Today's Word of Encouragement
SINGING A NEW SONG
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise from the end of the earth! (Isaiah 42:10).
I miss the singing of God’s people in God’s house on Sunday! Sometimes in Sunday worship I simply stand in silence and listen to the voices of my church family as they sing from their heart their joy in the Lord. As glorious as this is to me, I know it can never compare to the songs we will sing in glory when we will one day gather around the throne of God with shouts of hallelujah to the King of kings, and Lord of lords – but it’s close. I’ll even rejoice when Dub finally gets that bucket he can carry a tune in! “What a day, glorious day that will be.”
Israel was in exile in Babylon. For many years in their own land they sang songs to pagan idols – the songs of rioting, worldly pleasures, false worship. God sent them into a foreign land filled with pagan worship, false gods, evil rulers, godless laws. “You made your bed, now lie in it,” mom use to say. Their pagan songs turned to funeral dirges as they couldn’t believe God would do what He threatened to do to them. They thought they were above all that. They thought God loved them more than that – and He did! That’s why they were in Babylon. It was for their own good and for the good of God’s kingdom.
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst of it we hung our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, and our tormentors mirth, saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion." How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? (Psalms 137:1-4). Crisis can do that to us, even if the crisis is well deserved. It can cause us to lose sight of God in the midst of the crisis. It can cause us to forget the covenant He has made with us through Jesus Christ. It can cause us to focus on our plight and not on God’s plan.
Isaiah reminded the people of God’s promise of a coming Messiah (42:1-4). He reminded them of God’s covenant to them and the profound effect that covenant would have upon them as a people and upon the nations (42:5-9). These things alone are worthy of God’s praise! Well, that Messiah has come. His name is Jesus. That covenant is steadily being fulfilled.
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains (a place of danger); from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever (Psalms 121:1-8).
In the days of this pandemic, let’s sing this song!