Why I Sing My Heart Out In Church

The First Song

The first time the words “sing” and “sang” is used most Bible translations is found in “The Song of Moses,” Exodus 15:1-3, after Moses and the nation of Israel crossed the Red Sea.1

The Men’s Part

In this first recorded song the men of Israel, led by Moses, began with this line:

“I will sing to the Lord,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”

The men’s song continued with 19 verses that extolled the grand attributes and mighty actions of their God.

The Women’s Part

The women, led by Miriam, with their tambourines, danced and answered the men:

 “Sing to the Lord,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”

What Was it Like?

Can you imagine that scene? Six-hundred thousand men singing their hearts out; thousands of women dancing, shaking their tambourines and answering the men’s singing with their own emotionally laden chorus; and perhaps thousands more children following the lead of their parents, that morning, outside, right there on the other side of the Red Sea, all surely experiencing the presence of God.

Why did this great nation sing?  Because God had triumphed gloriously (ESV & NKJV) – he is highly exalted (NASB &NIV).2  God had just miraculously saved them.  In that moment, they recognized who God was and what he was like. They encountered his presence first-hand in the visible pillar of cloud and fire? They experienced his unbelievable salvation.  They saw the triumph of God over their great enemy – the Egyptian army lay dead on the banks across the sea, and they were safely on the other side.  They knew experientially and saw verifiably the truth of their salvation.  Surely they must have still been reeling from the emotions and reality of it.

Why I Sing

And that’s why, when my heart rises to the occasion, I sing my heart out in church and other places too. I sing because in that moment …

  • I recognize who God is and what he is like.
  • God has miraculously saved me.
  • I have experienced His salvation.
  • I know the truth of my salvation.
  • He has triumphed over my enemies.
  • I feel his presence.
  • God has triumphed gloriously – he is exalted!
  • I am glad.


1.  The word “song” appears earlier in Genesis 31:27, when Laban asks Jacob, who had fled from Laban with his daughters and livestock,  “Why did you flee secretly and deceive me, and did not tell me so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with timbrel and with lyre;…”

2.  Ex. 15:1

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