A Song to Sing
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said that “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Others have suggested that poetry is the universal language. If you mix the two together, perhaps you have pop music. Paul Epworth, a producer who has worked with Adele, Foster the People, and U2, among others, quipped: “Pop music has greater power to change people and to affect people because it’s a universal language. You don’t have to understand music to understand the power of a pop song.” While musical tastes vary from person to person, everyone loves a good song. A song moves us. It can be a surrogate for deep emotions we are feeling. It can elicit a new thought or perspective. The reality is that music shapes us.
It should be no surprise that when God speaks of how we interact with each other, He uses the metaphor of song. In Psalm 40:3, David says, “He put a new song in my mouth.” The result is that “many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” The response to the song that God puts in our mouth is that others are shaped. They perceive the song and it draws them to a place of awe (fear) which leads to trusting God.
All of us are given a song to sing. The only question that remains is: are we singing it? Often, we don’t sing because we haven’t allowed God to put that song in our mouths … we haven’t allowed God to love us. The song is a song of praise because we are experiencing His love in our lives. In the verses that precede having a song, David writes that he cried out the Lord to rescue Him. He shares that God drew Him up from the “miry clay” (the quicksand) and set his feet on a rock. Are you allowing God to love you? Are you depending on Him to rescue you? Are you waiting for Him? Other times, we aren’t singing because we don’t realize that we can. We forget that we have a story to tell. In a world where arguments and debates reign in everything from politics to religion, we can adopt debate as the form of interacting with others. We argue that someone should see it our way. However, this is not the model we see in the Biblical text. We are encouraged to sing our song and that’s what makes a difference in this world.
There is certainly a place for giving a reason for what someone believes (1 Peter 3:15) but it is encouraged as a response to someone asking why you have hope. What stands out in Psalm 40 is that a song, not arguments or debates, leads people to see and fear. It makes sense that it is beauty and love that will compel people. No one ever argues about the beauty of a sunset. It simply brings a sense of awe. Equally, sharing the beauty of God’s love doesn’t elicit debate, it can stir desire.
What is your song? I have a friend who always asks people, “Did you know that God is crazy about you?” That was His song. His interaction with God was such that He knew God was crazy about Him so that became his song, his way of sharing the story. Over and over, I’ve seen people sit down and have a conversation about his “song.”
God is present with us and restores us so that we can be His hands and feet in this world with a song … a song where our lives point people to Him … not to a church or a set of beliefs but to Him. Three questions to ponder … what is your song? Are you allowing Him to love you so that you have a song to sing? What might it look like to sing your song?