Remembering God, Part 3: In Song
In our introduction I began by laying out four things we risk when we do not remember who God is and all that He has done. These were:
- Falling into idolatry/trusting ourselves or our possessions (Deut. 8:13-14)
- Never growing in trust of/faith in God (Isa. 40:20-21)
- Stumbling into sin and suffering the Father’s discipline (Deut. 8:19)
- Forfeiting a generation to the enemy (Judges 2:10-11)
So how do we, as parents, make sure that our family is all about remembering God? So far we’ve looked at remembering Him in the Word. This week I’d like us to look at the how and why of remembering God in song.
We learn in the book of Job that God our Maker “gives songs in the night.” The Psalmist reminds us over and over that God IS our song. In Nehemiah we see that choirs were assigned to sing at the dedication of the wall around Jerusalem. In Ephesians we are commanded to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. As the Israelites came up from the Red Sea their first response was to sing. So the evidence is overwhelming. We are to remember God in song. But why? Why not just the written or spoken word? Here are a few thoughts on why the Lord gave us music.
How many of you still sing your ABC’s? Who among us can recite the states and their capitals only in song? How many of us can easily recall a favorite song from our youth, word for word? If you are answering “no” to all of these then I’d like to know what planet you’ve been living on. Our Maker knows that music helps us remember. Imagine that.
Music goes beyond just a simple memory tool. It does something to us. It affects the way we respond to words.
If I were to read to you the lyrics of The Star Spangled Banner, it would probably not illicit much in the way of a physical or emotional response. Imagine now that I played for you a recording of Whitney Houston singing it at the Super Bowl. Goose bumps, teary eyes, and an overwhelming patriotic feeling, anyone? How about these lyrics from the song “Amazing Love” – ‘amazing love how can it be that you my King would die for me?’ When I read that, my mind understands the words but my heart is not engaged fully. Add music and a couple of hundred of us singing on a Sunday morning and I can’t get through the first verse without being choked up with awe and gratitude. Of course our Creator knows us perfectly and He knows that music has the unique ability to connect our minds to our spirits. For this reason music is a powerful way to meditate with ones whole being on the greatness of our God, His deeds, our salvation, His promises, and so much more. I encourage you to help your children take the example of the Apostle Paul when he said, “I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.”
Here are two practical ideas for helping your family remember God in song:
- When you are singing along to your favorite song, praise chorus, or hymn in the car or at home, take a minute to ask your children what they think the song means and where in scripture the words or ideas came from? Don’t let a teachable moment get away.
- Search out music that teaches, that recalls the greatness of God and the joy that we have in Him, that sings scripture, and fill your lives with it. The songs they learn now they will carry with them for their lifetime. Let it be a lifetime of remembering God in song.
Tune in next time when we talk about remembering God in our prayers.