“New Days” Meditations 26: A New Song?
Isa 42:10 “Sing to the Lord a NEW song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea”
“You who go down to the sea”? Have you ever stood on a beach and looked out? What do you see? Expanse. Space. Distance. Vastness. Who knows what is out there? Adventure, the explorers of old would have said. Travel, the modern consumer says.
But why sing a new song? A new song in the context of scripture – and specifically a song of praise – is because there is something new to praise God for. We’ll see what that is tomorrow, but how about adopting (if you don’t already) starting every day with thanks and praise for the opportunity of a new day, God’s gift to you? Give it a go and watch another ‘seed’ sprout and grow.
Let’s ponder together the idea of what provokes singing. You wake up in the morning and have had a good night’s sleep. You look out the window and the sun is shining and the birds are singing and it feels like a good world. Your spirit rises within you and you find yourself humming or even singing out loud. It is a natural thing to do, something you do spontaneously, you don’t even think about it, you just do it.
When things go well, it is a natural thing to do. Perhaps these thoughts are alien to you. You might have sung when you were younger but age and the weariness of life have squashed those simple feelings of appreciation of life from which singing springs. Perhaps singing acts as a barometer for the state of our life, our sense of wellbeing, and when we don’t have that sense, we are quiet. But then God comes along and does something new and whatever God does is good and that so often triggers that sense of wellbeing, of gratefulness, of thankfulness and so praise, thanksgiving and worship spring forth spontaneously. After the Exodus “Moses and the Israelites sang,” (Ex 15:1) and then Miriam sang (Ex 51:21). After an enemy king had been killed, Deborah (the prophetess) and Barak sang a song of triumph and praise to the Lord. In the days of David’s early triumphs the people sang (1 Sam 18:7).
Many of David’s psalms are songs, expressing what he had been through with the Lord and now felt (2 Sam 22:1). When the first temple was completed, singing formed a large part of the dedication ceremony and as they sang, the glory of the Lord filled the temple (2 Chron 5:13). When Hezekiah reconsecrated the temple, he ordered singing to play a part in it (2 Chron 29:27,28). Years later singing played a part under Ezra (Ezra 3:10) and then Nehemiah (Neh 12:42) Singing and God and faith go together, especially when something new occurs. Singing thus becomes the vehicle for us to express both truth and what we feel. Hallelujah