Psalm 96: The New Song
A couple of years ago Time Magazine ran an article about the therapeutic value of singing (see www.time.com, August 13, 2013, Singing Changes Your Brain by Stacy Horn). A couple of lines in the article posed a dilemma for me. Take note---
When you sing, musical vibrations move through you, altering your physical
and emotional landscape. Group singing, for those who have done it, is the most
exhilarating and transformative of all. It takes something incredibly intimate, a
sound that begins inside you, shares it with a roomful of people and it comes
back as something even more thrilling: harmony. So it’s not surprising that
group singing is on the rise. According to Chorus America, 32.5 million adults
sing in choirs, up by almost 10 million over the past six years.
With the cultural popularity of singing seemingly on the rise, some scientists weighed in on the physiological connections that give music and singing such a valued impact on the human species.
The dilemma? Well, it may just be another myth planted, fertilized, and grown by the experts in the blog world, but the Time report seems to fly in the face of what is supposedly happening in church. This world says church singing is down. So, while the neighbors are joining a community chorus or barber shop quartet in drives, people are standing mute in church services. City choirs are booming, church choirs busting!
So, there are the Psalms, songs for God's people. Psalm 96 is precious because it invites us to sing the new song he has put in to our hearts. The new song idea for me in grounded in my personal life verses, Psalm 40:1-3---
I waited patiently for the Lord; 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. 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 presumption of Psalm 96 is that we have a new song in our heart we can sing. Please read through this blessed Psalm and experience the joys of the new song he gives us of us when we respond to his invitation---
Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all vthe trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
What a great song of worship and praise, the majesty of our God. I'm wondering if the reason we're not singing is that (1) we haven't experienced the new song, or (2) in all the buzz of competing ideals, we've forgotten it.
It's the Lord's Day. Sing a new song!