“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth
Sing to the Lord, praise His name, proclaim His salvation day after day
declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples” (NIV)
(The following is a devotional I shared at Hawesville Baptist on 5-22-11 as part of the “Sing a New Song” worship service.)
Fanny Crosby, Keith Getty, Issac Watts, Chris Tomlin, Stuart Townend, Phillip Bliss, Bill Gaither…
These people have a few things in common, but one thing in particular: a desire to sing a new song. God worked within their lives to compose music and lyrics to a new song. You see, God was working within their lives, so intensely, they didn’t know what to do but praise Him. They rushed to find a piece of paper to jot down notes of a lyric down. They would sit at a piano or guitar and sing through a melody God was working on through them.
Bill Gaither has said: “the song of life just has to be written; there is no better and no other explanation than that.” In 1969, Gaither wrote these lyrics: “You ask me why my heart keeps singing, why I can sing when things go wrong; but since I’ve found the Source of music, I just can’t help it. God gave the song.”
Many times, in corporate worship on Sunday mornings across America, new songs are introduced. Have you ever thought about how God gave the song to someone to write? Just as the Lord worked in the lives of Fanny Crosby and Isaac Watts years ago, He is moving in the hearts of Keith Getty, Chris Tomlin, and so many others so that their music may glorify Him in worship.
Why do we sometimes hesitate on singing new music? Because it is different. Just because a song is different, our natural human instinct makes us uncomfortable, and when we are uncomfortable, that makes us form opinions. Sometimes, we may form opinions before we give God time to allow the song to work within us or understand the Biblical background of the lyric. You may have heard someone say, “that new song is no ‘Amazing Grace’”. Well, of course not! Amazing Grace was written in 1779. It has been sung for hundreds of years. It hasn’t had the time to have the impact like a song that’s been around of two hundred years.
When our attention is on preference over purpose, it is a matter of the heart. So, regardless of our personal preferences, our passage notates, we are commanded to sing a new song. But why? Why are we commanded to sing a new song?
We sing a new song because:
#1-it is Biblical…we follow His command. In verse 1 it says : sing to the Lord a new song. That’s not rocket science. That is a straight-forward command. It is not an option.
#2-it is an Offering… v.2 says we are to “proclaim His salvation day after day”. It isn’t our choice. It is HIS choice to accept our offerings. We sing the lyric “Come Christians Join to Sing” which states “Praise is His gracious choice”. We are singing to Him. Psalm 105:2 reads “Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him. Talk ye of all His wondrous works.” Singing a new song unto Him follow His command, offers up praise and…
#3-it is our opportunity to share our Testimony-Verse three reminds us to “Declare His glory among the nations”. Psalm 34 says “I will extol the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips.” His praise shall always be on my lips. Always is an intense word. Always is always. Always is never ceasing. Always is forevermore. How are you doing following this scripture? I need to work on this. I need to improve on sharing my testimony through song.
Finally, we sing a new song because, #4-it is a Witness opportunity-note verse 3 as it reads “declare His marvelous deeds among all people…” Declare…proclaim His…God’s marvelous deeds…wonders…among all people…everyone.
This is why we sing a new song. Churches sometimes bicker about song choice. But it’s not about that. It’s not about preference. It is about Who we’re singing to, not what style we’re singing. It is about singing our praises to Him.
Moreover, it’s not about whether or not God has given you a good voice; it’s about whether or not He’s given you a song. But the fact is, we all have been given a song…a song of His salvation. A song of forgiveness. A song of redemption. A song of praise. A song of love. A song of mercy. A song of faith. A song of hope. A song of life through the saving blood of Jesus Christ.