I'm tired of Christians murmuring and complaining. This is not a complaint it is a fact! It occurred to me as I was reading through my Bible this year that there is no reason for it. Christians do not have a "right" to complain. When the people of Israel complained to Moses and Aaron about their plight Moses correctly told them that, " . the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD." (Exodus 16:8b) This was right after God led them through the Red Sea on dry ground and destroyed Pharaoh and his army. Talk about a short-term memory!
God hates murmuring and complaining. Then why do we do it? We murmur because we are unthankful. We complain because we have forgotten how merciful God is. Lamentations 3:22 tells us, "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." God's faithfulness is great. Ours is lousy!
Do you have a song? Moses did. (Read Exodus 15:1-19; Exodus 32; Revelation 15)
Moses and the people of Israel just experienced perhaps the greatest miracle of all time. Right after it happened they were very grateful. They saw God's power. They were awestruck by what they saw. They stood still unable to move because of the impossibility of what was happening. The cloud and the pillar of fire were one thing but this was beyond their comprehension. Then when they looked behind them and saw Pharaoh's army rapidly approaching I bet more than a few of them cried out to God to save them. God did. What did they do?
The Bible tells us, "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD . " The song they sang spoke of God's saving power (verses 2, 13 and 17). The song they sang spoke of God's destroying power against the enemy of God (verses 3-7). The song they sang spoke of God's awesome power in controlling the wind and the water (verses 8-12). The song they sang spoke of God as a god to be feared by the unbelieving (verses 14-16).
Do you have a song? Miriam did. (Read Exodus 15:20-21)
After Moses introduced his song to the people and they worshipped God as a congregation, Miriam got together with all the women and they had perhaps the very first Ladies Meeting mentioned in the Bible. Miriam's song echoed what Moses' song spoke about. She also concentrated on God's saving power. That's a good thing to sing about. If God has spared you from the enemy or certain death, don't you think that maybe He would like you to give Him a little thanks and praise? That's what these ladies did. They didn't leave it all up to the men. They also wanted to express their gratitude to God so the women sang their own song.
Do you have a song? Israel did. (Numbers 21:17)
Israel was the most wishy-washy nation yet God chose them as His people. They did their share of murmuring and complaining throughout the Old Testament but they also had occasion to be grateful. Here we see them singing about water. Now you may think that is a silly thing to sing about. But I'll let you in on a little secret. I sing about water all the time.
Living in a third world country we never know if and when we are going to have the luxury of water. Since coming to this mission field I learned very quickly not to take water for granted. It is a privilege when we have it and having it is, for me, something to sing about! I have a very special water song. I sing it in the shower. I wrote the words and I wrote the music. I am going to get it copyrighted some day! And now for the first time ever I am going to unveil my tribute to the Ukrainian Water Authority. Please, no applause at the end!
Thank you Lord for the hot water.
Thank you Lord for the soap.
Thank you Lord for the shower.
Thank you Lord for saving this dope.
(Everybody's a critic! Hey, at least it rhymes!)
Do you have a song? Deborah did. (Read Judges chapter 5)
Deborah was a prophetess and judge of Israel who was chosen by God. She led Barak and the children of Israel to a great victory. Deborah sang a song afterwards but not just about the battle. Deborah went much further than that. She remembered the past as well as the present. She sang about what God had done before this time and then continued on glorifying God with this new victory for Israel's history.
Wouldn't it be good if we remembered what God has done for us? Why do we forget the past and act like what God did for us is nothing more than what He was supposed to do? What an insult! With an attitude like that we should not be surprised if God never does anything for us again. But being longsuffering and merciful He will continue to help us. Will we continue to be ungrateful?
Do you have a song? Ezra did. (Ezra 3:11)
Ezra and the people were thankful for their church. The people had been in captivity in Babylon for almost seventy years. During that time they did not have a temple to worship in. Being able to return to their land and rebuild their temple was of great importance to them. They had a song about it.
There are many people today who do not have a good church to attend. Too many pastors have compromised on doctrine and lowered their standards. People in the church are in as much spiritual darkness as those outside the church. Today there is a "let's all join hands and sing Kum-Ba-Yah" mentality that was not present one hundred years ago. We are in the Laodicean age. We are in the end times. If you are in a Bible-believing, sin-hating, soul-winning, street-preaching, tract-distributing church you need to thank God and have a song.
Ezra was thankful for his church and the Bible says the people " . sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid." That's real revival!
