SING A NEW SONG TO GOD
This psalm of praise to God's glory was written by David and contains less than twenty sentences. In all the writings of mankind known to me, I have never read of so much praise ascribed to the one true God in such a short space. Never have words been more beautifully put together. This little psalm is a masterpiece of exquisite spiritual beauty. David sets forth Jehovah, first, as the Creator and Wonder-worker of old. “Sing to the Lord, all the earth. "Sing to thrè Lord, bless His name. Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people." In Psalm 77:11 David said, “I will remember your wonders of old. I will meditate on all your work and talk of your d~eds.. .you are the God who does
First of all, David sets forth God's wonders of old. Time would fail me to tell of all His wonders. One of his great wonders of old was the creation of the universe. No one has said it better than David: “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech and night unto night reveals knowledge.” A few years ago it was my privilege to visit Niagara Falls. I stood amazed to see 500 tons of water a minute plunge into a steep-walled gorge. It is considered one of the most beautiful natural regions in the world. It's one of God's wonders; only God could do such a thing. The place is called the honeymooners' paradise. Another great wonder of God is our solar system with its beautiful planets. Because Mercury is closest to the sun, it circles the sun in 88 days. It takes Venus 225 days to revolve around the sun. Mars is a greater distance from the sun and it circles the sun in 687 days. Jupiter is eleven times bigger than the earth and makes a revolution around the sun in 12 years. Jupiter has 16 moons. Located farther away from the sun is Saturn which circles the sun every 291/2 years, However, it takes Neptune 165 years to make one path around the sun. That's how far Neptune is away from the sun. You can imagine how cold it gets there. There is a planet still farther way. Pluto takes 238 years to circle the sun once. The length of time it takes for each planet to circle the sun is caused by the gravitational pull of the sun on each planet and the distance it is from the sun. If David had known all this wonderful information we have now learned about God's universe, I wonder what wonderful things he would have said about it. Let me remind you one more time that David exhorts God's people to declare God's glory and God's wonders among all peoples. We cannot depend on an unbelieving world or man with all his worldly wisdom to do this. This our job.
We cannot depend on an unbelieving to declare God's wodners to the nations. Nasa won't do it. Most Educational Institutions in the world won't do it God's people must do it; it is our job.
Secondly, this psalm greatly emphasizes the importance of singing in rendering praise and worship to God. In the first two verses we find the exhortation three times to sing unto the Lord. "Sing to the Lord a new song. Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless H~s name." Unto the one true God only religious music is to be dedicated. All the earth Jehovah made, and all the earth should sing to Him. The New Testament exhorts Christians to sing and make melody with their hearts to the Lord. Singing is an act of worship, and when we come to the house of God it is to sing unto the Lord. We don't sing simply because others are singing. We sing because we love God and because He has brought joy and happiness into our lives. If the Lord is not in our thoughts, we are not singing to Him. Praisisng God with ordinary speech is good, but it is not good enugh. What a noble instrument the human voice is. God would have His people sing because it is the noblest form of utterance. To show our feeling for God, singing is the most exalted form of utterance of which the soul is capable. Music and poetry combine to invest the soul's deepest and holiest thought in the most perfect garment of praise. When we worship God, we should use the greatest musical instrument there is, for God deserves the best there is. What is the greatest musical intrumet that we can use in the worship of God? Is it the organn; itmakes a beautaiful soud. Is it the violin, the piano? No, these instruments have no heart, and Christians are to make melody in their hearts and with their hearts to the Lord. When we worship God we should use the greatest musical intrument there is, for God desserves the best there is; and beyond all dispute the very best and greatest of all musical instruments is the human voice. We are to sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord. To make melody in your heart is to make melody in your mind. Paul said, “I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding. Man-made instruments have no heart, no mind, no understanding, but the human voice activated by a loving heart is a delight to God. We should sing with understanding and mean what we sing. The Holy Spirit knew what He was doing when he left out tamborines, drums, harps etc out of Christian worship. Organs and all other instruments cannot sing and melody in their hearts, for they have no mind or hearts. Christian worship is a higher form of Divine worship than Jewish worshp. To make melody in our hearts is to make melody in the mind, in the understanding. It is make music in our inner man and not our outward man. The early Christians used no man-made intruments in the publiculic worshp of God. In fact instruments were never used for the first 500 years in the Christian religion. It was a man-made addition, and God never asked for it. He wants you to make musich with your heart, with your mind(Ehpesians 5:19,Colossians 3:16).
