A vibrant close-up of a choir singing joyfully, their faces lit up with expressions of devotion, capturing the essence of unity and worship as described in the Bible.

What Does The Bible Say About Singing?

Singing praise to God is an integral part of worship throughout the Bible. This comprehensive guide will explore what the Bible says about singing, when and why we should sing, as well as the benefits of singing praises to God.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible encourages believers to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs as a way to worship God, give thanks, and teach others. Singing helps build faith and strengthen community.

Singing as Worship and Praise

Singing Praises to God

The Bible encourages believers to sing praises to God as an act of worship. Psalms 98:4-6 states, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—shout for joy before the Lord, the King.”

Singing praises is a way to glorify and worship God for who He is and to thank Him for all He has done.

Singing is a way to rejoice in the Lord’s presence. Psalms 100:1-2 says, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” When believers lift their voices in praise through music and song, it demonstrates their passion and joy for the Lord.

The book of Psalms contains many songs and hymns used in worship. Singing these is a way to align one’s heart with the truths found in Scripture. Colossians 3:16 encourages, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

Singing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

In addition to the Psalms, believers are encouraged to sing other songs that are biblically accurate and point to spiritual truths. Ephesians 5:19 says, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”

Singing hymns and spiritual songs helps instruct others in the faith.

Singing songs rooted in Scripture is a way for God’s truth to be implanted in hearts and minds. As Colossians 3:16 says, these songs can contain wisdom to teach and admonish fellow believers. The lyrics can reinforce doctrine and remind singers of God’s faithfulness and character.

Singing corporately also unites voices together in declaring spiritual truths. As believers sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs together, they proclaim God’s Word in a creative, memorable way.

Singing as Thanksgiving

Singing is a way to thank and praise God for all He has done. James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” Believers can sing songs of thanksgiving for God’s blessings and acts of redemption throughout history and in their personal lives.

The book of Psalms is filled with songs of thanksgiving. For example, Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Singing declares God’s goodness and expresses gratitude from the heart.

Singing songs of thanksgiving is a way to remember and recount God’s faithfulness. Deuteronomy 31:21 says to “write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them.”

This encourages regular singing as a way to pass on testimony of God’s faithfulness.

Purposes and Benefits of Singing

Teaching and Admonishing One Another

Singing is a powerful way to teach biblical truth and encourage others in the faith. As Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

When we sing truth-filled lyrics, we are instructing and reminding each other of God’s Word. This builds up the church in wisdom and thankfulness.

Some great hymns that teach theology include “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” by Martin Luther and “How Great Thou Art” by Stuart K. Hine. The repetitive nature of singing helps commit biblical truth to memory in a way that engages the heart, mind, and body.

Declaring God’s Glory

Singing is a unique way to glorify God. When we lift our voices in song, we are declaring the greatness, beauty, and worth of who God is. Psalms 96:1 encourages, “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!” As we sing praises, we point ourselves and others to the majesty of God.

Some Psalms that are commonly put to music to exalt God’s glory include Psalm 100 (“Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord”) and Psalm 150 (“Let Everything That Has Breath Praise the Lord”). Singing is a fitting response to who God is, and an act of worship that honors Him.

Building Faith and Hope

Singing builds our faith and hope in God. Many hymns and spiritual songs remind us of gospel truths that kindle our trust in God’s work. Singing songs like “It is Well” by Horatio Spafford and “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Thomas Chisholm encourage us to recall God’s faithfulness through all circumstances.

The act of singing bolsters our confidence in God’s character and in His plans for us.

Additionally, singing hymns together builds unity across the body of Christ. There is something uniquely unifying about voices joined in song. It binds Christians together across generations and backgrounds. This fosters a beautiful community that gives strength and hope.

Examples of Singing in the Bible

Moses’ Song After Crossing the Red Sea

After the Israelites safely crossed the Red Sea and escaped from the Egyptians, Moses and Miriam led the people in a song of praise to God (Exodus 15:1-21). This poetic song recounts God’s deliverance and victory over Pharaoh’s armies.

Some key verses include: “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him” (Exodus 15:2). This beautiful song celebrates God’s mighty power and love for His people.

Deborah’s Song of Triumph

In Judges 5, Deborah and Barak sang a song recounting Israel’s victory over the Canaanites. God had empowered Barak to lead 10,000 men into battle against the armies of Sisera, delivering the Israelites from 20 years of oppression.

The song praises God for enabling the weak to triumph over the strong: “Praise the Lord!….The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai, before the Lord, the God of Israel” (Judges 5:3, 5). This jubilant song celebrates God’s power to save His people against all odds.

The Songs of Ascent

Psalms 120-134 are called the “Songs of Ascent” which were sung by Hebrew pilgrims traveling up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. These psalms cover a variety of themes such as trust in God, joy in the Lord, hope in God’s salvation, and desire to worship in the temple.

For example, Psalm 126 says, “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them'” (126:2). These songs powerfully connect worship, music, and life’s journey with God.

Throughout Scripture, music and singing were vital ways for God’s people to worship, celebrate His goodness, remember His faithfulness, and express hope in Him. Many songs in the Bible, led by pivotal figures like Moses, Deborah, and David, provide beautiful pictures of praise, joy, and trust in the living God who saves and delivers His people.

Instructions for Christian Singing

Sing with Grace in Your Hearts

Singing is one of the primary ways Christians worship God. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

When we sing to the Lord, we should do so with grace in our hearts and gratitude for all He has done for us. This means focusing on the lyrics and melody in a reverent manner, not merely as a performance.

Singing gracefully involves having the right heart attitude and reminding ourselves that our song is an offering to our loving Creator.

Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

Throughout Scripture, we see references to singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16). The book of Psalms contains songs that express a wide range of human emotion, from cries for help to songs of thanksgiving and praise.

Psalms such as Psalm 23, Psalm 100, and Psalm 150 are filled with encouragement to sing joyfully to the Lord. Many modern hymns and worship songs teach sound doctrine and affirm God’s character and work. Singing these allows us to proclaim spiritual truths and share the gospel story.

The Holy Spirit can also inspire new spiritual songs in our hearts that well up from within (1 Corinthians 14:15). Whether from Scripture or Spirit-led inspiration, singing various biblical forms of music helps instruct and encourage the church.

Sing to the Lord

When Christians join their voices in song, they are communally worshiping the Lord. Ephesians 5:19 says to sing “to the Lord” and Colossians 3:16 says to sing “with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Singing should be God-focused, not done out of habit or ritual.

We sing not to please ourselves or entertain others, but to glorify God and delight in Him (Psalm 104:33). Singing truth-filled lyrics reminds us of God’s character and draws our affections toward Him.

Lifting our voices corporately also builds unity in the church as we share in the ultimate aim of glorifying Christ with one heart and voice. Whether in corporate worship or individually, singing to the Lord as an act of praise is a beautiful form of worship.


Singing has been an integral part of worship since biblical times. The Bible encourages singing as a way to glorify God, give thanks, teach, and strengthen the faith of believers. While styles and genres of Christian music have evolved over the centuries, the purpose remains the same – to praise God and edify His people.

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