Do you have a song? David did. (Read 1 Chronicles 16:7-36; 2 Samuel 22:1-51; the Book of Psalms)
David was the greatest singer in the Bible. He had a song for everything. David knew God. David believed God. David loved God. David sang about God. David had a lot to be thankful for. God was merciful to him and David never forgot it. David sinned in committing adultery and murder and deserved to die because of it but God spared him because he exhibited true repentance. David truly was thankful for all God did for him. David's songs give us a description of what God was to him and what God can be to us if we allow Him to.
What God was to David
Psalm 18 my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my buckler, my high tower, my stay, the horn of my salvation
Psalm 23 my shepherd
Psalm 27 my light, my help, the strength of my life, my salvation
Psalm 28 my shield
Psalm 30 my helper
Psalm 31 my strong rock
Psalm 32 my hiding place
Psalm 35 my Lord
Psalm 43 the health of my countenance
Psalm 44 my King, a present help in trouble
Psalm 48 our guide even unto death
Psalm 59 my defense, the God of my Lord
Psalm 61 a shelter, a strong tower
Psalm 62 my rock, my glory, the rock of my strength, my refuge
Psalm 68 a father of the fatherless, a judge of the widows
Psalm 71 my strong habitation, my hope, my trust, my strong refuge
Psalm 75 the judge
Psalm 79 God of our salvation
Psalm 80 Shepherd of Israel, Lord God of hosts
Psalm 84 a sun and a shield
Psalm 88 Lord God of my salvation
Psalm 89 my father, my God and the rock of my salvation
Psalm 91 my refuge and my fortress
Psalm 92 my rock
Psalm 94 my defense, the rock of my refuge
Psalm 95 the rock of our salvation, a great God, a great King
Psalm 96 great, and greatly to be praised, to be feared above all gods
Psalm 99 holy
Psalm 100 good
Psalm 119 my hiding place and my shield
Psalm 121 thy keeper, thy shade
Psalm 144 my strength, my goodness, my fortress, my high tower, my deliverer, my shield
Do you have a song? The angels did and still do. (Job 38:7)
Who better to sing of God and about God and to God than the heavenly beings that God created? They are with God and see Him all the time. They know who God really is. They understand why God is to be worshipped and adored.
One of the reasons the angels were created was to worship God. We really do not understand true worship to God because we do not fully understand God. We know in part but someday we will know in full. Until then we need to worship God even if we don't understand the reason.
Do you have a song? Mary did. (Read Luke 1:46-55)
Mary was chosen to be the vessel that God would use to bring the Messiah into the world. This was the hope and dream and prayer of every Jewish maiden at that time. Yet God chose Mary.
Her song was not full of pride but humility. Her song acknowledged her unworthiness to be the mother of the Son of God. Her song was a song of joy. Her song spoke about her gratitude for God bestowing this gift upon her. Her song was of praise for the coming Messiah. Is Jesus Christ your Saviour? Are you thankful for Him?
Do you have a song? Paul and Silas did. (Acts 16:25)
If anybody had a reason to complain about their circumstances it was Paul and Silas. They were chained up in prison after having been beaten for preaching the gospel. Yet they did not complain. Instead they preached to the other prisoners and sang hymns. Either they were a couple of fruit-loops or they really loved the Lord. I don't think I have to tell you which they were. Paul especially had a way of being thankful for suffering.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10) And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure (he says it twice for emphasis). For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Paul was an odd sort of duck, don't you think. But he actually had it right. We are the ones that have it backward most of the time. God gave Paul some kind of affliction to keep him humble. He doesn't mention what it is. It's not necessary that we know. What is important is that Paul asked God three times to take it away and God said, "No! Your strength comes from Me, not you." Paul said, "OK God, that's good enough for me. Bring on the suffering and the persecution. I can take it because you will give me the strength to endure it." What we say is, "But God, if you don't take this affliction away then I can't possibly do anything for you because it hinders me and I am weak and I can't do it on my own." (There's plenty of room at the altar!)
If we ever fully understood what Paul knew, that it's only through God's power and strength that we do anything for Him, maybe a lot more would be done for the cause of Christ. Look at all Paul accomplished in his life because He understood this great truth.
Do you have a song? God's creation does. (1 Chronicles 16:33)
Birds are part of God's creation. Birds sing. You hear them all the time. They sing all day long. They sing at sunrise to welcome the day and they sing at sunset at the close of day. Birds are important to God. The Bible says that He takes care of them. Not one of them falls to the ground or dies without God knowing about it. (Matthew 10:29-31)
Isaiah 55:12 says, "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Mountains and hills and trees are God's creations and they sing.
