He has given me a new
song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and
be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD. -- Psalm 40: 3 (NLT)
Growing up I always had an eclectic taste in music. A little of this and a little of that but I have always loved the blues. There was something haunting about the sound of the guitar and the woeful yet soulful lyrics that drew me in. Perhaps it was because I related my life so readily to the sorry state of affairs in most blues melodies. Art often does imitate life after all. This world will give you plenty to be "blue" about beloved. Until I came to the saving grace of Jesus Christ my life was one blues riff after another! But then God!
Our key verse illustrates the change we experience when saved by using musical imagery. David as we know was very musical. Within this one small verse are several truths for us to internalize today -- to grow closer to God and to appreciate better all He has and continues to do for us. The first truth is that there needs to be a change in the song our lives sing after we have been saved. What does that mean? That means that once we have been saved by God there should be a change in our focus. Prior to salvation I know that I focused constantly on my problems. Constantly on what I felt I did not have. I also had no problem sharing my frustrations or disappointments with others. Misery after all loves company. And the temptation once saved is to continue the old habits. To continue to love the company of misery. Old habits are after all, hard to break. But David teaches us here that there should be a new song in our hearts that we should be singing. A hymn of praise to our God!
By praising God we accomplish a few things. First of all, we keep the focus of our life on the problem solver instead of the problem. The enemy wants us focusing on ourselves and our problems. He magnifies them for us in our minds and what David is saying here is we must choose to magnify the Lord. If our problems become magnified then they will appear bigger then our God. If we choose to magnify God, then He will appear bigger than our problems. This was never more evident than in the Book of Numbers when the Israelites were finally on the border of the Promised Land. The Israelites were already saved by God from slavery in Egypt just like we have been saved out of the slavery of sin. God had a land of promise waiting for them just like He does for us as well. So, 12 scouts are sent out to search the land. Ten of them returned with the same old song on their lips:
And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them." -- Numbers 13: 32-33 (NIV)
Note the end of this verse -- "we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes!" When you magnify your problems instead of God you will begin to reduce in your own eyes. You become insignificant compared to your problems. You diminish. They talked about the land. They talked about the giants. They talked about their fears. What was missing from their report? God. But the other two -- Joshua and Caleb -- they had a different view. They sang a new song:
Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them." -- Numbers 14: 6-9 (NIV)
The Lord -- The Lord -- The Lord. That was the new song. A hymn of praise to God. Joshua and Caleb focused on the God they served not the apparent size of the giant in front of them. Even when David was still but a shepherd boy he understood the power of singing a new song -- even as the King of Israel did not: