Over at Jen’s blog, she just posted on one of the oft-used weapons in the Rigney family spiritual arsenal: song.
Such a view of the role of singing is eminently biblical.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-21)
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:15-16)
Common elements in both verses: singing in your heart, with other people, with thankfulness.
Back in 1985, a much younger-sounding Pastor John preached a sermon from 2 Chronicles 20 entitled “Ambushing Satan with Song.” In the story, Judah’s armies are preparing to go to war with the Moabites and Ammonites. Before going out, the people worship God in prayer and singing. Then, when they go to battle, the choir is the tip of the spear, leading the people to victory over their enemies.
From this story I would draw out the following exhortation: Spiritual worship and spiritual warfare should be carried out with singing. In verse 19 when all the people fell down to worship, the choir stood up to sing. And in verse 21 when the people went out to meet the enemy, the choir went before them with songs of victory.
And even more than that, I think that the writer wants us to learn from verse 22 that the enemies of God are thrown into confusion by the songs of God’s people. Or to put it another way, God has appointed the use of spiritual songs as an effective weapon against his archenemy Satan.