KEY THOT: Singing is the mark of the redeemed who know their God. It is also a characteristics of those who are filled with God’s Word & Spirit (Col. 3:!6; Eph 5:18-19 (“addressing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs"). The psalmist exhorts us to sing to the Lord in the following ways:
- “a new song” (v.1): this is not to suggest God prefers the newer contemporary songs than the old hymns. But it does suggest that our singing to the Lord must be fresh, and current, not stale and tired. It begins with the heart that is full of God’s Word (Col. 3:16 “word of Christ dwell in you richly”) and also full of the Spirit (Eph. 5:18, “be filled with the Spirit”). When our hearts are filled with God’s Word and Spirit, it naturally overflows in new songs to God.
- “bless his name” (v.2a): Our new songs must focus on blessing God’s name, lifting the name of Jesus high. It’s about magnifying God’s name, not just our experience of Him. The more we bless His name, the more our spirits soar.
- “tell of his salvation day by day”: (v.2b): Salvation is God’s acts of saving us from our daily (“day by day”) troubles, not from eternal lake of fires. While we cannot sing of God’s deliverance of believers from hell (we’re not there yet), we can sing of his deliverance from our troubles and challenges we face in our daily life: “Give us this day our daily bread…” There’s much to give thanks for, for God saves us even from mundane and material needs in this daily life. Songs of deliverance testify of God's daily salvation.
- “declare his glory among the nations” (v.3): Here again, worship is to take place “among the nations”. We must not just sing of his glory among the insiders, but also among outsiders. Worship is not just for believers, but according to the psalmist, we are to declare his glory among the nations. Worship can be and must be missional. Worship evangelism is not an oxymoron. It’s a biblical ministry that is very much needed. I myself was first drawn to Christianity as a freshman attending a "concert" by the worship team called the “Cross-roads” in 1973 on varsity campus ground. I was attracted by their joy.
Personally, I’ve since participated in worship through Alpha in half-way houses and state prisons in the presence of unbeliving inmates for many years. We once even conducted a series of monthly “marketplace worship” in a CBD venue with the i61 worship team (i61 is a contraction of “Isaiah 61”). And we are now looking into launching a new worship evangelism evening series called “Café Worship”. The first session will be held at the Alpha Office at CT Hub on 9 June. This will be open to the unchurched to “chill out” with coffee and cakes to hear of God's salvation through songs of praise and worship.
Let’s bring worship into the marketplace! Let’s sing of God’s glory among the nations… for the nations are all here among us out in the marketplace. May God raise up an army of worship teams that are willing to minister to the lost generation--outside the church premise.
Father, what a glorious God we have. How we have kept You and Your glory hidden inside the church premise. May Your glory shine and overflow into the marketplace venues! Amen.