Praise Jehovah in Song
WHAT a pleasure it is to hear many happy voices raised and blending in melodious song! And especially for dedicated Christians is it a pleasure when such voices are raised in praise of Jehovah God, the Creator. Yes, the most noble use to which the human voice can be put is in praise of Jehovah God, the One who made the human voice with its capacity for song and endowed human creatures with the ability to compose music.
Most fittingly, singing by large choirs was a part of the formal temple worship among the ancient Israelites. They occupied no mean place in temple service, as can be seen by references to them in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, upward of twenty times. In the book of Psalms, which is really composed of songs, we find some 130 references to singing and songs and as many references in the rest of the Scriptures. And is not the book of Psalms the largest of the sixty-six books of the Bible?
When the time came for Christianity to replace the worship of Jehovah under the Law we likewise find reference made to music. Thus when Jesus and his apostles had completed the celebration of the first Lord’s evening meal, we read that they sang praises and then went out into the garden of Gethsemane.—Matt. 26:30.
The apostle Paul appreciated the value and importance of Christians’ singing, even as seen from his instructions to the Christians at Colossae: “Let the word of the Christ reside in you richly in all wisdom. Keep on teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, praises to God, spiritual songs with graciousness.” By singing aloud the fine sentiments that appear in such songs—and the songs sung by Jehovah’s witnesses at their meetings are not mere beautiful-sounding phrases but are filled with Scriptural examples of praise and weighty admonition—we will be “admonishing one another,” not just ourselves.—Col. 3:16.
No question about it, congregational singing is a beneficial part of the pure worship of the Christian witnesses of Jehovah. It is no mere formalism, but is singing that is to be entered into wholeheartedly by all in attendance. Why, such singing is often the only active part some are privileged to take at gatherings of God’s people; this being especially true of the larger assemblies, where perhaps not one in a hundred has opportunity to admonish from the platform or otherwise take an active part in the worship.
Since singing is a form of worship of Jehovah and one of the means by which we can admonish others as well as ourselves, Christians should guard against becoming careless or indifferent regarding it. Just as in prayer; when public prayer is offered at a gathering of the servants of Jehovah, we do not occupy our minds and hands with other things, but stand silent and attentive, so as to enter into the spirit of the prayer. So with our songs when there is congregational singing, we give them our attention, in this case by wholehearted singing.
Therefore, let all Christians enter heartily into the singing of Kingdom songs at their gatherings for worship, be they large or small. We cannot think otherwise than that Jehovah God is pleased to hear his earthly servants praise him in song, and certainly we can never praise him enough for all he has done for us. So let us not neglect this form of praise and thanksgiving. Nor to be overlooked is the blessing of singing together. Christians cannot help but benefit from joining in songs of praise. And even though they may not feel like singing at the time, perhaps because they are rather tired, without a doubt if they enter into the singing to the best of their ability it will help to revive them both physically and spiritually.
It is also well to remember that it is not the size of the congregation nor the natural or cultivated ability to sing that is important, but the joining in singing from the heart, with one’s mind on what one is singing, even as is the case in prayer. It is such singing that brings praise to Jehovah as well as blessings to those who take part in it.
A great aid in such singing is an instrumental accompaniment. However, a piano is not indispensable. A violin, guitar, or even a mouth organ can serve well, and in many places such instruments are used.
So let all praise Jehovah in song, doing so in a manner that will bring honor to Him and a blessing to those singing!