Written by Faith Lillo / October 2018
How many songs have been written over time? The music-streaming platform Spotify boasts 40 million tracks in its library; but what about the melodies that aren’t published? What about the tunes written centuries ago when the means to record them didn’t exist? It’s impossible to contain the history of songwriting with a number. Thinking about the countless songs already written makes it crazy to see that new music is still being released. There are only 12 notes available to work with, yet musicians have endless possibilities for original ideas and creativity. There will never come a day when there are no new songs to write.
“Sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things.” -Psalm 98:1
Variations of the phrase “sing a new song” pop up throughout God’s Word, especially in Psalms. It’s the longest book of the Bible—150 chapters of songs of praise to the Lord—so clearly David and the other psalm-writers practiced what they preached. It seems like they were always overflowing with new words of thanks and praise to God. In a perfect world, singing new praises every day would be as simple as that. But as imperfect humans, we hit a wall. By our sinful nature, we’re creatures of habit. We get comfortable in our ruts, we cling to our toxic cycles, and we grow attached to our bad habits. The longer we sit in the sameness of our sin, the less guilty we feel about missing the mark. Getting complacent about wrongdoings may ease a conscience temporarily, but this relief is just skin deep. The harsh reality is that every single sin is a new offense, a new crime deserving of eternal death.
“Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” -Lamentations 3:22-23a
Based on our own merit, we deserve nothing but God’s righteous anger. Yet out of His great love for us, He made the ultimate sacrifice instead. He sent His Son to die in our place, to wash our daily sins away once and for all. God never ceases to love and care for us. Just as we constantly find new ways to stray away from His will, He is constantly showing new mercy towards us. The Gospel message is “good news” because it’s not just part of a routine or something we can get used to. It’s the front-page headline every morning. It’s fresh and exciting every single day.
“I will sing the mercies of the LORD forever; With my mouth will I make known your faithfulness to all generations.” -Psalm 89:1
With gratitude for this good news in our hearts, suddenly “sing to the Lord a new song!” doesn’t seem like such an impossible task anymore. There will never come a day where God’s mercy runs out, so there will never come a day where there is nothing new for us to sing about. He’s forgiven our countless sins and showered us with countless blessings, so there are countless things to praise Him for. It only makes sense to use the gift of music as the vehicle for this praise. Music is a universal language, a beautiful, God-given tool to communicate with people in a powerful way. But of course, you don’t have to use music to “sing a new song.” Pray a prayer of new thanks. Find new ways to show God’s love in words and actions. Spend your time of grace looking forward to the glory of heaven to come, where we’ll praise the Lord without end in perfect newness of life.
“Praise the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness.” -Psalm 150:1-2