1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Repeatedly throughout the Psalms, we are told to “sing to the LORD a new song” (33:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1). Why is this necessary? Does this mean I can’t enjoy singing my favourite and familiar worship songs? What about older hymns? Why does my worship leader keep choosing songs I don’t know?
I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to sing familiar songs. After all, I can’t think of any commands in the Bible that tell us not to. But there aren’t any commands that tell us to sing old songs either. Perhaps this is because it’s easy for us to gravitate towards songs we already know and enjoy.
In Psalm 40:3 it says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God”. When God tells us to do something, especially in worship, He provides the resources we need to accomplish them. Our God is alive and actively working, unlike the “worthless idols” of Psalm 96:5. He is the One that gives us the ability to worship Him. Worship was by God’s design, and He provided animals for Israel to sacrifice. He also provided His only Son as the ultimate atoning sacrifice for our sake. In the same way, He gives us songs and words to lift Him up. And just as His mercies are new every morning, so is our worship to Him. Our songs are a response to the Good that He does in our lives.
Just as we need to take up our crosses daily, repeatedly return to His Word, and pray without ceasing, so we also praise God in music with devotion anew. Perhaps this takes shape by putting energy into understanding the lyrics and learning how to sing the unfamiliar melody. Or perhaps you are singing a familiar song, but it takes on a new meaning based on how God has revealed Himself to you. Our worship must be sincere every time.
To help you learn some new songs, our worship team has created several playlists. You’ll notice that each worship team member has their own style and preferences, and this celebrates the diverse ways that God has worked in each person’s life. Some of these songs may be added into our worship sets in the future. Others may be inappropriate for corporate worship, but you may find them more suitable for your private time with the Lord. A song may even fall under the category of “Contemporary Christian Music” which isn’t specifically a song meant for worship, but it is composed by Christian artists and perhaps it can help you express something that you are experiencing in your walk with God as His disciple.
We will continue updating these playlists for you as time goes on so you can continue singing new songs to God, who is ever worthy of our praise.
Shervonne’s playlist can be found here.
Willy’s playlist can be found here.