The Bible has a lot to say about music. God is pleased to be praised in song. He even inspired some songs to help us do so. Indeed, he gave us an entire songbook, the Psalter.
But singing also serves other purposes, as this hymnbook demonstrates. We not only praise, but pray generally, petition specifically and witness to others in song. It is interesting to note that Jesus did that very thing according to Hebrews 2:12:
I will announce Your Name to My brothers;
In the midst of the church, I will sing a hymn to You.
Bible songs refer to a vast range of human/divine concerns and how God relates to us in them. In them, we also express suffering, doubts, sorrow, fear, joy, thanksgiving, and just about every other human response to life and God. The Psalms, in particular, provide means by which we may rightly give voice to our emotions and meditations.
Some hymns are “objective,” as their proponents call them; as if they were superior to others that are not. They speak as if there were a divine commandment to avoid those of a more “subjective” sort. But hymns are rightly outlets for all emotions as well as for thought. It is precisely in biblical singing that emotions of every sort are encouraged and brought forth by the words of the Psalm or song. Subjective songs are not discouraged in the Bible; rather, God is concerned with the whole man and how His truth impacts every aspect of his life.
Some have problems with the kinds of music sung in churches today. That’s understandable, for many reasons that there isn’t space to discuss here. Let it suffice to say that there are but two criteria for determining whether or not a hymn or Scripture song is proper for worship:
- Is it true to God’s Word?
- Is it singable?
Beyond those criteria, there are no biblical limitations.