I'm thinking of something like
ls @files.lst doing what
ls [contents of files.lst] would do, globbing included.
I think I'm remembering the above syntax, (at-sign, filename) from somewhere (maybe an old Digital OS from sometime before the last ice age?). Searching for permutations of Bash, indirect, arguments, list, ... isn't getting me anywhere. I know there are ways to write this into the (every?!) script, but does bash already implement it in some more general way that so has far eluded me?
Update: This is for BSD/Darwin (ATM) but I appreciate the more general answers, too. I'm on a Mac, if that's not now obvious, so computational inefficiency won't hamper anyone else and the workload is pretty small anyway. Of more interest is the ability to use existing shell scripts that were written to receive their commands from the command line, and most of the time, they will.