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Singing in Strange Places

"Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song" (v. 1). We have a tendency to want to sing the same songs in church, and there's nothing wrong with that. The psalmist isn't telling us to buy a new hymnbook. He means we should have a new experience with the Lord so that we will have a new song of praise to give to Him.

Every new valley that we go through, every new mountaintop we climb, every experience of life ought to be writing on our hearts a new song of praise. When we face a difficulty, we have an opportunity to have renewed faith and see God do new things.

In verse 1 the psalmist tells us to sing in the congregation. I can understand that command. I enjoy congregational singing when people sing to the Lord. "Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King" (v. 2). I am glad when God's people gather in a congregation of celebration, rejoicing in the goodness and the glory of the Lord.

But he also tells us we should be joyful on our beds. "Let them sing aloud on their beds" (v. 5). This could be while we're resting or recuperating from an illness. Perhaps you're lying in bed right now, and you don't feel well. Sing praises to the Lord upon your bed and worship Him. Then the psalmist says, "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations" (vv. 6,7). This is a picture of warriors on the battlefield, singing in the midst of the battle.

It is easy to sing in the congregation, not quite so easy to sing on our beds and difficult to sing on the battlefield. But if we sing, we'll glorify the Lord, and we'll grow. "He will beautify the humble with salvation" (v. 4). We'll be happier and holier and more beautiful if we sing to the Lord.

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God brings you through different experiences so you may learn new dimensions of His love and grace. What difficulty are you facing today? Don't simply endure or waste it. Use it as an opportunity to find a new song of praise to God.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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