As we’ve examined the book of Psalms, and the development of the Psalter, I hope that you’re interest has been piqued. My desire is for you to look at the Psalms with a newfound appreciation. However, we don’t live 2,000 years ago; we live today! Are Psalms really worth singing today? Absolutely!
First of all, Psalm-singing is biblical. The command to sing Psalms is repeated by Paul and James. God specifically tells us to sing Psalms. He gave them to us; He wants us to use them! If we do not sing the Psalms, we are, in fact, disobeying the Bible.
Second, the Book of Psalms is a divinely-inspired songbook! Imagine that Jesus came to your church one day and said, “Here you go! I wrote this book of songs for you. Be sure to sing them!” That would be exhilarating! You would probably toss your hymnal away and sing these songs with great fervor; and yet, that’s exactly what God has done with the Book of Psalms, and we so often ignore them! God has preserved 150 songs for us that communicate great truths about Him that He wants us to sing back to Him. As much as I love great hymns, old and new, no writing by man can match the words of inspired Scripture. God desires for us to create new music (hymns and spiritual signs) that express our love, praise, and worship, but He also wants us to love, appreciate, and sing the great Psalms He has provided for us.
Third, the Psalter is full of deep theological truths about God. Not only that, but they connect with every human emotion: despair, hope, joy, sadness, regret, guilt. The Psalms give us biblical songs to sing no matter what we are feeling, or what’s going on in our lives.
Hopefully you’re convinced that there’s value in singing Psalms. So how do you implement Psalm-singing in your life?
First of all, if you are a music director or pastor, make it a point to implement Psalms in your song service. How you choose to implement it may vary; you may have your choir learn some Psalms first, and then introduce them to the congregation. At my church, we have started opening of 9:30 Growth Hour with a Psalm of the month.
I also encourage you to sing Psalms as part of your private devotions. I have greatly enjoyed doing this myself; there’s something about singing a Psalm that really makes it come alive. I am participating in the Psalm when I sing, as opposed to passively reading it. You don’t even have to be a good singer; God is not impressed by anyone’s talent; He just desires to praise Him from our hearts.
There are some online resources for finding Psalms set to music, but I could not find any that I felt were of a high enough quality to recommend. I suggest purchasing a Psalter: a book of Psalms set to music. For my purposes, I chose The Book of Psalms for Singing, because it’s text hewed closer to the King James Version than other Psalters.
The Book of Psalms is a great gift; let’s appreciate what God has given us, and continue the great, biblical practice of Psalm-singing.