Archives For Discipleship

What should we think and do concerning making use of the abilities of unbelievers and of products made by them? Because believers should base all their doctrine and practice on what God has revealed in Scripture, this post compiles biblical passages that provide direction about this matter.

David and Solomon made use of non-Israelite people and products on various occasions. Considering these passages provides instruction for us.

David

David used Goliath’s sword to kill Goliath and later availed himself of the sword again when he needed a weapon.

1 Samuel 17:51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

1 Samuel 21:9 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

David also had put on him a crown that was on the head of an Ammonite king.

2 Samuel 12:30 And he took their king’s crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David’s head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

David employed skilled craftsmen from Tyre to make his house.

1 Chronicles 14:1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house.

After defeating an enemy, David took for himself chariots belonging to the enemy.

1 Chronicles 18:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.

Solomon

Solomon recognized the excellence of the Sidonians in hewing timber and availed himself of that resource.

1 Kings 5:6 Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.

Solomon employed a highly skillful half-Israelite man in making the temple of God.1

1 Kings 7:13 And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. 14 He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.

Solomon had his servants collaborate with knowledgeable sailors of Tyre.

1 Kings 9:27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.

Solomon imported chariots from Egypt and then exported them to others.

1 Kings 10:29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.

Application

These passages show that both David and Solomon took advantage of the skillfulness of certain non-Israelites (or half-Jewish men) in certain areas of their expertise. They also made use of some products made by non-Israelite peoples.

These passages provide a biblical basis for believers’ making use of certain unbelievers for accomplishing certain tasks in their lives. This revelation also shows that believers may make legitimate use of certain products made by some unbelievers.


1 Scripture does not provide definitive information for us to know with certainty whether this skillful half-Israelite was an unbeliever or a believer.

“That’s just one verse, and we should not base our doctrine and practice on just one verse.” I have heard and seen a number of statements to this effect.

Is it right to base doctrine and practice on just one verse?

Nearly Universal Practice Based on One Verse

I have probably attended more than a hundred baptismal services. With very, very few exceptions, every person that I have seen baptize other people baptized them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

They have done so in keeping with key teaching that Christ gave to His disciples when He commissioned them:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

To put this nearly universal practice based on this verse into a proper biblical perspective, we need to consider what else the Bible teaches on the subject.

Baptism in the Triune Name is Not Seen Anywhere Else in the NT

Aside from Matthew 28:19, no other passage in the Gospels speaks of baptizing people in the triune name of God. The book of Acts does not have any records of anyone ever baptizing anyone in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Moreover, the Epistles do not have any teaching about baptizing with that formula. Similarly, there is no teaching about doing so in the book of Revelation.

Therefore, Jesus’ teaching about baptism in the triune name of God is never seen anywhere else in the NT.

Discussion

Many believers likely think that we should not base our doctrine and practice on just one verse. A thorough examination of Scripture, however, shows definitively that only one verse supports the nearly universal practice of baptizing in the triune name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

Conclusion

If we should not base our doctrine and practice on just one verse, the doctrine and practice of nearly the entire Church today concerning how we should baptize people is not what it should be.

Is it right to base doctrine and practice on just one verse?

The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Psalms to write exactly the words that He wanted to be written in every Psalm. Comparing the frequency in the Psalms of two key titles for God reveals that the Psalms stress the one title considerably more than the other.

God as Judge in the Psalms

The Psalms speak of or speak to God as the Judge four times:

Ps. 50:6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

Ps. 68:5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

Ps. 75:7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

Ps. 94:2 Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.

God as Savior in the Psalms

The Psalms speak of God as the Savior one time:

Ps. 106:21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;

A Revealing Comparison

Speaking of or to God, the Psalmists speak of God as the Judge four times, but they only speak of God as the Savior once. The inspired hymnal thus uses the title Judge for God four times as often as it does the title Savior for God.

Questions for Application

The revealing comparison presented in this post raises some questions for us to consider about how we are to apply this biblical information.

Should our sacred music also have this same biblical proportion in it for the use of these titles?

If so, does our sacred music presently have this biblical proportion in it for the use of these titles?

If so and if our sacred music does not do so, why does it not do so?

If so and if our sacred music does not do so, what should we do to change what we are singing in our sacred music so that it is in keeping with this biblical proportion?

The phrase “my God” occurs in Scripture 148 times in 137 verses in 32 books. A comparative evaluation of the frequency of the occurrence of this phrase in Psalms with its use in a modern hymnal reveals an important change that needs to be made in our hymnology.

Use in the Book of Psalms

Strikingly, the book of Psalms has the phrase 53x in 53 verses in 34 Psalms, which far exceeds its use in any other book of Scripture.

Because 34/150 Psalms have this phrase in them, we learn that 22.7% of the songs in the perfect hymnal of God use this expression. The significance of this frequency becomes clear when it is compared to the use of the phrase in a modern hymnal.

