January 17, 2023 – Reflections on “Sing to the Lord!”

          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. Psalm 96:1-4.

         As a young girl, I listened to recordings of Caruso on my Grandfather’s wind-up victrola and my Aunt Bernice and Uncle Eli singing duets. My Grandfather directed their church choir for many years. I loved hearing their delightful harmony, although I didn’t know the word then. Our home was a home of music. My brothers played the coronet and the clarinet. Mother taught me to play the piano, as she did, and then later I took voice lessons. Little did I know it would prepare me for my life.

         Mother chose songs for me to sing… O Holy Night, I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked. Stille Nacht, Jesu Bambino, and more. Little did I know, I learned a way of life and scriptures as I learned a new song. The Lord is my Light and My Salvation, and the Lord’s Prayer. And many more, plus hymns. During college, walking home at night, I often sang. It became a joy to take a breath and sing a new song!

            I often wondered why we sing during worship. Then it clicked when I read, 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! Psalm 96:1-3. It is a pleasing way to worship the Lord. When we sing for Him and humbly praise Him for His steadfast love with joy and thanksgiving, we worship.

         Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn, make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord! Psalm 98:4-6.

         Even His Creation is commanded to make a joyful noise to the Lord. Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity. Psalm 98:7-9.

         It was when my husband had dementia, did I know the power of hymns and loving Jesus. We often spent time listening to hymns, and I sang hymns to him. His lips mouthed the lyrics and Jesus carried us through the confusion and gave him peace and calmed his anxiety.

       Knowing the difference between a suggestion and command gives us truth, life, and the way to please God. Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18b-20.

         Learning a new song means the need to listen. Each day we have new experiences, and when we constantly listen to God, He gives us a New Song to sing to praise Him. Singing isn’t optional, it is a command. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:16-17.

         Another command that goes with singing to the Lord is, Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4. What do we have to ‘rejoice’ about when life seems difficult? I love the many times, the scripture tells us to rejoice, Lamentations 3 gives us the reason. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23.

         Singing praises to God gives birth to Joy, and study/reading of Scriptures gives birth to singing. I remember when my Mother wrote Scripture songs and self-published them under the title of “Singing the Word!” The more we re-read and study the same verses, the more they teach us about our Lord God. Each time we read the verses from the Bible; we see something new.

         I learned the children’s song early in life, Jesus Loves Me, this I Know! I sang this to my husband, and only made it to the chorus before I realized that this song is not just for children. It is also for people in their latter days, as well. “I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music.” Psalm 101:1.

         When we sing praises to God, we glorify Him who created us. What did the shepherds do after the angels announced the birth of Jesus to them? And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20.

         When we are able to be ready to sing “It is Well,” and know the story of the author of the lyrics can we understand how to glorify God. All of his children drowned at sea, when he took a boat to meet his wife, the captain told him they were passing over the place where the children drowned, he penned these words: ‘When peace like a river, Attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well with my soul.’

         So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31.