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“God expects, equips, and commands His people to sing His praises. Singing isn’t something that’s only assigned to the trained experts (though He sets some aside for that purpose), nor is it expected only of worship leaders or talented hobbyists (though both are a blessing), nor even only for use in church. God commands all people everywhere to join their voices with joy in honor of Him: “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day” (1 Chron. 16:23). Or, “Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted” (Isaiah 49:13). The Apostle Paul exhorts us in multiple epistles to make singing a part of our culture, as in his letter to the Colossians: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16). As Paul reminds us, such music is our heritage, and God thought it so important to our lives that He gave us 150 complete songs in the Book of Psalms, in addition to numerous songs He intended His people to memorize, internalize, and realize in all of life’s circumstances. If there’s one thing that should not go by the wayside when the going gets tough, it is exactly our singing, both to one another and to the Lord.

Yes, singing is dangerous, but not for the reasons the world thinks at present. The world is at war with children. Our enemies would silence them, exploit them, and even destroy them. This, too, is a part of the Christmas story. The Jewish ruler Herod felt so threatened by the announcement of Christ’s birth–Jesus Christ, a helpless baby–that he ordered the execution of every male child under the age of two years old in Bethlehem and the surrounding region, just to be safe (Matthew 2). As Psalm 2 declares through the ages, these enemies’ efforts at thwarting God’s will through attacking His children only end up rebounding on their own heads, and God laughs and holds them in derision. The truth is, with God’s purposes and power, children themselves present a great danger to the enemies of God. But what makes them most dangerous of all? When children sing God’s praises, God’s enemies are made still and put to shame: “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). From this verse we get the commonly quoted proverbial allusion, “Out of the mouths of babes…,” so it may sound familiar. But notice particularly what God has ordained in the songs of these little ones: His strength. The result is a terrible threat to the enemies of God. Yes, singing is so dangerous that God’s enemies will always seek to shut it down, especially from the mouths of those who present the greatest danger to their rebellious schemes: children.

May the Lord fill your houses with the songs of Christmas sung by the mouths of babes this year, and may you be blessed by the dangerous power of song in the hands of a mighty, mighty God and Savior, Jesus Christ. To God be the glory, and Happy Advent!

In Christ,
Bill Stutzman