Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A new song

(OOPS! This post published by mistake on Oct. 6th...that's why some of you are seeing it again. Sorry!)

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 96:1-13

TO CHEW ON: "Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord all the earth." - Psalm 96:1

My husband—an eight-year-old at the time—tells of a surprising scene the morning after his father asked Jesus into his life. His dad was at work in the barn, determinedly chewing gum (he had tossed out his cigarettes) and singing! This man who claimed he couldn't carry a tune was unable to suppress the joy of new life that bubbled up inside him. He had a new song.

Why do we, who put our faith in God, sing? The Psalms refer to singing more than seventy times.* It also plays a part in New Testament worship.
  • For the Israelites it was sometimes linked to victory in battle - Psalm 27:6.
  • It was an expression of gratefulness for salvation - Psalm 95:1.
  • Song was a natural outflow of praise on remembering God's past work in individual lives and nationally - Psalm 126:2.
  • Of course it was part of formal worship as well - Isaiah 39:29.
In the New Testament and for us:
  • It is linked with prayer - 1 Corinthians 14:15.
  • It is a way to encourage and build others up - Ephesians 5:19.
  • And it is a way to build ourselves up - Colossians 3:16.

A "new song" is another facet of singing in general. It suggests we have found new reasons to praise. It proves we are not in a singing rut, doing it by rote or because that's what Christians do, but because there is something alive in us that needs the expression a new song brings. The new songs of Revelation imply that new melodies and lyrics will accompany the unveiling of God's plan at the culmination of history - Revelation 5:9, Revelation 14:3.

I love how a commentary article in my Bible encourages us to sing:

"Singing is a dynamic and vital part of our devotional life with God.... Even if you feel that you do not sing well, know that your heavenly Father loves the sound of your voice (Song of Solomon 2:14). It is not important how well you sing but simply that you sing. Praise is a pathway to joy" - Leslyn Musch, "Truth-In-Action Through Psalms 90-106," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, pp. 770-1.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the inner witness of Your Spirit's presence through song. Please stir up a new song in me today. Amen.

MORE: "Bein Happy" -  by Lori and Russ Taff, sung by Mark Lowry and the Gaither Vocal Band.

* Leslyn Musch, "Truth-In-Action Through Psalms 90-106," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 770.
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