“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.”– Psalm 150.
I believe hymnals are the best of songs to sing in seasons of praise, sorrow, & grief. Hymns, especially those that are drawn from the Well of Life, the Bible, that is: or, are indirectly informed by the message of the whole Bible, are to be chiefly considered and encouraged for our memorization in congregational singing. Hymns are biblically rich. But alas, a lot of today’s Christian music is full of pomp and less of worship; full of repute and less of God; full of repetition and less of retention; full of man and less of Christ; full of wind and less of the Spirit of God!
We have become musicians in the place of true worship. Will God honor such, or even meet His people when we sing amiss? Certainly not! If we will meet God, we must come to God in His own terms, not ours. And what are the terms? To sing songs that clearly and honestly reveal the character of the One of Whom we’re raising our voice of worship: in truth and spirit.
Dear beloved, God takes serious care about what we sing in His name. We must take heed ‘that in the church nothing be sung without choice, but only those things which are contained in the Holy Scriptures, or which are by just reason & serious contemplation’ gathered out of them, and do exactly and consistently agree with the Word of God.
As our prayers should be informed by God’s Word, so also our worship should be informed by the Word of God. We must follow God’s Word wherever it leads, and no further.