Singing a New Song to God
Read Psalm 144
In our passage today, we get a glimpse into the thought life of David. Not only was David a fierce warrior and king, he was also a prolific poet and songwriter. Never let it be said that true masculinity is merely about physical strength and not displaying emotions – David displayed both in abundance.
In this psalm, we see David’s reflection about God as our fortress (v1-11) and all that it entails after that (v12-15). God is his fortress, stronghold, deliverer and shield (v1-2), in whom David can take refuge against his enemies. Just as he thinks about God in those categories, he seemingly realises how insignificant human beings actually are compared to God (v3-4). He is astounded that God still cares for mankind, despite the fact that we are like a fleeting shadow to God (v4).
Part of what it means for God to be our fortress and refuge is for him to protect us against our enemies. This is what David turns to next – asking and praying for God to defeat his enemies by his mighty power (v5-8). It is from this deliverance and protection that David “will a new song” and make music to God. The idea of “singing a new song” then is closely connected to the fact that God is the one who delivers and rescues his people. (cf. Ps 96, 98, 149)
The rest of the Psalm then lays out the results of this deliverance. Their children will thrive and prosper. Their farm harvests and animals will be fruitful. “There will be no breaching of walls”, captivity or distress in their streets – no more being conquered by a foreign nation. The people whose God is Yhwh is blessed indeed. David reflects upon the faithfulness of God in protecting him and Israel over the years.
There are two ways that we can appropriate this psalm to our lives. The first is this: David takes the time to pause in his life and reflects upon his relationship with God by writing poems and songs. What are you doing in your life to do the same? Despite technology improving our efficiency in doing almost everything in our lives compared to decades ago, we are busier than ever, never allowing ourselves to pause and take stock. Take the opportunity to do so this Christmas on your relationship to God and do not get distracted by the many Christmas parties that we have at church, work or school.
The second is this: as you reflect, think about David asking God to reach his hands down from the heavens to deliver him and rescue him. Little does he realise that many centuries later, God does exactly that in the person of Jesus Christ. God reached down from the heavens, coming to Earth as a human being to deliver and rescue us. It is because of this salvation that we can sing a new song and make music to God. God’s salvation of us then forms the basis and grounds of why we sing a new song and make music, not first and foremost our emotions. “Blessed is the people of whom this is true; blessed is the people whose God is the Lord;” who has saved us from our sins by sending his Son to earth.
- Take the time to pray and not rush through your prayers today. Use the ACTS model to help you pray – Acknowledgement, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication