“The story of God’s presence”
“Sing a new song”
Imagine a world with no music
It would be a pretty boring place
Think about going to see a movie
Action movies would lose a lot of their effect without the fast paced
Excited music that comes with the visuals
Imagine watching an old western without music
You would never know when something was about to happen
Or who the good guys and bad guys were
Especially if they were not were their perspective black or white hats
Often when we look at our lives in our minds we want to set our memories to music as well
The soundtrack of my life is as I am sure yours is very varied
There are times for soft sweet music
Other times where dazed and confused would be more fitting
It is my desire this morning to show you the importance of music in our worship
Let me backtrack just a bit before we dig in
The Israelites are now standing on the far side of the Red Sea
They have just witnessed God’s awesome power
Up close and personal
They are in awe
Let me remind you
The people standing here had been slaves their entire lives
As a matter of fact slavery is all they knew
The Hebrews had been in Egypt for over 400 years and many of those years
I would feel safe in saying
Most of those years had been spent in bondage
Here they were
2 million people
Hebrews and friends
Never in their lives had they been free
They had thought about freedom
Talked about freedom
Dreamed about freedom
And now with the wave of Moses staff
With the rush of waters covering the Egyptian army
They were free
God had delivered them from bondage
Delivered them from slavery
Just as he had promised
God had given them a new start
Now standing on the other side of the sea
On that Morning so long ago
With the waves gently rolling onto the beach
The bodies of the Egyptians and their horses washing up on shore
Their freedom became a reality
And as that reality sunk in
2 million people began to sing
They began to sing a new song
Let me read for you from God’s word
This is the first song recorded in the bible
I have no doubt many songs had been sung before
But this one was special
We don’t know the tune that goes with the words
The words ring truth
And the words praise God the deliver- the savior- the redeemer
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD:
“I will sing to the LORD,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
he has hurled both horse and rider
into the sea.
2 The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has given me victory.
This is my God, and I will praise him—
my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
3 The LORD is a warrior;
Yahweh[a] is his name!
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and army
he has hurled into the sea.
The finest of Pharaoh’s officers
are drowned in the Red Sea.[b]
5 The deep waters gushed over them;
they sank to the bottom like a stone.
6 “Your right hand, O LORD,
is glorious in power.
Your right hand, O LORD,
smashes the enemy.
7 In the greatness of your majesty,
you overthrow those who rise against you.
You unleash your blazing fury;
it consumes them like straw.
8 At the blast of your breath,
the waters piled up!
The surging waters stood straight like a wall;
in the heart of the sea the deep waters became hard.
9 “The enemy boasted, ‘I will chase them
and catch up with them.
I will plunder them
and consume them.
I will flash my sword;
my powerful hand will destroy them.’
10 But you blew with your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
in the mighty waters.
11 “Who is like you among the gods, O LORD—
glorious in holiness,
awesome in splendor,
performing great wonders?
12 You raised your right hand,
and the earth swallowed our enemies.
13 “With your unfailing love you lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your might, you guide them
to your sacred home.
14 The peoples hear and tremble;
anguish grips those who live in Philistia.
15 The leaders of Edom are terrified;
the nobles of Moab tremble.
All who live in Canaan melt away;
16 terror and dread fall upon them.
The power of your arm
makes them lifeless as stone
until your people pass by, O LORD,
until the people you purchased pass by.
17 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain—
the place, O LORD, reserved for your own dwelling,
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established.
18 The LORD will reign forever and ever!”
The Israelites were free
They sang about God
They sang to God
They praised God
They called his name
They sang about his power
And his love
A few days before they had left Egypt with their fists raised in defiance to Pharaoh
And now those same hands were lifted in worship
Lifted in thanks
Voices coming together
The men and women
The children and the elderly
The Israelites and the others who had joined them
2 million voices raised in praise of God
It must have been beautiful
They understood that they had been delivered
By God’s grace
They had a reason for rejoicing
And that is what they did!
We should follow the lead of the Hebrew people
We need to remember that we too
If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our savior
Have been delivered
We too were once in bondage
Chained up by our sin
Destined for an eternity in hell
God in his mercy and grace
Sent his Son
Jesus to pay our debt
Jesus paid that debt on the cross
Was buried and resurrected
And then God sent the Holy Spirit
To show us the savior
To show us Jesus
And to convict us of our sins
By his grace
If you are a believer
We saw the need for a savior
And we saw that we were sinners
And We admitted that we were lost
And we accepted
That Jesus paid
The gift he gave
And we cried out for deliverance
Just like the Hebrews’
He delivered us!
