10 Reasons Your Church Should Sing Psalms

Psalms perfectly balance theology with emotion, justice with evangelism, the personal with the collective.

For all that contemporary people apparently crave “authenticity in worship,” if we follow contemporary trends we’ll succumb to the bias of our church leaders or the movements they follow. For example, only 3 percent of modern worship songs mention anything eternal, and they rarely take on themes of God that make us uncomfortable. The Psalms, meanwhile, make us wince when we sing of God’s judgment and wrath. They also give us a far bigger, more beautiful, breathtaking picture of God’s glory.

 

When we think of the Psalms, most of us think solely of reading them. But we should also sing them, particularly in the gathering of the church. Indeed, for 3,000 years the Psalter has been the songbook of God’s people.

Here are 10 reasons why it’s important to sing the Psalms in your church today.

1. The Bible Tells Us To

That’s the strongest argument we’ve got. And it’s a good one! When we don’t take the Psalms seriously, our commitment to the Bible is called into question as well.

2. Psalms Are the Word of God

The Holy Spirit is the songwriter of the Psalms: They’re pure Scripture. One of the joys of focusing on Psalms for the last year is the amount of time I (Keith) have spent in Scripture. I also have the joy of listening to my little daughters running around the house singing Psalm 8 and Psalm 139.

3. Psalms Are the Songs Jesus Sang

As a boy Jesus would have memorized and learned many if not all of the Psalms. The book of Psalms is the songbook of the Bible. They would become the soundtrack of his life. They can be the soundtrack of your life, too.

4. They Give Us a More ‘Authentic’ Picture of God

For all that contemporary people apparently crave “authenticity in worship,” if we follow contemporary trends we’ll succumb to the bias of our church leaders or the movements they follow. For example, only 3 percent of modern worship songs mention anything eternal, and they rarely take on themes of God that make us uncomfortable. The Psalms, meanwhile, make us wince when we sing of God’s judgment and wrath. They also give us a far bigger, more beautiful, breathtaking picture of God’s glory.

5. Psalms Are Christological

Look at how often the New Testament uses the Psalms to speak of the life of Christ. Do you want to know what Christ felt like on the cross? Read Psalm 22.

6. They Speak to the Depth and Breadth of Human Emotion

Psalms perfectly balance theology with emotion, justice with evangelism, the personal with the collective. One young woman told me (David) that she came to our church because we allowed her to be depressed. While “the church that allows you to be depressed” may not be the best advertising slogan in the modern world, I understood what she was saying. She struggled with depression, and we sometimes sang songs that gave voice to that depression and allowed her to express it.

Read More