Sing… Why Not?!

Opening Prayer

“Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth” (10). Choose a song of praise to worship your Creator with.

Read Isaiah 42:10–25

10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
you islands, and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
let them shout from the mountaintops.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord
and proclaim his praise in the islands.
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,
like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
with a shout he will raise the battle cry
and will triumph over his enemies.

14 “For a long time I have kept silent,
I have been quiet and held myself back.
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
I cry out, I gasp and pant.
15 I will lay waste the mountains and hills
and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn rivers into islands
and dry up the pools.
16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.
17 But those who trust in idols,
who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’
will be turned back in utter shame.

Israel Blind and Deaf
18 “Hear, you deaf;
look, you blind, and see!
19 Who is blind but my servant,
and deaf like the messenger I send?
Who is blind like the one in covenant with me,
blind like the servant of the Lord?
20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;
your ears are open, but you do not listen.”
21 It pleased the Lord
for the sake of his righteousness
to make his law great and glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered and looted,
all of them trapped in pits
or hidden away in prisons.
They have become plunder,
with no one to rescue them;
they have been made loot,
with no one to say, “Send them back.”

23 Which of you will listen to this
or pay close attention in time to come?
24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot,
and Israel to the plunderers?
Was it not the Lord,
against whom we have sinned?
For they would not follow his ways;
they did not obey his law.
25 So he poured out on them his burning anger,
the violence of war.
It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand;
it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.

Reflect

How do you express rejoicing? Is singing your way to celebrate or do you have another way to express how you feel?

In verse 10 we are called to sing. This is much more than a friendly invitation: “Hey, let’s have a fun sing-along!” But we must not see it merely as a call of duty to sing, like a command to obey God’s laws. The sense is rather of an inspiring summons to join in with the rejoicing of the
whole earth. Deserts, islands, remote villages (Kedar) and high mountains: all are rejoicing, shouting excitedly—and tunefully—about the glory of the Lord.

The God to whom we sing is terrifying for those who disregard him (17,23–25). However, our Lord is much more than this. Earlier we read that God can be at once both servant and king. Here, in another contrast, God is portrayed as both mighty warrior (13) and as a woman giving birth (14)! Our own part, as we see God’s conquests, judgments and passionate engagement with people, is to sing. Not all of us find that easy, but we’d do well to learn what it means.

Apply

It can be easy to praise God in the good times. Are you going through a difficult time? Choose to praise him through the trial today!

Closing prayer

O Lord, I choose to praise You today. No matter the circumstance around me, You are worthy of my praise and adoration.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Terry Schneider