By Pastor Daniel J. Dillard
Music in worship is an important subject! The songs we sing are major “shaping influences” on us as we grow up into maturity. There are many excellent worship songs, both ancient and contemporary, but the best songs of all are God’s songs, inspired by the Holy Spirit: the Psalms of the Bible. Those are the songs that Jesus was taught and sang from childhood to mature manhood. The Psalms Jesus sang doubtless helped him understand his own unique role as the God-Man, pictured in the Psalms. So for example as Jesus sang the Twenty-third Psalm, he could see a foreshadowing of himself and his mission as the Good Shepherd who gives his life for the sheep.
So as we sing the Psalms it helps us know our Lord Jesus Christ better, and the Psalms likewise help shape us to more like him. We have the great honor, blessing and gift of singing the very songs Jesus sang!
Moreover, we sing the Psalms in solidarity with Jesus Christ and with His whole Church, His Body, worldwide. Down through the ages until very recently, most branches of the Church sang all 150 Psalms. Sadly, in recent times Psalm-singing has almost disappeared, but recently there has been a great revival in Psalm-singing.
Moreover, Psalm-singing is a way of conducting Spiritual warfare “not against flesh and blood, but against against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
We cannot fully express what a great blessing it is to praise God using words inspired by his own Holy Spirit, with Psalms such as Psalm 84!
We want to encourage you to join us in singing God’s own songs, straight from the Bible in English translation. One of our elders, Bruce Williams, is a godly, mature Christian man and Bible teacher, and also a skilled musician and songwriter. Bruce has prayerfully put his gifts to work to produce musical versions of the Psalms straight from the text of the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible.
You can download the sheet music with the words of the ESV text at:
Some recommended sources:
Psalms: Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Reading the Psalms With Luther by Martin Luther (Concordia Publishing)
A Treasury of David by Charles Spurgeon