Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Singing a New Song to the Lord

     Music has always been a part of my life.  In our home, we listened to classical, easy listening and yes, rock and roll as I was growing up.  However, the songs that have stayed with me are the great hymns of the church.  Through the years, these songs have brought me comfort and encouragement as I lift up my voice in praise to the Lord.
     Recently, I joined the choir in our church and a new world has once again opened up for me.  Each week, we are challenged to learn new music stretching our learning curve and vocal abilities.  In all of it though, I rejoice for God is giving us a new song each week.  The same should be true for believers each day.
     Over and over again in scripture, we read that we are to sing to the Lord a new song.  Psalm 96:1-2 reads:  "Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!  Sing to the Lord, bless His name; tell of His salvation from day to day."  Then in Psalm 98:1, we read:  "Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things!  His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him."  These are not isolated verses of Scripture but serve as a theme that runs throughout both the Old and New Testaments.  Each time there was a victory over the enemy, the people of Israel sang and celebrated.  They sang at their feast days, and during their worship in the Temple.
     Of all the mediums of worship, singing is one of the most influential, beautiful and expressive ways we connect in praise to our God.  So why should we spend time singing to the Lord a new song each day?  Here are some reasons.
     First, it is a wonderful way to meditate on God's Word.  Our denomination used to sing only the Psalms during their worship services.  While this is not the case today, we still do sing some of the Psalms as well as scriptural hymns.  I can think of no better way to memorize God's Word than to sing it to Him every day.  We should take a lesson from children who seem to retain information better when they sing it.  In fact, God's Word encourages us to do this regularly.  Colossians 4:16 says:  "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."  As we sing in choir, I consider this just another way to preach the Word of God and encourage one another.
     Secondly, we should practice singing to the Lord each day because He is so good to us.  Despite our failings either physically or spiritually, God never fails to be good to us daily.  He blesses us in so many ways and just when we are tempted to complain, we need to lift our voice in song to His greatness for His mercies are new every morning.  Psalm 13:6 says, "I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me."  David, who wrote many of the Psalms, did not always have an easy life.  As a boy, he fought lions and bears as a shepherd.  When he served King Saul, he was chased across the countryside due to the jealousy of the king.  Yet, throughout his life, he sang to the Lord despite his circumstances.  This is a good example for us to follow.
      Singing is also a testimony to others of our salvation and changed heart.  Psalm 40:3 reads:  "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."  Making melody to the Lord even during our greatest trials does, indeed, reveal a life that does not depend on outward situations.   For example, consider the Apostle Paul when he was in prison.  He and Silas had been jailed in the city of Thyatira for casting a demon out of a young girl and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Rather than bemoaning their circumstances, they did something we all need to do when we are in a tough spot.  Acts 16:25 says:  "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them."  God did a great miracle for them that night through an earthquake that ultimately concluded with the jailor and his family being saved and the two missionaries set free from jail the next day.  We do not know how many other prisoners who were listening to them pray and sing were also moved to open their hearts to Christ.  What a difference they made as they worshipped the Living God even at a moment when many would despair.
     For these and many other reasons, we need to sing unto the Lord a new song every day.  I guarantee that it will lift your thoughts above our worldly troubles as we join with the angels in praising God daily.  Furthermore, it serves to encourage others around us.  Our world is filled with negative news cycles night after night.  Therefore, let us raise our voices in praise to our King who is coming again for His bride the church.  We have so much to be thankful for and to sing about.  Let us make a joyful noise unto Him who is able to complete in us the work He has begun!  Selah!

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