Pastoral 2016

“Scripture in Song"

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 13 March 2016

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Bible Witness Media Ministry has produced two volumes of “Scripture in Song” DVD, especially for the spiritual nurture of children. In both DVDs, we have children from our church singing all the songs. Today, I would like to share with all of you the story behind it and our purpose for its production.

Its Story

The idea of “Scripture in Song” first began as a family affair about two decades ago. My wife and I were making efforts to help our three young children memorise God’s Word. During that time, I noticed that my children could memorise lyrics of the songs that they learned to sing. I suddenly realised that music can be an efficient aid in helping them to memorise the Word of God. Indeed, singing God’s Word can edify everyone at home as Psalm 119:54 states, “Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.” I was then very stirred in my heart to put tunes for some of the verses. Though I loved music, I had no formal training. Nonetheless, I could make a melody on a piano, which I had in my home. I sought the Lord for His help in prayer. Then I would meditate on a particular verse that I wanted to teach my children and think how I could best sing it without altering the words. When I seemed to have some sort of melody, I would sit at the piano with my Bible and try to play that melody. My children, who heard me trying to sing them, quickly learned them. Admittedly, there were times when I forgot the melody, having no device to record the tunes and also not knowing how to write the music notations. Then when I lamented that I had forgotten the tune, my children (who had heard me singing and playing the tune) would effortlessly recall and sang those words of Scripture to me, to my great surprise!

Since the portions of Scripture that we have been singing in our home have proven to be helpful in teaching my children spiritual truths, I introduced them to Gethsemane B-P Church as “Scripture in Song”. The children and adults alike learned them and started to sing in children’s meetings, fellowship meetings and other gatherings. Later, Bible Witness Media Ministry produced two DVDs, entitled “Scripture in Song” I & II, for children. We praise God for the joyful participation and contribution of children and several brethren of Gethsemane BPC that helped us to produce those DVDs for the benefit of Christians everywhere.

Its Goal

Our prayer is that our feeble efforts in producing the “Scripture in Song” DVDs will contribute towards propagating God’s truth and promoting a love for His Word. Songs are one of the ways which Scripture says that we can declare God’s truth to the coming generations – “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 89:1).

We pray that Christian parents, Sunday School teachers and those who minister to children would find the “Scripture in Song” profitable in aiding children to memorise God’s Word. In fact, I sing them during my pastoral visitations to homes of our church members, hospital visitations, fellowship group meetings, etc. Once we learn to sing them, they become very useful for our own spiritual strengthening and also for exhorting others.

Its Reason

We all know that the Book of Psalms is a collection of Hebrew songs which declare the truths of God. They are inspired songs. The ancient people of God, the Jews, sang them in their homes, in their journeys, and in times of worship. However, we do not know the ancient Hebrew tunes of the Psalms. Though we have the Psalms faithfully translated into our English KJV Bible, we don’t have tunes to sing the exact words in the KJV. We know of the existence of the Psalter, from which we do sing. However, they are paraphrased to fit the music, and not exact words of the KJV Bible that we use. “Scripture in Song” that we have produced, on the other hand, are the exact words from the KJV Bible.

Singing of the Scripture portions is greatly profitable to our souls. This is evident from the very fact that some portions of Scripture are songs, which were sung to instruct God’s people in spiritual truths. Moreover, there are clear exhortations in Scripture to sing the truths of God. There are also many testimonies of the benefits of singing the truths of God. Here are some of those exhortations:

Music is God’s gift to man as an appropriate and fitting means to (i) worship His glorious Name (Exodus 15:1; Psalms 66:4; 96:2); (ii) meditate and rejoice in the truths and works of God (Psalms 63:4-6; 71:23; 104:33-34); (iii) effectively declare His truth to others (Psalm 89:1); and (iv) edify and nurture others (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Because God has meant music to be a channel for such noble spiritual purposes, music that is godly and scriptural can benefit our children in their spiritual growth.

Memorise and Sing Them!

I would like to encourage all worshippers in Gethsemane BPC to commit to memory as many “Scripture in Song” as possible. Let us make sure that children and parents alike learn to sing His Word. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom”!