I heard a comment from a church member who said that we should be singing more hymns because they had more meaning to its songs, whereas the new contemporary worship songs were too repetitive. Lately I noticed that we have been hearing more hymns being played in a more contemporary style. I think this is done so that we will not forget how significant hymns of old are. I know that some younger individuals may think that hymns are wordy or lengthy, but I find that they have such good language which communicates the richness of His character. Whenever I listen to them, I remember God’s goodness and faithfulness in the past, what He had done for my forefathers and who He is to them. Also, the songs of old, still speaks to us now. They connect the hearts of different generation together.
Although so, we hardly acknowledge the significance of the old songs (I do not mean only hymns, but all types of songs that has been sang in the past). If we knew how some of these songs came about and the stories or testimonies behind them, we will know how powerful they were and still are. The God who has encountered the writers of the songs years ago, is the same God we encounter today! Truly He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. God is indeed restoring and redeeming old songs. This reminds me of the prophetic dream Shelley Hundley had, where the bride of Christ needs to remember and sing the songs of old to be resuscitated and be awakened.
On the other hand, we need to sing out new songs. In Psalms 33:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1 and Isaiah 42:10; we are commanded to sing a new song to God. Ephesians 5:19 speaks about making melody in our heart to the Lord. Revelation 5:9 states that the four living creatures and twenty-four elders are singing a new song to Him. Revelation 14:3 states that all those redeemed in the Name of the Lord on earth will song a new song before the throne – a song that only they would know. I love that He does not only command us to sing to Him, but it was written that the songs are inspired by Him! He put the new songs in us to proclaim them back to Him and through the new song, others may few and trust in Him.
“He has put a new song in my mouth – Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord” Psalm 40:3.
I learned from the “Life as a Worshipper” theology class last week that singing spontaneous songs unto the Lord is a common practice in Israel. It surprised me that singing new songs unto the Lord is not a new thing. However, I feel like the church has not caught unto that. Why did not the church hold unto it?
“This form of praise (referring to the Hebrew word ‘Tehillah’) was practiced daily in public and in private. The ‘spontaneous’ was written down from the temple services and people’s private devotion, these ‘psalms’ eventually found their way into liturgy for public worship.” L. Rittenberg
“When Israel began to sing and tehillah, the Lord set ambushments against her enemies. If tehillah was merely ordinary singing and not some special expression of singing, then why did the text say both ‘sing’ and ‘tehillah’? Two different words are used because two different expressions are meant. Tehillah wasn’t just spirited singing, but actual songs of the spirit that were unprepared, unpremeditated, and unlearned.” C. Trombly.
I believe that God wants to reveal more of Himself, His purposes, His plans, His heart and His thoughts to His people through songs as well. He desires to declare new things to us.. “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them” Isaiah 42:9. He is indeed raising up song birds around the nation who will be willing to proclaim His heart and plans through spontaneous singing. I want to be one of those willing ones. Like when the disciples hearts burn when Jesus spoke at the road of Emmaus (Luke 24:32), may our hearts be sensitive to recognize our Lord and His words and bring forth through new songs to His people.
Overall in this chapter, we are encouraged to use both old songs and new songs when we lead the church congregation. I do agree as well. In my opinion, the younger generation has to humble themselves to learn, to sing, to see the significance and include old songs when they lead worship. The older generation has to recognize that new songs are needed and can bring about a shift in the spiritual atmosphere. When the different generations break that barrier of preferring one over the other, but appreciate the need for both, they will be able to worship Him in unison.
Malachi 4:6, “… he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers…”