“The children of Israel … kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing to the LORD, accompanied by loud instruments.” *– 2 Chronicles 30:21*
Revivals spread throughout the land, and some in Sweden’s state church were concerned. To them, this sparked worrisome patterns. In his account, hymnody expert J. Irving Erickson described one particular concern: Many believers came to church services early to sing, but the state church felt this was too radical. Seeking to stop the practice, officials announced anyone singing before a service would be fined.
On the first Sunday after this decree was announced, people in one church began to gather. In the past, there would have been spontaneous singing, but no one seemed willing to challenge the new law. Many studied the actions of one man who formerly was eager to sing. This Sunday, the man was silent, explaining he was too poor to pay any fines.
The man’s mood changed when a farmer agreed to pay any fines. Freed from worry, the man began to sing. His singing was unusually loud. As Erickson described, he “sang the coldness and listlessness out of the hearts of the people.” Encouraged by this boldness, the pastor preached a sermon that stirred every heart.
When the farmer went to pay the fine, officials decided not to collect. Soon after, the rule was withdrawn. They couldn’t stop God’s people from singing. The Bible reminds us that singing is a central part of our spiritual lives. Be free to sing unto the Lord. Don’t be intimidated. Praise Him boldly. Sing His praises!
Would you be willing to risk being fined for praising God publicly?
Father, give me the boldness to share my testimony with others. I praise and worship You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Today’s Bible Reading
2 Chronicles 30