IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: HE HAS PUT A NEW SONG IN MY MOUTH, A SONG OF PRAISE
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.”—Psalm 98:1
There must be new songs on new occasions of triumph. It would have been absurd for Miriam with her timbrel to conduct the music of the daughters of Israel to some old sonnet that they had learned in Egypt. Nay, an old song could not have spoken out the feelings of that generation, much less could it have served to utter a voice, the jubilant notes of which distant posterity should echo. They must have a new song while they cry the one unto the other, “Sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” The like had never been known before, but henceforth father to son must show forth its fame. In after times, when Deborah and Barak had routed the hosts of Sisera, they did not borrow Miriam’s song; but they had a new psalm for the new event. They said, “Awake, awake, Deborah; awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.” In after years, at the building of the temple, or on the solemn feast days, it was ever the wont of the inspired poets of the age to cry, “O come, let us sing unto the Lord a new song.” Thus the grateful notes of praise have gathered volume and augmented their compass as the ages have rolled onwards; and these as it were only the rehearsals for a grand oratorio. What then, shall be the marvellous novelty and the matchless glory of that song which shall be sung at the last upon Mount Zion, when ten thousand times ten thousand of the warriors of God shall surround Jesus the conqueror, when we shall hear a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters, and like great thunders, when shall be heard the voice of harpers, harping with their harps; what shall be, I say, the strange novelty of that new song which they shall sing before the throne, when the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures shall fall before God upon their faces, and worship him for ever and ever? Would that our ears could anticipate that tremendous burst of “Hallelujah! hallelujah! hallelujah! the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.”
“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.”
The song is there. The song has been “put” there by God. God! It has not been “earned” by the feeble works of man. The psalmist doesn’t say, “I learned a new song! I earned a new song! A song of praise by, and for, my efforts, my wisdom, my riches, my greatness!” This “new” song is a celebration in the mouth of the psalmist, but he is not arrogantly praising himself. The next phrase shows that the evidence of God’s grace has been joyfully received and rejoiced in, not earned. He says that this new song is “a song of praise to our God!”
Why? Because the psalmist had said,
I waited patiently for the Lᴏʀᴅ; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:1–2)
God Is the Goal
This new song celebrates God! It rejoices in God! It sings about God! The psalmist waited patiently for the Lord! The Lord inclined to his cry!
The Lord drew him up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, set his feet upon a solid rock, and made his steps secure!
This song celebrates God for who he is and for what he has done. This is the “new song.”
The heart that has been changed by the gospel sings the praise of the Savior. For only in Jesus, we have been redeemed. We have been saved from our sins that have separated us from our God. We have been raised from our spiritual death to walk in the newness of eternal life. We have received and have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, the guarantee of future and ﬁnal redemption. We have been called out of darkness and into his marvelous light to proclaim his praises. He is our new song.
Our circumstances are not our song. Jesus is.
Listen to what this man’s experience had been—”I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” That is where God gets His singers—out of the place of praying and weeping! Where they learn to pray they begin to sing. Oh, yes, even in Heaven, itself, the sweetest voices that praise God and the Lamb belong to those who came out of great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb! Therefore are they before the Throne of God and serve Him day and night in His Temple. Do not try to get the joy of Christ without first having sorrow for sin—
“The path of sorrow, and that path alone, Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.” This man, who says that God has put a new song in his mouth, began with a new prayer in his heart—”I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”
Further, this man, who sings so well that he cannot help talking about it, was once in a very deplorable state where there was no singing for him, but God brought him up out of it! Hear what he says, “He brought me up, also, out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15: 1
To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: there is a time of the singing of birds, and there is a time for the singing of saints. “Then sang Moses.”
It was first of all at the moment of realized salvation. “The Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore; and Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses. Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord.” There was no singing in Egypt; sighing, and crying, and groaning, and lamentation abounded there, till the Lord said, “I have surely heard the cry of my people.” There was no singing that I know of even at the celebration of the paschal supper, on that dreadful night when they ate the lamb in haste with their loins girded, and their staves in their hands. Its first observance was upon a night almost too solemn for song. I do not read that they sang when they came to Succoth, or reached their first encampment; I doubt not that they sang snatches of songs when they found themselves free from their daily tasks, and from the Egyptian rod. No doubt there were individual songs, but the masses did not unite in concerted music: they were too hurried and too much in fear of pursuit. No poet, as yet, had arisen to write a lyric in which all would join. The hour of their complete deliverance had not yet fully come. They marched on steadily, but they had hardly reached the time for timbrels. When they had crossed the sea, and the waters thereof rolled between them and the house of their bondage, “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord.” Their previous lives had been one long-drawn sigh, or one discord of anguish and fear and woe; but when their slavery was altogether a thing of the past, then sang Moses. The depths have covered the Egyptian host; there is not one of them left; “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord.”
You will have noticed, perhaps, in reading the previous chapter, that Moses had said to the people (xiv. 14): “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” But now that God has fought for them, they are not commanded to hold their peace any longer. The battle is fought, and the victory is won, and “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord.” How could they help it? Surely “if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”
What does that teach us, brothers and sisters, but that we cannot sing in the land of bondage while under the dominion of sin and Satan? How shall we sing the Lord’s song in that strange land? We do not even sing in the first moments of our spiritual life, when our question is how to escape destruction through the sprinkling of the blood Nor do we, perhaps, sing in those first hurried steps when we fly from the power of sin and Satan, endeavouring to escape out of bondage. But, oh, when we see that Christ has saved us, when we understand that he that believeth in him hath everlasting life, then we sing! When we learn that “he that believeth is justified from all things from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses,” and hear the Word of the Lord declaring, “To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name,” then we sing unto the Lord. Who could stop us? It would be unnatural for us to be silent after sin is put away. When we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son the dumb devil is cast out of us. “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord.” Our early days, when first we saw how complete was the redemption of Christ, were days of constant praise; and I think to-day if we see afresh how perfect is the righteousness of Christ, how fully accepted is the great atonement, how secure is our standing by virtue of our union with the Son of God, we shall return to our music and make this house resound with grateful psalms. When we doubt our salvation we suspend our singing; but when we realize it, when we get a grip of it, when we see clearly the great work that God has done for us, then we sing unto the Lord who hath for us also triumphed gloriously. I say again, how can we help singing? How can our joy of heart any longer be pent up? It must pour itself forth in floods of harmony, in tunes of realized salvation.
Brethren, it was also a day of the manifest display of God’s power. Our hearts are heavy; at least, mine is so, when God seems to put his right hand into his bosom and not to vindicate his own cause. I am most sad because I see error prevalent everywhere; falsehood reigns, and Jannes and Jambres withstand Moses, and the prince of this world disdainfully demands, “Who is Jehovah?”
Let us lay ourselves out, by pen, and tongue, and life, to make our Lord Jesus Christ more honourable among those who surround us. Say, “I must and will exalt him. Perhaps I have groaned too much over my trials; perhaps I have been too depressed and heavy in spirit; but from this day I will exalt my Lord, and sound forth his praises. If he will permit me, I will make the glory of the Lord the one object of my being.” Come, ye young men and maidens, ye old men and fathers, let us praise the Lord on the high-sounding cymbals, and spend the rest of our days in crying, “Sing ye unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously.” Amen.
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