Brother Otis Gatewood was a distinguished missionary and respected preacher in our rotherhood. He once made a thought-provoking statement about singing in Christian worship. Commenting on the Lord's statement that God must be worshiped in spirit and in truth, he suggested that this means our worship services should be deeply spiritual as well as scriptural. He made this statement, “We have become so cold in our formal observances of our five items of worship that thus we have come to a pharisaical stance on worshiping God in truth, but with very little spirit. In Moscow I saw the people weep as they sang and prayed. Perhaps, the persecution they endured directed them to deep sincerity and reverence. How many times in our worship services do we weep because we have been moved deeply spiritually. I take it that Bro. Gatewood thought there was nothing wrong in showing emotion when we worship God and that perhaps we could use a little more of it among Churches of Christ. It is certainly acceptable to God to weep because we have been deeply moved by a thought in hymn, sermon or prayer. Neither do we have to sit like a statue when we sing. If you want to look to heaven when you sing or weep that is your privilege and most appropriate. No one should think that such a show of emotion is out of place in the house of God.
Thirdly, David's threefold summons to sing to the Lord is a prophetical reference to Christians. Please notice again what David said, “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.” All peoples are nvited to sing a new song to the Lord and hear about His great wonders. The Old Testament people of God did very little missionary work to the Gentile nations of the earth. They did not take the law of Moses to the nations and declare God's wonders to them. The heathen nations of old never sang praises to Jehovah during the Jewish age of the world. David was speaking of a future time when the knowledge of God would go to all nations, and this would result in the Gentiles singing a new song to the Lord. That which David predicted did not happen till God sent their Messiah, and Jesus directed the apostles to go into all the world and preached the gospel to every creature, make disciples and then baptize them into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Not until then did the Jews become Christian missionaries and the Gentiles heard about the greater wonders of God.
What was this new song? We read about it in Revelation 5:9 where it is said of Christians, “And they sang a new song saying: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation and have made us kings and priests to our God and we shall reign on the earth.” It is called the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb in Rev. 15:3. Christians sing that song now on earth and they will sing it in heaven. The song of Moses is about deliverance from slavery in Egypt; the song of the Lamb is about deliverance from the slavery of sin. Both songs are about salvation. David foresaw a time coming when the salvation of God would be published among all nations and peoples.--salvation from the night of heathen darkness, from sin and all its consequences. He foresaw the Christian age of the world when freedom and salvation would be known in all nations and all peoples would sing a new song to the God of heaven. If you ask how David could have known these things, the apostle Peter answers in Acts 2:29~31 when he said, “David, .. .being a prophet and knowing God would raise up the Messiah to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this spoke concerning the resurrection of Christ.” Not only did he foresee the resurrection of Christ, but foresaw the gospel of the resurrected Christ spread to all nations of the earth.
Finally David made another outstanding prediction in the 96th Psalm. The las verse of this psalm says, “He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness and the people with His truth.” I do not think this refers to the final judgment. This refers to the first coming of Christ. The New Testament says that God was manifest in the flesh, that He became flesh and dwelled among us. This prediction referred to the time when the wonders of God would be declared to all peoples and the entire earth would sing a new song to the Lord. In Luke 24:44 Jeus said, "All tings must be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms concernng Me." Christ is now judging the world. He is King of kings and Lord of Lords. The ancient throne of David has been transferred to heaven, and Jesus is now sitting on that throne. All power and authority in heaven and earth has been given into His hands, and He will continue to exercise this authority until He delivers up His glorious kingdom to God the Father at His second coming. As David specified, there are two prominent features of Christ's divine rule in the Christian age of the world, righteousness and truth. The laws of His kingdom harmonize with eternal justice and equity. His rule is in accord with His own character and the declarations of His will.
Other prophets made the same prediction David made in the psalm. In Isaiah 42:10 the prophet said, “Sing to the Lord a new song and His praise from the ends of the earth. You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you coastlands and you inhabitants of them.” We know this new song refers to Christian times for in the preceding verses Isaiah said tht God would give Christ as a covenant to the Gentiles to open their eyes and call them out of darkness. In the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi foresaw the same great day, “From the rising of the sun even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles. In every place incense or prayer shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering. For my name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.”
I believe this great prophecy by David, Isaiah and Malachi has been at least partly fulfilled in our day and time, but not completely fulfilled. Certainly, most nations of the earth have heard the gospel of Christ and I think it is right to say there are some Christians in most all nations of the earth today. However, I think these prophecies speak of a greater time on earth than we have yet seen, when Christ will rule this earth with greater power and success than heretofore has been seen. However, these prophecies will be completely fulfilled, and it would appear that there is a wonderful future ahead for the church and the human race.