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Jack Graham - Sing a New Song


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    Jack Graham - Sing a New Song
TOPICS: Songs of Encouragement

If you would take God's Word, turn to Psalm 96. We're going to read all thirteen verses. Psalms is at the center of the Scripture, very core. You open the Bible in the middle and there it is, because worship and praise, you know the psalms, as we noted the last time we were together, is the songbook of the Scriptures. It is the hymnbook. Now all of the Bible is a hymnbook, in that it is about Him; it's about Jesus. But God has placed in the scriptures these songs of praise, these songs of joy with which we are to worship Him. And so songs are a big part of our lives, and the psalm and the psalmist in this case has a passion that the whole world would hear the songs of the Savior and the songs of the people.

Psalm 96, verse 1 says: "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", say that out loud, "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 (Adonai) 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 (that is give to the Lord) the glory due his name; bring an offering, and 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 the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness". This has been called a missionary song or psalm, the great commission psalm because it speaks of our song, the song of our salvation as being proclaimed to the nations; that we are to exalt our God! His name and for His fame among the nations in all of the earth! All His name! It's a Second Coming psalm, in that as it closes it speaks of the day when God Himself shall reign, that Jesus is coming again! And when He comes we'll gather around the throne of God and celebrate our Savior forever! With new songs of praise and adoration to God. Because the Scripture says that at the end of days, "Every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God".

So worship is all about Jesus; it is in His name and for His fame. And so we are to sing, "Sing to the Lord a new song". There are other ways that we worship God, but certainly to sing is a beautiful and powerful and an essential way in which we are to honor God. That He reigns forever. And why are we to sing? Well for one, God sings. God the Father sings. Did you know that? Zephaniah, chapter 3, verse 17 tells us this. One of these days Zephaniah's going to walk up to you in heaven and say, "What did you think about my book"? I would read it if I were you. You might remember this verse. Three-seventeen of Zephaniah the prophet, "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love, he will exult over you with loud singing". God the Father sings over His children, to calm us, to comfort us, and, yes, to celebrate us. "He will exult over you with loud singing". God the Father sings. God the Son sings.

When Jesus observed that last Passover with His disciples, which became the memorial meal, the Lord's Supper, in the end as He was setting His face towards Gethsemane, where he would pour out with drops of blood His surrender to the will of the Father, and on to the cross to die for the sins of mankind, the Scripture says in the Gospel of Matthew that when they had completed the supper, they sang a hymn and went out into the night, out into the Garden. Can you imagine that? Our Savior singing on the way to the cross! God the Father sings, God the Son sings, God the Spirit sings! You say, how does the spirit sing? He sings through his people, He sings to His church. We are the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit. And the mark, the evidence of a Spirit-filled life, one of the marks, the evidence of the Spirit-filled life and a Spirit-filled church is singing.

Ephesians 5, verse 17 tells us that we are to be "filled with the Holy Spirit," and then "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs". So God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit sings with us, on us, through us. And it makes sense that if the Holy Trinity of God sings that it stands to reason as the psalmist says, "to sing unto the Lord". It appears again and again in scripture, and, of course, again and again in the book of Psalms. We are to sing. Sing! You may be the kind of person you can't carry a tune and if you could, you wouldn't know how to unload it. But you can sing and worship God. And here's the fact, God welcomes our praise and not only does God welcome our praise but our praise welcomes God! Psalm 22 and verse 3. The scripture tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. What was true for Israel in that day is true for His people today. God dwells in the praises of His people. This is God's address, praise is God's address.

Now we know that God is everywhere, is omnipresent. There's no place you can go from the presence of the Lord. But there is a special sense, a supernatural sense that when we offer praise to Him His manifest presence is experienced. We dwell in His presence when we offer praise to Him. Did you know there are more commandments in the Scripture to praise the Lord than even to pray? Now we know we are to pray. We're commanded to pray, but more often in the Scripture we are told to praise the Lord. Even the model prayer that Jesus taught us in praying begins with "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name". That's praise! And it closes with "For Yours is the kingdom and the glory forever". That's praise! So praise is to be not just a part, but it is to be part and parcel of our lives!

Let me give you a few scriptures on this. Psalm 81, verse 1, speaking of singing: "Sing aloud to God our strength! Shout for joy to the God of Jacob"! And then Psalm 95:1 and 2: "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving, let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise"! Psalm 135:3: "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good. Sing to His name for it is pleasant". Psalm 100:1-2: "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness. Come into His presence with singing". Psalm 40, verse 3: "He put a new song in my mouth; a song of praise to our God! Many will see it and fear, and put their trust in the Lord". You ought to be not only singing a song, but showing the song! The psalmist said sing it and show it! It's show and tell! You ought to be a two-legged, walking song! And this new song that God has put in our hearts is so powerful that it reverence the Savior, it fortifies our faith, it comforts us in our weakness, it vanishes and defeats the devil who may come against us.

All of this and much, much more is in the power of praise! We grow in our faith and we have a song to sing, and we ought to sing it! It's the new, new song of what Christ has done and is doing for us! "A song is not a song until you sing it. A bell is not a bell until you ring it". And your faith is not a faith until you give it away. So the psalmist is saying let the world, let the whole earth hear your voice praising God! "Sing to the Lord"! Look at verse 1 again. It says: "Oh"! In case you wonder, some of the oh-oh-oh's and woo-woo-woo's come in our songs? Right out of the psalm book! "Oh"! It's an exclamation! It's an exuberant praise! "Oh sing to the Lord a new song". God gives every generation new songs of praise.

