In most Christian worship services today there are instances of a lack of solemnity, reverence, or even joy; that is, unless one chooses to attend one of the few Pentecostal or Holiness Churches; and even among them, there may be a lot of enthusiastic activity and the outward appearance of being overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit, but is that singularly indicative of praise in worship that is acceptable to God. There are those who feel that certain liturgical elements draw them closer to God such as observance of the ‘Eucharist’ (“The Lord’s Supper”) or for others, it is the preaching of the Word of God with an emphasis on the “Passion of Christ” (His Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection). It seems from examining the sacred writings of the Jewish Old Testament that one can get a glimpse of the importance of singing praises as crucial in offering up to God the heartfelt expressions of thankfulness, reverential fear (“awe”) and joy that is acceptable to Him.
Psalms 95: 1-2, 6-7
Oh come; let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Oh come; Let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the sheep of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.
96: 1-4a, 6-9
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised. Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Give to the Lord, O families of peoples, bring an offering and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.
98: 1a, 2, 3a, 4-6
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things. The Lord has made known His salvation. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of a psalm, with the trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.
To glorify by the attribution of perfection.
1 a: The emotion evoked by well-being, success, good fortune, or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being (Cp. Psalms 146: 1-2). May my meditation (Cp. Psalms 119: 15) be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works!
Praise the Lord! I will praise The Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.
149: 1-2a, 3
Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of the saints. Let Israel rejoice in their maker. Let them praise His name with the dance. Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
150: 1a, 3-6
Praise the Lord! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with the loud cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
It would seem that the Children of Israel offered up to God some very loud, noisy, lyric compositions with singing accompanied by shouting and musical instruments which would doubtless sound very strange to modern ears; let alone that the voices would have been in a Semitic tongue closer to Aramaic or Hebrew and not in Anglo-Saxon English.
The sounds may have been a combination of something akin to the diverse religious ceremonies, musical instruments and drumbeats of ancient Middle Eastern and African tribes, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Whatever the case may be, the participants were wholly engaged in this endeavor because to them it was “a way of life,” and not just something to do or experience one or two days a week for a brief amount of time.