the example and apply it to our lives today.
Hallelujah means ‘Praise be to Yahweh’. It is used many times in the Psalms and other parts of the Bible.
The earliest instance of a song of praise comes from the book of Exodus in the 15th chapter, when the children of Israel have crossed the Red Sea and escaped from the Egyptians, freeing them from bondage. In the first verse its says, “Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, ‘I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.’” As soon as the sea had returned and covered the Egyptians, Moses cried out in song! Then Miriam and the women of Israel followed in praise and worship as well. This should be our first instinct also in life, when the Lord brings a victory we should immediately cry out in praise and worship!
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.”Revelation 19:6
One of the Biblical figures who is most synonymous with worship through song is David. Through 1st and 2nd Samuel there are countless instances of him singing and dancing before the Lord after a victory! But one of the most well known passages comes from the book of Psalms, specifically the 100th Psalm, “1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” That first verse of, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord” appears multiple times throughout the Psalms. David truly had a heart of worship, just as we should! This Psalm isn’t said to be about any particular victory, but about general thanksgiving for all of the wonderful things that the Lord has done. Our lips should always be filled with thanksgiving and praise for the Lord our God!
Examples of singing for worship aren’t just exclusive to the Old Testament, another example comes from Acts when Paul and Silas had been beaten, bound, and thrown into prison for preaching the gospel. Acts 16:25 says this, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.” These men were in the middle of terrible uncertainty! Unspeakable atrocities were being done to Christians, yet Paul and Silas refused to let the unknown stop them from worshiping God! What if this had been their last night? They would have gone to be with our Lord with praises on their lips. That wasn’t their fate though, God delivered them from the prison and even converted the jailer that very night! We need to be singing in worship even when uncertainty is at our doorstep!
All of these examples have come from man, but God himself also sets this precedent of worship! Matthew 26:30 says, “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Now for some context, this is immediately following the last supper and immediately before Jesus prays in Gethsemane so fervently that he sweats drops of blood! Even knowing the terrible fate that awaited him just a few hours later, Jesus took the time to sing a hymn with his disciples! In our lives we are called to follow Jesus and to walk in his footsteps. Even when death comes knocking, there is still reason to worship and Jesus is our example! Let us worship to our last breath!
God is forever and always worthy of our praise. Every breath in our lungs is a gift directly from Him and we should be using it to worship! And look at these examples! Moses, David, Paul, and Jesus, all men who we would do well to emulate in our lives, lifting up our voices in worship of the Most High! No matter the circumstances, victory or death, let us always be singing to the Lord, making a joyful noise, and singing hymns to the author and finisher of our salvation. To close here is an expression of worship from Paul in his letter to the church in Rome, Romans 16:27, “to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.”