It’s an exciting time to be alive! We are living in both the worst of times and the best of times. Darkness is no longer hidden in the shadows. Wickedness is on full display BUT the goodness of God far surpasses it all! When our gaze is on His goodness, the evil surrounding us, pales in comparison. He is worthy of all our praise! He delivers us from the pit of despair and sets our feet on solid ground. Arise, let us sing a new song!
Did you know that the Bible instructs us to sing a new song (Psalm 33:3, 40:3, 96:1, 144:9, 149:1, Isaiah 42:10, Revelation 5:9, 14:1-8)? Why? What is significant about a new song? Notably, mysteries unfold when we sing to the Lord a new song. The Hebrew scriptures are meant to be sung. There were designated musicians/singers from the Levitical tribe of priests who lived in rooms within the temple because their role was to sing scripture.
I Chronicles 9:33 “These are the singers, heads of the father’s house of the Levites, who lodged in the chambers, and were free from other duties; for they were employed in that work day and night.”
The Book of Psalms is a poetic book of sacred songs. One of the Hebrew words for praise is ‘tᵉhillâh’ which means to sing, to celebrate with a spontaneous song, extravagant praise, adoration, to publicly praise, to speak of God’s fame and glory.[i] The plural form of this word is ‘tehillim’ which is the Hebrew word for psalm. The Book of Psalms is a book of melodic praises. Within the psalms, we discover why we are instructed to sing a new song.
Psalm 98:1 “Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.”(emphasis mine)
We are instructed to release a new song because of His wonders. When we experience the marvelous acts of God, it causes our spirit to erupt in worship. When this happens, we must not muzzle our spirit, let the new song of praise come forth. The new song launches us into new realms within His Presence.
The phrase ‘new song’ in the Old Testament uses the Hebrew word ‘ḥāḏāš’ for ‘new.’ It means “fresh, new thing,”[ii] as in, a one-of-a-kind, never heard before, original song. The Lord delights when we express our love for Him in fresh, new ways. Think about a significant relationship you have with someone you deeply love. Your relationship becomes enlivened when you express your love for that person in fresh, new ways. The same is true for our relationship with Jesus.
When I consider that Yahweh’s character is endless, I get excited by the idea of exploring His Presence. Our Creator designed us with an insatiable desire for exploration. This is evident throughout history; humanity has always been exploring and inventing new things from fire to electricity to Wi-Fi, from wheels to trains to rockets, from land to sea to outer space, from molecules to atoms to quantum strings - we are always exploring. Ultimately, we were designed this way so that we would explore God’s nature and character. As a treasure hunter, this makes me giddy with excitement. I can spend the rest of eternity exploring inside the Lord’s Presence and I will never reach the end. This thought alone makes me erupt with a new song, right here, right now.
It goes something like this…
Wow! That was an unexpected joy. I just experienced the power of a new song in real-time. My gaze has been lifted; my focus is on Him alone, the cares of this world seem insignificant. This is what renewing your mind looks like. Hallelujah!
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
When we sing a new song, we are declaring the wonders of His character and the beauty found in His majesty. We are introducing others to aspects of the Lord’s character they haven’t yet experienced. We are announcing his marvelous works in our lives.
Vivien Hibbert writes that the new songs described in Psalm 40 & 42, "Include an element of the supernatural and ministry to the lost. Maybe we are yet to see the full impact and power of the new song. Maybe there is a day of the supernatural and awesome evangelism that is yet to come to the Church."[iii] May it be so!
Psalm 96:1-3 “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
There is no end to our worship because His character is infinite, His beauty is endless. Just when we think we can’t be more astounded by His love, He lavishes us with more waves of His goodness. What if we held the perspective that we can’t get enough of Him? What if we had the desire each day to explore deeper into His Presence? What if we wanted nothing more than to soar higher with the Spirit? What would our worship look like? I’m convinced we would stop at nothing less than extravagant displays of affection for our bridegroom.
John 12:3 “Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
I want to encourage you to release a new song. It’s inside you, I know it. Not every new song that comes forth will be used to lead others in praise and worship. I don’t want you to disqualify yourself just because you are not a singer-songwriter. I am not a musician or a talented singer, but the Lord LOVES when I sing to Him. After all, he sings over me (Zephaniah 3:17). The new song that erupted from my spirit is not one that will be sung on the radio for others to hear, instead, it’s a love song to my Redeemer. No other person heard me sing this new song, but creation heard. I sang in my backyard; the birds, the trees, the grass, the bushes, and the water heard me sing.
Romans 8:19-20 “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage into freedom and glory of the children of God.”
A Declaration of Victory
When we worship, our praises, the words we declare through song, reverberate throughout the earth. The Lord unlocked this truth for me a few years ago when I was studying the song of Moses in Exodus 15. After the Israelites passed through the Red Sea and watched the Egyptian army get swallowed up by the waters, Moses erupted with a new song. Listen to the power in his words.
Exodus 15:11-18 “11 Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? 12 “You stretch out your right hand, and the earth swallows your enemies. 13 In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength, you will guide them to your holy dwelling.14 The nations will hear and tremble; anguish will grip the people of Philistia. 15 The chiefs of Edom will be terrified, the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling, the people of Canaan will melt away; 16terror and dread will fall on them. By the power of your arm they will be as still as a stone— until your people pass by, Lord, until the people you bought pass by. 17 You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance— the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established. 18 “The Lord reigns forever and ever.” (emphasis mine)
- Nations will hear and tremble
- The people of Canaan will melt away (Hebrew word ‘mûḡ’)
- Terror and dread will fall on them (Hebrew word ‘ȇmâ’)
Astonishingly, 40 years after this song was released, the words were still reverberating across the earth. Moses’ new song was a declaration of victory. It paved the way for Joshua and the Israelites to conquer Jericho. Rahab confirmed the very things Moses prophesied in his song.