Now we, of course, don't forget the old songs. In fact, every old song was once a new song! And how we thank God for classic hymns of faith that endure from generation to generation. Those great songs that we learned as children connect us with our past as well as our present. The great psalms and songs of faith, and hymns that teach great truth and theology, and historic faith. "A Mighty Fortress is Our God", "Holy, Holy, Holy", "Blessed Assurance", "Blessed Redeemer", "Amazing Grace", "How Great Thou Art", "Come Thou Fount of Many Blessings" and more, much, much more! Many of us grew up on these songs and these great hymns were handed to us by our parents and grandparents before us. And we celebrate these great hymns, and we'll continue to sing them. But not only does God give us old songs, but God gives us new songs for new generations of Christians! I would hate to think that God no longer inspired people to write new songs of faith, to write new music that praises God, songs of worship. No, God has given us a multitude of songs and new music, as well as old songs of faith to worship Him! "Oh sing to the Lord a new song".

Now what do you think that means? A new song? Everything about the Christian life is new! We enter our faith in Christ through the new birth. Our experience of salvation is so radical, so revolutionary that it's like being born all over again. Jesus said, "You must be born again". That's the new birth. We read about it in the New Testament. It's the new covenant that we have in Christ by His blood, because of His cross and resurrection. One day we will sing this new song around the throne of God, singing the new song. The songs that have occupied the voices of angels throughout centuries and millennials. We will sing these songs. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "If anyone be in Christ he's a new creation: old things are past away; everything becomes new"! And so surely we would sing new songs, because we never exhaust our praises to God. We could never exhaust our poems and praises that we offer God in worship of Him! These are ever new! Each day offers us an opportunity, a new way to sing and to worship God.

Lamentations 3:22-23, "For His mercies are new (what?) every morning". "Great is Thy faithfulness". For every day, for every season in life we have songs to sing! Psalm 34: 1 and 2 says, "Oh magnify the Lord with me. Come, let us exalt His name together! I will bless the Lord at (how often?) all times"! It's not something we do some of the time. I want to be the kind of Christian that is praising God all the time! That the beauty of His holiness and the blessing of His presence is upon my lips and upon my life! Psalm 34:1, "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will continually be in my mouth". I don't understand how a person can say I'm saved and not sing and say the praises of our God! I don't get that! If you have been forgiven, if you have been changed, if you have been transformed by the power of Jesus Christ, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so"! Say so! And sing so! These songs of praise are exuberant and exciting. And nothing, Christian, can take your song away except one thing, and that's sin. If you live in sin unrepentant of you can lose your song.

It happened to David. And for one solid year he tried to cover his sin, and he later prayed, we'll talk about this in our Psalms series. He later prayed, Lord, restore to me the joy of my salvation. He was miserable. But God restored the joy! David was the sweet singer of Israel, the shepherd sing, the sovereign singer, but he lost his song because of sin. Look, you can lose your job. But if you know Christ you don't lose your song when you lose your job. You can lose your money but you don't lose your song. You can lose your possessions but you don't lose your song. You can even lose a wife or a husband, God forbid, even a child, but you don't have to lose your song! Because God has given us a new song, and sometimes we bring this as a sacrifice of praise. I know not everyone who came in here today felt like singing, but you're the very person who needs to sing and to worship God. He gives songs in the night, in the darkest hours. We still sing; we're still singing. It's never boring in the presence of God.

I've been in some boring church services before, and so have you, but never in a boring worship service. How could it be boring if you're in the presence of Almighty God? If He inhabits the praises of His people, if He manifests His presence when we praise Him, it's impossible that it would be boring. You know what praise is? Praise is giving all there is of me. All that I know about me to all of Him. That's worship! Praise is giving all that I know about me to all that I know about Him, I give my life to Him. And therefore praise glorifies God. Praise will beautify your life, he speaks here as you read it of the beauty of praise. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, it's a beautiful thing. You know, some people, they brighten up a room when they leave it. You know people like that? But some people brighten up a room when they walk in because their countenance is aflame, aglow with the presence of God because they are worshippers. Glorifies God, beautifies our life, heals our hurts.

How often have we been comforted by the singing of our God over us, by the singing to our God in times of darkness. The bible says, "He gives songs in the night". I can tell you in some of the darkest days of my life he has given those songs in the night. Heals our hurts. He gives the garment of praise to the spirit of heaviness. Praise and worship strengthens our souls, fortifies our faith and defeats the devil. Satan is allergic to praise. He cannot stay where the name of God and the presence of God lives. So at the name of Jesus Satan flees, he runs from the room. The last verses here speaks of the multitudes worshipping Jesus with loud anthems of praise. It speaks of all nations and all of nature, from the trees to the mountains.

Jesus said, "if you don't praise me even the rocks will cry out". And so the trees clap their hands and the leaves lift themselves in worship of God and the mountain and the roaring seas and the nations and one day when Christ comes! You know what this song is saying? The king is coming and He will redeem and He will rule and He will give retribution and righteousness will rule. And we've had another tough week here in America. And pain and recklessness and lawlessness is in our streets. There's pain, you see the pain in people's faces. And we pray that we could end that in some way but it's not a political solution. It's not a socialized, sociological solution, it's a spiritual solution. And it really won't be solved until that day when Christ returns and makes everything right. Then there will be peace, then there will be no rioting in the streets of glory. There will be no death and dying in heaven. When Christ reigns, when Christ rules, the King Jesus is coming! Give Him glory, give Him praise until that day and when we see Him face to face and praise Him forever.
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