We can't hear these things but God does. I imagine that Adam and Eve heard God's creation singing when they were in the Garden of Eden before the fall. I think that when God recreates the heaven and the earth we will once again here creation sing. I can't wait!! "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20b)
God expects His creation to sing. Why don't we? Aren't we part of God's creation? Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Then why don't we have a song?
Reasons to sing:
- Moses had a song about the big things.
- Israel had a song about the little things.
- Deborah had a song about the past.
- Ezra sang about his church.
- The angels sing about God because they understand who He is.
- Mary sang about her Saviour.
- Paul sang to overcome his afflictions.
- Creation sings about its Creator.
Do you have a song?
What to sing:
My husband and I make up silly little songs about each other and sing them around the house. Why? Because we love each other. Do you love God? Then sing about Him. Sing to Him. Tell Him you love Him with a song. Are you saved? You should have a song.
Where to sing:
Okay, so you are a little bit shy. Practice in the shower until you gain confidence to sing in the house proper. Start while the vacuum cleaner is running. Work your way into the kitchen and sing while you are cooking. Your family will think you are making something special for dinner and it will actually taste better. Trust me. Before you know it you will be singing while you are doing the dishes, ironing the clothes and cleaning the house.Then it's time to take your act on the road. Sing while you are walking down the street. Sing in the grocery store. Sing loud enough to make others turn around and look at you. When you become really comfortable with singing you won't care who listens to you.
You will get one of two reactions. People will look at you like you are crazy and try and get away from you or they will think it's a great idea and try it themselves.
My first new car that I bought was a four-wheel drive red Jeep Cherokee. I didn't care if it had air-conditioning in it or automatic door locks. I was impressed with the cassette player and the sound system. It was February when I bought the car and one day on my way home from work I had popped in a tape and was singing at the top of my lungs as I was driving home. The weather was bad and traffic was slow but I didn't even notice. I was having a grand time singing and praising the Lord.
When I stopped at a red light the guy in the car next to me was trying to get my attention. When I looked at him he was laughing and gave me the thumbs-up sign. I didn't realize what I must have looked like to other drivers. But I really didn't care. I was having a good time. I had a song and I wanted to sing it. It made me happy.
We say we love God so why shouldn't we make Him happy. Why shouldn't we express our love to Him in song? The Bible talks a lot about singing and praising God. A lot of the songs we studied tonight don't make sense to us because they don't rhyme. So what? God understands them. It is the heart that He is listening to anyway.
You say you can't carry a tune in a bucket? God doesn't care. He's listening to the words not your voice. To Him it is beautiful. The Bible says make a joyful noise not a harmonious tune. Hum, whistle, play an instrument. Don't make excuses. Get in there and do it.
There have been many times in my life when the only comfort I could get was from the words in a hymn. The Lord allowed me to wait, heal, rejoice, weep, mourn and praise Him with special songs He gave me.
Getting fired from my job - "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow"
God was telling me that He would provide for me and He did.
The loss of my parents - "What A Gathering"
Someday I will see them both again.
My future husband - "Have You Prayed It Through?"
Was this man in God's will for my life?
My wedding - "So Send I You"
I was leaving my home for the mission field.
The loss of a child - "Does Jesus Care?"
He cared when I lost that baby and the next three.
Did you know that many of the writers of the hymns we sing and love so well suffered great heartache and disappointment? The songs on our lips often reflect what is in our hearts.
The more you love the Lord the more you will want to talk about Him. Talk about God with a song. Sing of His mercy. Sing of His power. Sing of His love. Sing of His salvation.
When you sing in church. SING! Don't mumble. Sing out! Don't listen to other people sing. If you don't listen to them and they follow the same advice then they won't listening to you so you have nothing to be embarrassed about.
(Hebrews 2:12) Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
Sing so loud that the pastor is shocked. It's good to surprise the pastor every so often.
If you sing out on Sunday morning with all your might when we get home after church my husband will say to me, "the people are really getting a hold of the music." He will not understand what happened but he will be happy and I can smile at him and walk away singing a new song.
Here are some verses to help you think about a song
(2 Chronicles 29:30) Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
(Psalm 13:6) I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
(Psalm 57:7) My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
(Psalm 89:1) I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
(Psalm 104:33) I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
(Psalm 147:1) Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
(Proverbs 29:6) In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.
(Isaiah 12:5) Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
(James 5:13) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Do you have a song? There is plenty of reason to sing. Why not start today.