We consider songwriting to be scriptural. If you search "new song" in the NIV translation, you'll find 9 references to singing a new song unto the Lord. (Some translations give 10.)
I thought it would be fun to look at each of these verses and see what message they might hold for contemporary songwriters. Here we go:
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
As we sing our new song to the Lord, we are also asked to 'play skillfully'. All offerings that come from a worshipful heart will be accepted by God, but why not offer Him our best? Learn your craft. Practice your instrument. Warm up your voice. Manage your tech. Let's raise our talents to their highest level when offering them in worship!
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
I love the image of God putting a new song 'in my mouth.' Legendary songwriter, Harlan Howard, used the following as his epitaph, "He wrote the songs; I held the pen." God has melodies and words ready for us to receive. Sometimes our job as writers is simply to listen.
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
I love the invitation in this verse for 'all the earth' to sing. Are we writing songs that are inclusive and invitational? Are we creating words and melodies that will cross boundaries of age, nationality, gender, and denomination? Are we writing for both the lifelong Christian and those who have never set foot in a church?
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
He has, hasn't he? Sometimes the best songs to write are simply sharing the wonders of God. We can write a list song of the beauty of creation, or craft a story song sharing our personal testimony of blessings. "How Great Thou Art," "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty," "Indescribable,""How Great is Our God," - the list could go on for days, and still there are always new praises to sing!
I will sing a new song to you, my God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you.
Could this verse be any more perfect for guitarists?? Okay, substitute '6-stringed' for 'ten-stringed', but you get my point. We sometimes only think of 'singing' as 'praise', but for instrumentalists, worship can come through the strings of the guitar, the keys of the piano, the skin of the drum, and the tone of the flute. Let's never forget the prayers and praise that can soar through a pure melody or an instrumental offering.
That covers 5 of our quotes!
What are your thoughts on these verses?
Tune in next week for Part 2 ...
Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page & visit us every Wednesday!