SING A HAPPY ZION SONG

July 14, 2018

 Psalm 137:1-4, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst of it. For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, and those who plundered us requested mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’  ‘How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?’”

 

As you can see there was no joy in captivity! God’s people are a happy, singing people. But when we are held captive by anything, ie: depression, sin, discouragement, worries, doubts and fears, it’s hard to be joyful, and if we do not have the joy of the Lord, we cannot sing!

God wants His people to be a happy, joyful people!

 

“Joy is a spiritual result of our focus on God. It is tied to our salvation and our walk with Christ. Joy is eternally-based and can be ours even in our deepest valleys…Joy is from God and therefore can never be stolen from us. Joy is given through the Holy Spirit the moment we accept Christ as our Savior. As Christians, our joy can never be completely destroyed, although there are many pitfalls which can significantly diminish it. Joy is a permanent gift from God, but it also a gift for which we must take responsibility for nurturing and protecting on a daily basis. –Dr. Michael Youssef

SING A HAPPY ZION SONG  

 

Psalm 137:1-4, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst of it. For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, and those who plundered us requested mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’  ‘How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?’”

As you can see there was no joy in captivity! God’s people are a happy, singing people. But when we are held captive by anything, ie: depression, sin, discouragement, worries, doubts and fears, it’s hard to be joyful, and if we do not have the joy of the Lord, we cannot sing!

God wants His people to be a happy, joyful people!

 

•Psalm 33:1, “Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.”

•Psalm 66:1, “Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!”

•Psalm 71:23, “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, and my soul, which You have redeemed.”

•Psalm 81:1, “Sing aloud to God our strength; make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob.”

•Psalm 89:15,16, “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness they are exalted.”

•Psalm 95:1, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.”

 

•Psalm 5:11, “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.”

•Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

•Psalm 33:1, “Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.”

•Psalm 66:1, “Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!”

•Psalm 71:23, “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, and my soul, which You have redeemed.”

•Psalm 81:1, “Sing aloud to God our strength; make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob.”

•Psalm 89:15,16, “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness they are exalted.”

•Psalm 95:1, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.”

•Psalm 97:12, “Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.”

•Psalm 98:4,8, “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises… Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord.”

•Psalm 104:34, “May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.”

•Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 149:5,6, “Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth.”

Isaiah 12:3, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

•Isaiah 35:10, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

•Jeremiah 15:16, “When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight.”

•Luke 10;20, “Rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

God’s people have always expressed their joy by singing.

Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength!”

 

Romans 14:17,  “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

•Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 

•2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT, “For if a man belongs to Christ, he is a new person. The old life is gone. New life has begun.”

1 Peter 1:8,9 NLT, “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.  The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”

•Exodus 15:1-18, The song of Moses after the exodus. “I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”

•Judges 5:1-3, The first duet in history.  “Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying: ‘When leaders lead in Israel, when the people willingly offer themselves, bless the Lord! Hear, O kings! Give ear, O princes! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.”

•Exodus 15:20,21, The first women’s chorus, a refrain from Moses song of redemption. “Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. ‘Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!’”

•1 Samuel 10:5, The first male chorus, “After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying.”

•1 Chronicles 13:8, Congregational singing. “Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.”

•1 Chronicles 16:4-7, David’s choir. “And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the Lord God of Israel… with stringed instruments and harps, but Asaph made music with cymbals;  Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests regularly blew the trumpets before the ark of the covenant of God. On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the Lord…”

1 Chronicles 25:1-7, 288 prophets were trained in music. ”All these were under the direction of their father for the music in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and harps, for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the authority of the king.  So the number of them, with their brethren who were instructed in the songs of the Lord, all who were skillful, was two hundred and eighty-eight.”

In Solomon’s Temple 38,000 Levites were appointed to the work of the Temple. Of these 4000 were singers and musicians.

•When Zerubbabel led a small group of Jews back to Jerusalem after the captivity, of these 200 were in the choir.

•In Nehemiah at the dedication of the wall. Nehemiah 12:40-42, “So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God, likewise I and the half of the rulers with me;  and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director.”

God’s people sing!

Ephesians 5:17-20 NLT, “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,  singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.  And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Colossians 3:126 MSG, “And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”

When we become a Christians,  the Spirit of God comes to live in us and when the Spirit of God fills us, we become joyful.  A Spirit-filled Christian is going to be happy, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in his life or in the world around him.

First, look at the words used:

Speaking: Laleo, “lalalala…” Originally Laleo was used for sounds like the chatter of birds, prattling of children. In its most basic sense Laleo simply means to use the voice to make a sound and in this context the sound is a song. The speaking is the singing and it the singing that makes the sound.

Psalms: More than likely this refers to singing the Psalms. It is spiritual truth set to music. Mainly about the greatness and glory of God. “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.”

Hymns: It literally means a song of praise, frequently connected with the work of Christ. “The Old Rugged Cross.”

Spiritual Songs: Testimony songs. “Thank You Lord for saving my soul.” “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”

Making Melody: Psallo, to pluck, ie: a harp. It came to signify the making of music in any fashion. It is to sing praises or psalms to God whether with or without instruments.

The longest, most loved and most read book in the Bible is the Book of Psalms. We there see a plethora of instruments of praise.

Psalm 150 NLT, “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in his mighty heaven! Praise Him for his mighty works; praise His unequaled greatness! Praise Him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise Him with the lyre and harp! Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing;  praise Him with strings and flutes! Praise Him with a clash of cymbals; praise Him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!”

Music is the language of our new life in Christ, our new song!

      

•Psalm 33:1-3, “Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Praise the Lord with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy.”

•Psalm 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”

•Psalm 96:1-4, “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.”

•Psalm 98:1, “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.”

•Psalm 144:9, “I will sing a new song to You, O God; on a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You.”

•Psalm 149:1, “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints.”

A boy, a drummer in a Salvation Army band was plying so loud that the people asked him to quiet down a bit. He said. ”When I think about what Jesus did for me, how he died for me, how that I have eternal life, I could bust the bloomin’ drum.”

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6).

Now just a word about Contemporary music: Recently I received a news article by Billy Graham that pretty much answers the Contemporary music controversy.

“Dear Reverend Graham: Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but from time to time our church’s music director introduces new song into the service, and I don’t care for them. I like the old hymns and just wish he’d stick with them. Should I complain to our pastor?”  –Mrs. E.W.W.

Answer: “I know  this has been a controversial issue in many churches and I don’t pretend to have all the answers, especially since I’m not particularly musical! But we have a singing faith, and God has given us the gift of music to praise Him. The Psalmist declared ‘With singing lips will I praise You’ (Psalm 63:5).

Instead of complaining to your pastor (or anyone else) I urge you to ask God to help you be grateful for all music that points us to God, new or old. No, you may not like some of it, but others do, and God can use it in their lives to encourage them and bring them closer to Christ, remember, the old hymns you like were once new, and someone probably didn’t like them, either.

Sometimes, I’m afraid, a hymn can become so familiar to us that we sing without even thinking about the words. But this is wrong, because then our singing becomes empty and meaningless. Don’t let this happen to you, but meditate on the words of the songs you sing, and even turn them into a prayer…” Dr. Graham goes on to say, “Pray for you music director and encourage him, be thankful for his gift, let him know you appreciate the old hymns, but support him also as he seeks to reach a new generation through music.”

**Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also the New Living Translation (NLT); The Message (MSG); and The Amplified Bible (AMP).

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