Use in a Modern Hymnal

Through an examination of more than 700 hymns in a modern hymnal, I discovered that the phrase “my God” occurs only 20 times in 13 songs in this hymnal! This data reveals that the entirety of the hymnal has the phrase in under 2% of the songs.

A Revealing Comparison

Comparing the less than 2% frequency of the songs that have the phrase in a modern hymnal to the 22.7% of the songs in the Psalms shows that the Psalms use this phrase more than ten times as often as this modern hymnal does. Because Psalms is an inspired hymnal, this data teaches us that we do not use this key phrase nearly as often as we should in our hymnody.

Application

Writers of sacred songs should allow the Psalms to shape every aspect of what they write. This study shows that we need to use the phrase “my God” much more often in our sacred songs today.

Revelation 11:3-10 powerfully attests to the biblical importance of burial:

Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

During the cataclysmic event of the last days, God will direct two witnesses who will prophesy in a unique ministry lasting for 1260 days. These two witnesses will engage in a miraculous ministry that will bring great torment to the whole world.

When they have accomplished their God-given mission, the beast that will arise from the bottomless pit will slay them. The world will rejoice greatly at their demise and will not permit their dead bodies to be buried.

Three and a half days after their deaths, God will miraculously raise them from the dead and then cause them to ascend up into heaven while their enemies watch (Rev. 11:11-12).

Discussion

Although these witnesses will die in Jerusalem (cf. 11:8, “where our Lord was crucified”), the Spirit does not explicitly say that they are Jewish people. Yet, the Spirit highlights that the world will not allow them to be buried.

By doing so, the Spirit highlights in a profound way that burial will continue to be the will of God for His servants regardless of how far removed in time from biblical times their deaths take place! He also teaches us that He wants His people buried after their deaths even when the entire world stands in opposition to their being buried.

Application

Burial is an important part of the testimony of believers to a world that stands in opposition to God. God’s people should not have anything to do with the unbiblical practice of cremation. They should bury their own whenever they have any say in what happens to His people after they die!

The harp is the most important musical instrument in Scripture. This importance comprises at least the following truths that can be grouped into three categories:

Earliest Information about Music Mentions the Harp

The oldest chronological information in Scripture about human musical activity mentions the harp:

Genesis 4:21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

The first canonical statement about music mentions the harp:

Genesis 4:21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

Divine Commands about the Use of the Harp

God has commanded His people multiple times to use the harp to worship Him:

2 Chronicles 29:25 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets.

Psalm 33:2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.

Psalm 81:2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

Psalm 147:7 Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

Psalm 150:3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

God has commanded the whole world to use the harp to worship Him:

Psalm 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. 5 Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.

Uniqueness of the Harp among Musical Instruments

The harp is the only musical instrument used in the only account in Scripture of God’s using humanly played music to deliver a human from demonically caused affliction:

1 Samuel 16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

The harp is the only musical instrument that Scripture describes as pleasant:

Psalm 81:2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

Scripture mentions only the harp as the musical instrument that is played in the worship music of heaven1:

Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Revelation 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

Applications

1. Christians should accept the surpassing biblical importance of the harp above all other musical instruments. They should also disciple others about that importance.

2. Christians should learn to play the harp for use in corporate worship, and they should use it regularly in corporate worship.

3. Christians should disciple the whole world to learn to play the harp and use it in corporate worship.

4. Christians should listen to instrumental sacred music played on the harp by consecrated believers. In addition, they should esteem such musical use of the harp as pleasant.


1 Scripture does also reveal the use of trumpets in heaven, but none of those statements are explicitly about their use in the worship music of heaven.

Follow the Lord Fully!

May 23, 2020

Scripture records several remarkable testimonies about a man who followed the Lord fully! Consider the following passages:

Divine Testimony

After Caleb had served God faithfully in the mission to spy out the land of Canaan, God commended him highly:

Numbers 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

God testified to how Caleb had followed Him fully and would reward him for having done so!

Multiple Testimonies

God, however, did not fulfill that promise to Caleb until 45 years had elapsed after He had first made that promise (Josh. 14:6-14). When He did so, three additional testimonies were given to Caleb’s having followed God fully .

First, Caleb testified that he had done so:

Joshua 14:8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.

Second, he then spoke of Moses’ having testified of his having done so:

Joshua 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.

Finally, the inspired writer of Joshua testified that he had done so:

Joshua 14:13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.

Scripture thus records four testimonies to Caleb’s having followed the Lord fully!

Exhortation

Scripture highlights for our profit that Caleb fully followed God. As he did, so must we. Let us do so in the fullness of the Spirit and by the grace of God!

Every Christian who knows his Bible knows that his relationship with God is all-important in his life. Although many may think that they are right with God, we must accept what God says that He requires to be perfect with Him inform us whether we are right with God or not.

