Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.
- Psalm 47:6-7
Do you remember diagramming sentences in grade school? The teacher would write a sentence on the blackboard and you would have to pick out the subject, verb and object. For example:
Jack throws the ball.
“Throws” is the verb. It describes what is being done in the sentence.
“Jack” is the subject because he is the one doing the action.
“Ball” is the object. The action is being done to it.
Very simple, you say. But when we first learned how to diagram sentences, we would sometimes confuse the subject and the object because they’re both nouns. If we loved to play ball, but couldn’t care less about Jack (whoever he is), we might pick the ball as the subject. However, regardless of our likes and dislikes, the sentence is really about Jack, not the ball. He is the subject.
Now, think about some of your favorite Christian songs. What would happen if you diagrammed the lyrics? What are the verbs, subjects and objects? What are the songs about?
Worship music should be primarily about God. He should be what the words are about. There is a place for music that expresses our love for God (such as ‘I Love You, Lord’), but the best worship music doesn’t describe my worship of God. It describes Him and what makes Him worthy of praise.
Yes, I love God. But why do I love Him? Because He first loved me! It’s so easy to just rattle that phrase off without thinking about it. Think about it anyway. In what ways has He shown love? How has He shown love to you?
In Tenderness He Sought Me
In tenderness He sought me,
Weary and sick with sin,
And on His shoulders brought me
Back to His fold again.
While angels in His presence sang
Until the courts of heaven rang.
He washed the bleeding sin-wounds,
And poured in oil and wine;
He whispered to assure me,
”I’ve found thee; thou art Mine”;
I never heard a sweeter voice;
It made my aching heart rejoice!
He pointed to the nailprints;
For me His blood was shed;
A mocking crown so thorny
Was placed upon His head:
I wondered what He saw in me
To suffer such deep agony.
I’m sitting in His presence,
The sunshine of His face,
While with adoring wonder
His blessings I retrace.
It seems as if eternal days
Are far too short to sound His praise.
So, while the hours are passing,
All now is perfect rest;
I’m waiting for the morning,
The brightest and the best,
When He will call us to His side,
To be with Him, His spotless bride.
Oh, the love that sought me!
Oh, the blood that bought me!
Oh, the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!
- by W. Spencer Walton