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November 8, 2011 / Daniel

Sing a New Song (Psalm 98)

Let’s start by looking at the first stanza.  What has God done for his creation?
Psalm 98 
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.
The LORD has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
The psalm begins with a command to sing.  “Sing to the LORD a new song.”     In the OT, songs were often written to commemorate significant occasions.  Moments in history when God showed up big for his people.   When God rescues you from danger, you need to sing about it.  You need to let people know about his salvation.   There is a connection in the Bible between writing a song and experiencing God’s salvation.

Here are a couple of examples.  In the book of Exodus, Moses leads the children of Israel out of Egypt to the Red Sea.  But Pharaoh and his army were right behind them.  They were trapped.  So God tells Moses to lift up his rod and the sea splits in two and the children of Israel walk across on dry land.  But then Pharaoh and his army start to chase after them.  So what does God do? He sends the water crashing in on the Egyptians and all of Pharaoh’s army drowns in the midst of the Red Sea.  Then they write a song.   In Exodus 15, Moses and Miriam sing a song to celebrate what God did for his people.

Another example is in Judges 5.  The children of Israel were once again in bondage.  This time to a man named Sisera.  Sisera had 900 iron chariots, which he used to oppress God’s people.  A chariot was the tomahawk cruise missile of its day.  Israel was hopeless.  Her enemies had superior technology, but they didn’t have a superior god.  God calls this woman named Deborah and appoints her to be a judge over Israel.  And she rescues God’s people.  And so, once again God shows up big for his people.  And what’s their response?  They sing a song.   Deborah writes a song to commemorate God’s victory over their enemies.

Whenever God delivers his people, the natural response is to sing.   A new act of God calls for a new song of praise.


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