An Essential Requirement for Being Perfect with the Lord

It is tragic that many of God’s people either do not know or have not heeded crucial revelation that He has given that explicitly speaks of what being perfect with the Lord requires:

Deuteronomy 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

In this exceedingly important passage, God emphatically declares that there must not be among His people anyone who has any contact with the occult and its practitioners! We as believers must not dabble in any way with the things of the occult!

We as God’s people must be diligent to meet this essential requirement for being perfect with the Lord our God.

Exhortation

Is your heart right with God? Are you perfect with God? If you are dabbling with the occult in any way, your heart is not right with God and you are not perfect with God

God wants you to repent and have no contact or involvement with anything that has to do with the occult. Be perfect with the Lord your God by not having anything to do with any such things or with the practitioners of such things.

A BibleWorks search for the word “Amen” in Scripture produced a list of 72 verses. I look forward to analyzing this list thoroughly and profiting much from that study!

Old Testament

Num. 5:22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

Deut. 27:15 Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

Deut. 27:16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:18 Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:19 Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:20 Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:21 Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:22 Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:23 Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:24 Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:25 Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

1 Ki. 1:36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too.

1 Chr. 16:36 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.

Neh. 5:13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.

Neh. 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Ps. 41:13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Ps. 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

Ps. 89:52 Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.

Ps. 106:48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

Jer. 28:6 Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD’S house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place.

New Testament

Matt. 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Matt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mk. 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Lk. 24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

Jn. 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Rom. 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Rom. 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Rom. 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Rom. 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Rom. 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Rom. 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Rom. 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

1 Cor. 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

1 Cor. 16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2 Cor. 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

2 Cor. 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Gal. 1:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gal. 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Eph. 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Eph. 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Phil. 4:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Phil. 4:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Col. 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

1 Thess. 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

2 Thess. 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

1 Tim. 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Tim. 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1 Tim. 6:21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

2 Tim. 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Tim. 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

Tit. 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Phlm. 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Heb. 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Heb. 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

1 Pet. 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Pet. 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Pet. 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2 Pet. 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

1 Jn. 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

2 Jn. 1:13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

Jude 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Rev. 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev. 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Rev. 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev. 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Rev. 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev. 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

Rev. 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Rev. 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

A comparative graphical analysis of the number of words in each Psalm provides valuable insight into some truths about the songs that God has given us to sing. It also helps us to evaluate in helpful ways the other songs that we esteem highly.

Total Words in Each Psalm

This graph strikingly shows how much longer Psalm 119 is from all the other Psalms in the total number of words it has compared to them!


Psalm 119 has almost twice as many words as the next longest Psalm (Psalm 119 – 2445; Psalm 78 – 1228). Noting the great length of Psalm 119, we learn that singing some songs that are much longer than the vast majority of our songs is biblical.

 

Number of Psalms with Total Number of Words

A comparison of the number of Psalms within the ranges of total number of words specified in the graph below provides additional information to us about the songs that God has given us to sing.

This graph reveals that 10% (15/150) of the Psalms have 500 or more words, which means that 90% (135/150) of the Psalms are shorter than 500 words.

Moreover, 66% (99/150) of the Psalms are shorter than 300 words. The ten shortest Psalms (6.7%) have fewer than 100 words.

Psalms Compared with “The Greatest/Best Sacred Songs of All Time”

Through a recent informal survey of friends and some other brethren, I compiled a list of what they thought was the greatest/best sacred song of all time that was not in the Bible. Comparing the total number of words in these top songs with the Psalms reveals some interesting facts.

Of 20 songs named in the survey that have been sung frequently in churches, all were under 300 words. Fifteen (75%) of the songs were under 200 words; five (25%) were between 200-299.1

This data suggests that our current sacred songs are roughly in keeping with the majority of Psalms in the total number of words that they have.

Application

This graphical analysis of the Psalms and a comparison of the Psalms with 20 sacred songs considered to be among the greatest/best of all time leads me to think that we need to work on writing more top-notch songs that are longer and that we need to sing more of such songs. In fact, we need to sing some songs that are much longer than the vast majority of the songs that we currently esteem very highly.

We also need to keep in mind that it is biblical to sing songs that are quite short! We should learn from this aspect of the Psalms to sing such songs more often than most of us probably do in our services.

Let us allow these insights to direct us to glorify God all the more in our singing in our churches!


1 Songs under 200 words: Amazing Grace; Be Thou My Vision; Blessed Assurance; Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing; For All the Saints; Great Is Thy Faithfulness; Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah; He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions; Holy, Holy, Holy; How Sweet and Awful Is the Place; Jesus Paid It All; Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness; O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing!; Praise Ye the Lord!; Psalm 100 (All People That on Earth Do Dwell)

Songs with 200-299 words: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God; And Can It Be?; Great God of Wonders; How Great Thou Art; It Is Well with My Soul