Songs of Praise--by Kimberly B. Southall
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Have you ever given careful thought to the music you listen to? God does. In the Bible we find the proper way to make use of songs and music. God's people used their songs and music to worship and praise him, to express joy and thankfulness (Read about it at Exodus 15:20; 1 Samuel 10:5; 2 Kings 11:14; 1 Chronicles 16:5; 2 Chronicles 29:27; Psalm 33:2; Psalm 68:25; Psalm 71:22; Psalm 98:6; Psalm 137:2; Psalm 150:4-5; and Amos 5:23), or in rare instances before they went into battle on behalf of the Lord (Read about it at Hosea 5:8). There were other people in the Bible who used music for other, wrong reasons, but they did not love God and their music was not pleasing to Him (Read about it at Isaiah 5:12; Isaiah 24:8; and Daniel 3:5).

One good example of music used in the Bible can be found in Jesus' parable of the lost son. When the son, who had sinned, returned home to his father, the father was overjoyed. In his thankfulness, his whole household celebrated with music and dancing (See Luke 15:11-32, especially verse 25).

We should always be careful to make sure the music we make, listen to, and enjoy is pleasing to God. Read the following Bible verses concerning songs:

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.(Colossians 3:16 NIV)

If we measure our music by the scriptures, we can be sure our songs are pleasing to God. If you are happy or thankful, show it through your music. Worship God with your songs. While it might not always be easy, Christians should always avoid any music which has words not pleasing to God. Does any of the music you listen to show disrespect for school, parents, teachers, authorities, or anyone else? Does it sing of hurting others or destroying things? Does it talk about life not being important or hating anyone? Does it sing about only doing and getting what you want? Does it say anything about revenge or getting even? None of that is pleasing to God, and it should be avoided in our music.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17 NIV)

This Bible verse teaches that everything we do ought to be for Jesus, and that includes our music.

. . . Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. (James 5:13 NIV)

Copyright © 1999 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.