As a young Christian, we sang Bible songs like “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” “Look, see, I stand at the door knocking, knocking, knocking” and “I know who I have believed.” For many of them, I didn’t even know I was singing Scripture. But once I read the verses in the Bible, I found that I already knew them.
This is just a use of Bible songs – they help to remember the Scriptures. Music locks the words into a rhythm, so this rhythm dictates the next word. This is why songs on commercials are easy for kids to remember. I can still sing commercials I heard 50 years ago!
Of course, the script was not written as metric rhyming poetry, which makes it more difficult to match the words to a melody. How to do it is the topic of another article. But when done well, the words flow with the tune and every note demands the right word.
Bible songs not only help us remember verses, they also help us remember the verses. Many times when I speak, I think of a verse and recite it accurately. But mentally, I actually sing it in my mind quickly. The rhythm of the song helps me to keep the words in the Bible verse.
I started writing Bible verses for music when I first taught third grade in a Christian school. Some of the students were very slow to learn their memory verse and I wanted to help them. Music was the answer. When I sang the memory verse for them, they could pick it up and remember it much faster.
This has also been a means for me to meditate on the Bible. As the song runs over and over in my mind, so do the words. The Spirit has thus used this to apply the Bible verse in my life in several situations.
A good song will actually bring out the meaning of a verse. For example, when I wrote a song for 2 Corinthians 5.21, I wanted to correct the misplaced modifier in the KJV translation. It says, “For he has made him a pity for us who knew no sin.” Clearly, the last sentence refers to Christ, not us. The meaning is clear; the song helped clarify it for instruction.
Bible songs can present the gospel in a way that does not offend unbelievers. One year into a parent meeting in our Christian school, I taught my class the whole Roman way of verse, and they sang them as their part of the program. The plan of salvation was presented to the audience in a way that was difficult for any unsaved relatives to ignore.
Finally, songs from the Bible verses are a means of preserving Scripture as I grow older. It is much more difficult for me to remember Bible verses and remember them now than it was when I was younger. But I still remember a song, and thus music helps me learn and preserve what I learn.