He set us free
The bible says
The truth will set you free
Jesus is the truth and if you have accepted him
Then you are truly free
And that my friends is why we like the Israelites should sing
We should sing because we are free
That would be enough reason to raise our voices
From today’s passage
I see several more reasons as to why we should sing
Our singing pleases God
God loves to hear our voices
He loved to hear the voices of his children the Hebrews rising up from the seashore
And he loves to hear our voices rising up from his church
It makes him happy
It brings him joy
Put yourself in his shoes
Remember the times when your child
Niece or nephew was in the Christmas or Easter play
And they sang
And no matter how off key they were
No matter how they messed up the words
You beamed with pride
Their singing pleased you
God does not care how we sound
He cares that we rejoice
He care that we praise him
He cares that we exalt him
And he loves to hear us sing together
He loves to hear the instruments
Many places in the bible speak of music and our singing
The singing and playing instruments in praise to Our Father
God’s word is full of references and stories about singing
Psalm 98 is one of my favorite on this subject
Sing a new song to the LORD,
for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
his holy arm has shown his saving power!
2 The LORD has announced his victory
and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
3 He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
4 Shout to the LORD, all the earth;
break out in praise and sing for joy!
5 Sing your praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song,
6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the King!
7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the earth and all living things join in.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
9 before the LORD,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with fairness.
We should sing
Because it pleases God
We should sing because
Singing prepares our hearts for worship
Singing primes the pump for the word of God
Raising our voices to God
Softens our heart to receive his word
To receive his instruction
Priming the pump prepares us for the blessings that he has for us
Once again Guys
Music is such a huge part of our lives
Why would we choose not to include music in our worship?
I can’t sing a lick
If you sit near me on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s you know this
You know I can’t sing ---- because I do sing
I use music to prepare my heart
I often make notes in my closing remark from what I hear in the song service
My heart is opened to the Holy Spirit
And though the singing he often speaks directly to my primed heart
When we sing to God
We are focusing on God
Just as the Israelites did
We are thinking about God and his power
Calling his name
Singing about his deeds
Remembering what he has already done for us
Thinking about what he will do for us
Reflecting on his promises
On his provision
On his protection
Worship will be our primary job in glory and the book of Revelation talks a lot about our singing being huge part of that worship
Paul in Ephesians tells us not to live as the world lives and then he tells us in verses 19 and 20
Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We should sing because it pleases God
We should sing because it prepares our hearts
And we should sing because
Singing makes our worship personal
When we sing
We move from passive to active worship
It is very easy to come to church
Sit and listen to the preaching
Read the scripture off the screen
Let the band entertain you
Just sitting- uninvolved
God likes all worship
But he loves active worship
Passive worship is boring
It is hard to fall asleep in church when you are up clapping you hands and singing to the Lord
It is hard to become distracted
When your are actively involved
As I said God likes all worship
Nowhere in his word is passive worship discussed in a positive manner
God loves excited worship
Not out of controlled chaos- He is a God of order
But he loves to see his people actively
Passionately worshipping and praising him
Singing to him and about him
Lifting their voice in unity
Nothing about the worship discussed in Revelation
Will be boring
We will not be lying around on clouds
Floating along strumming on a harp
We will be actively worshiping our deliverer
Standing and singing
Clapping your hands
Playing instruments in the band if God has blessed you in that way
Is active worship
It is making worship personal
Again with Ephesians 5:19
19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.
God loves singing so much that He says Zephaniah that he sings over us
For the LORD your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
We need to sing because we are free
Freed from the penalty of our sins
Freed from a life of torment
Freed to worship God
We need to sing because it pleases God
It does not make him love us more
He can’t love us more than he did when he sent his only Son to die for us
But it brings him great joy
We need to sing in order to prepare our hearts
Prime the pump
Open ourselves completely and fully to God and his word
We need to sing to make our worship personal
Move from boring passive worship to
Passionate – active worship
I want to make a challenge to you this morning
For the next month
Try standing and singing
‘ not going through the motions ‘ but really singing
And see if you don’t get closer to God
If it don’t work
Then sit down
And keep doing what you are doing
But I believe it can and will change the way you worship through the softening and preparing of your heart
Maybe you are sitting here this morning and you don’t feel that you have anything to sing about
If you are a believer
Have you forgotten that you were in bondage to your sins at one time in your life?
On the Highway to hell
And now you see the light
You’ve been redeemed
Guys if you are sitting here without Jesus
You need to change the song you sing
You can go from Dazed and confused
Whiskey bent and hell bound
Amazing grace and Jesus loves me
In less than a second
By crying out to Jesus
Asking him to deliver you
Asking him to save you
Close from the heart