Joshua 2:8-11 “8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” (emphasis mine)
Rahab declared the Canaanites:
- Heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea
- Had a great fear fall on them (Hebrew word ‘ȇmâ’)
- Melted in fear (Hebrew word ‘mûḡ’)
Let this be an encouragement to us all to release the songs the Lord has put inside of us. When we sing a new song, we are making a declaration of victory that extends into future generations.
My dear friend, Crystal Yates, is a singer-songwriter. Recently, she shared with me the story of how God performed marvelous works to save her life. As a result, her spirit erupted in praise with a new song called “Seed of Faith.”
In April 2021, Crystal was hospitalized with double pneumonia due to COVID. Her body was so worn down from sickness, she could barely walk through the doors of the ER. She had difficulty breathing and her oxygen levels kept dropping. The ER nurse assessed that she needed a CPAP machine because the nasal cannula was not providing the amount of oxygen she needed. As the nurse was setting up the CPAP machine, a man came into the room and ordered the nurse to “get that out of here. You know what will happen if we put her on that, she will get sicker.” The nurse looked bewildered as if she didn’t know who he was. She asked him where he was from and he said “upstairs.” Then the man looked at Crystal and said as he departed, “You’re going to have to work.” That was the last Crystal saw of this man. Who was he? It's a bit of a mystery but one thing is certain, he was sent by God to prevent Crystal from being placed on a CPAP.
After 10 days in the hospital, Crystal’s oxygen kept dropping to the point she could hardly eat or talk without alarms going off. She became rather frightened because she realized the nasal cannula was maxed out and her oxygen was still dropping. She knew the next step was the CPAP machine. She began to pray and ask the Lord why weren’t the prayers of other people working. Hundreds of people were sending her emails and texts with their prayers. The Lord answered her by saying “O so you are talking to me now?” She realized that she hadn’t been talking with Him because she was frightened of what He might say. She confessed her fear and asked him again “Why aren’t all these prayers working?” He said “Because it’s time you believe me for yourself. If no one else existed in this world and it was just you and me (which is how she felt in the hospital because no visitors were allowed), can you believe me for yourself? Crystal replied, “In theory, yes” but she was battling doubt. The most she could muster was to declare out loud, “I believe you can heal me.” In that moment, God reminded her of what she said on a podcast, “The field of doubt is where faith is required, it’s where we plant our seed of faith. The presence of doubt is an opportunity for us to plant seeds of faith.” As she was reminded of her words, she planted a seed of faith by declaring “I believe you can heal me” and then she fell asleep.
Every morning at 4 am Crystal’s alarms would wake her up because her heart rate would drop. It had become very discouraging; she started to wonder if she was going to die. She asked the Lord to sustain her life for the sake of her children and her husband. She did not feel like her race was finished. But she wondered if she would ever be able to sing again. The medical staff told her that her lungs would be damaged from the pneumonia. In that moment of doubt, the Lord spoke clearly by saying “Sing now.” She had just been talking with a friend on the phone earlier that night and she could barely talk because her oxygen would drop and the alarms would go off. She thought “How in the world am I going to be able to sing?” But because she heard Him so clearly say “Sing now,” she began singing. She sang the words from “Goodness of God.”
Crystal sang these words over and over. Meanwhile, she looked at her oxygen levels and they began to rise! Her faith multiplied and she realized she was going to worship her way out of the hospital. As she fell back asleep, she asked the Lord to send someone who would believe in her healing along with her. Up until that time, she had not received quality care from the medical staff; they lacked kindness. When she woke up, she saw two blue eyes staring at her. There was a nurse who introduced herself as Stephanie and said “I’m going to be your nurse today. My shift changed at the last minute and anytime that happens, I know it’s God. So, God sent me here today and he wants you to know that you are going to get better and you are going to live a richer and fuller life when you leave this place. You won’t be the same, you will be even better.”
Crystal was greatly relieved and wondered if Stephanie was an angel. After 11 days of being in the hospital, she finally was able to sleep peacefully. The next time she woke up, she saw pink post-it notes with scripture surrounding her bed. She asked Stephanie what the notes were. Stephanie said, “These are all your promises from the Word of God. They were written for other people years ago but they are also for you. Believe them and receive them.” The scripture that stood out the most to Crystal was Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
After 21 days in the hospital, Crystal was released to go home. The seed of faith planted in the fields of doubt allowed her to witness the marvelous works of the Lord. Her spirit erupted in worship and what came forth was the new song, “Seed of Faith.”
Enjoy Crystal’s song - Seed of Faith
Article written by Laura Sanger, Ph.D.
[i] H8416 - tᵊhillâ - Strong's Hebrew Lexicon (kjv). Retrieved from https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h8416/kjv/wlc/0-1/
[ii] H2319 - ḥāḏāš - Strong's Hebrew Lexicon (kjv). Retrieved from https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h2319/kjv/wlc/0-1/
[iii] Hibbert, V. (2015). Prophetic Song. Judah Books, a Division of Phao Books.