March 23, 2010

The Song of Salvation

Zephaniah 3:14-20

“The Lord your God … will take great delight in you … [and] rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17


Singing has been practiced by people in virtually every culture throughout history. Have you ever wondered why the act of singing has such universal appeal? One important reason is that words that are sung can have a much greater impact on us than words that are only spoken. This is why so much of the praise we offer God is done in song—and why Augustine once said that “whoever sings prays twice.”

But have you ever thought of God as a singer? We might think that the reference in today’s Bible reading to God singing is not meant to be taken literally, but I have a feeling it is. Way back in Deuteronomy 31:19, God told Moses, “Write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it”—and most of the following chapter contains the song God taught Moses so that the people could learn it too.

The heavenly choir depicted in the book of Revelation also sings, and it draws from that old song of Moses as it sings “the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb” (Revelation 15:3-4).

God has other songs to teach us as well, and we’ll spend eternity singing them. The singing of God and the praise of all whom God has redeemed in Christ will combine to form the most beautiful music anyone has ever heard.

Lord, our hearts and mouths are full of praise because of all you have done for us. Thank you for the way the songs we sing now anticipate the eternal worship to come. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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