A “New” Song

“Christian music makers have to risk new ways of praising God. Their faith must convince them that however strange a new offering may be, it cannot out-reach, out-imagine, or overwhelm God. God remains God, ready to swoop down in the most wonderful way, amidst all of the flurry and mystery of newness and repetition, to touch souls and hearts, all because faith has been exercised and Christ’s ways have been imitated. Meanwhile, a thousand tongues will never be enough.” – Harold Best

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The instructions in Psalm 96:1-3 are clear: “Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.” But, what does it mean to sing to Him a song that is “new?” The Hebrew word used in the passage for new (transliterated “chadash”) has the connotation of something “fresh.” This means, by way of application, that the songs sung to the Lord need not be brand now. But rather, these songs should be song in a way that is fresh to the Lord. This, of course, is good news to the fans of the old songs (however you may define them). In his book, Music Through the Eyes of Faith, Harold Best, rightly notes that there are a variety of ways that one might accomplish singing a new song to the Lord. One might sing an entirely new song to Him. And today, there are fantastic songs being written in praise to the Lord. One only needs to peruse the material that has come from Keith and Kristyn Getty to know this! Best also suggests that Christians learn to sing old songs in a fresh or new way. In other words, even if you have sung “Holy, Holy, Holy” a thousand times, you recognize that this phrase will never stop being proclaimed for all of eternity (see Revelation 4-6). A third way that a new song can be sung is with a posture of the heart. The Christian responds to God’s glory with a consistent longing and desire to walk towards God. In this way, the soul takes up a posture of fresh worship on a daily basis, as even the “heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). May we, with this posture, daily sing a new song to the Lord!

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