Continuing my previous post’s theme of worship, I want to suggest complementary perspectives on corporate singing.
James Jordan points out that God’s glory cloud is symbolic of the society of men and angels gathered around God’s throne. What we see as a cloud in Exodus 19, 24 and Ezekiel 1 is myriads of angels in Daniel 7 and Revelation 5. He suggests that the cloud might have even consisted of angels, which you could not distinguish from a distance. In any case, there are suggestive parallels between God’s glory-cloud, his tabernacle and temple, and the true “house” of God, his people.
There are strong connections between singing and going to, becoming, the house of God (e.g., Ps. 22:3, 42:4, 84:4). Likewise, the angels that surround God’s throne create a glorious noise of voices and trumpets and waters and winds (e.g., Exodus 19, Ezek. 1).
Thus, in the church’s corporate singing, through Jesus our sacrifice and by the Holy Spirit, we are brought up and incorporated into the glory cloud, where we gather together with angels and with believers of all ages. We become part of God’s glorious covering as his bride, and through our singing we participate in the mighty sound of God’s presence. We announce and display his greatness and glory to all men and even to the “cosmic powers” (Eph. 6).
More than that, as a host of people and angels gathered around God’s throne, we are also an army gathered around our commander. It is no stretch to say that the church’s singing and shouting is one of the ways that we do real battle against everything that is opposed to Jesus and his church (e.g., Joshua 6; Psalm 8:2 with Matt 21:16; Acts 16:25-26).