The Melody Of Praise. 03/02/2014 (Morning thought)

 Psalms 96:1 O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.  2 Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.  3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.  4 For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

This passage of scripture teaches us that our voices should often be lifted in praise and thanks to the Eternal God for His kindness and manifold blessings that are renewed to us from day to day. When the Bible speaks of singing a "new" song unto the Lord, it is referring to the fresh experiences that come our way through the benevolence of our Heavenly Father. We often grovel in our troubles and perplexities instead of quietly reflecting on the many blessings that God has bestowed on us in the past. As we review the history of God's dealings with us, and His wise leadership in our lives, new songs of praise should burst forth from our lips instead of complaints about the "why me" syndrome.

Another valid reason why the praises of God should be on our lips is because it tends to drive away evil spirits. When we dwell on our troubles, speaking about them and rehearsing them throughout the day, we actually encourage the presence of evil spirits to tempt and annoy us. But when in our trials we lift our voices in songs of praise and fervent prayer, the devil and all his hosts become perplexed and head for the door.

A striking example of this can be observed in the experiences of king Saul who went into depression because of disobedience. Saul could be found sitting in his room from day to day, brooding over his troubles to the point where his servants suggested that a "new song" be played and sung to ease his stormy thoughts. Let's read:

1st Samuel 16:14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.  16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.  17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.  23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

When the Bible speaks of "an evil spirit from God", this must not be taken to mean that the Lord sent an evil spirit to harass king Saul. When a person deliberately chooses to walk contrary to the God's wise instructions, then they inevitably come under the jurisdiction of the devil, and the result is harassment and bewilderment all day long. However, even in this deplorable state, the Bible says that when new songs of praise were played for Saul, the evil spirit headed for the door.

This chapter in Saul's and David's experience is full of instruction for us who are living in very troublous times. Depression and suicidal thoughts are invading the minds of more and more Americans, and in the ranks of those who are returning from the battlefield, the numbers are even more staggering. One way in which we can overcome these moods is by singing unto the Lord a "new" song. Instead of being bogged down with depression, let us rise to new heights by reflecting on God's goodness and mercies, and let us pray to Him for deliverance and intervention in all of the problems we may face.

We end by using a passage of scripture designed to bring hope and courage to the benighted soul. If we internalize the promises contained therein, the clouds that darkened our experiences would be lifted and a new day will dawn in our hearts. Let's read:

Psalms 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.  3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.  5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.  6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.  7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.  8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

May this be our song and experience both now and for the rest of our lives. God bless!