Yahweh is My Strength, My Song, My Salvation
Study No. 42
The most stupendous public miracle in the sight of heathens had just occurred. Pharaohís horsemen in chariots had been drowned in the sea, while Israel had previously passed through the Red Sea on dry ground in safety, Exodus 14. Israel was free once and for all from Egyptian bondage. Did Moses and Israel offer a sacrifice, or a prayer? Moses led the children of Israel in a great song of praise to the Eternal. Miriam led the women in a beautiful joyous chorus, Exodus 15:1-21.
Notice this part of Mosesí song, verse 2: "The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation; my fatherís God, and I will exalt Him."
The YHVH, or Yahweh, is our strength, our song, our salvation, Psalm 118:14-15. He is the source of our strength, our salvation, our praises in song to Him. In our songs of praise we are acting out (experiencing) His strength, His salvation.
Truly, the Eternal "is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation," Isaiah 12:2. I will sing unto my Strength, "the God of my mercy," Psalm 59:17. "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1. Because He is my strength and shield, I greatly rejoice, "and with my song will I praise Him" Psalm 28:7. I will "offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD," Psalm 27:6. Because "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer" Psalm 18:1-3, "I will joy in the God of my salvation," Habakkuk 3:18.
Sorrow or Song?
Today we live in a somber world without much real joy. Nuclear holocaust, famine, disease, crime, natural disasters, and all the evils of mankind make it hard to truly be joyful. Our western world lacks joy and enthusiasm.
It is the purpose of this article to show you that the Bible is full of admonitions for us to sing to the Eternal. He will become our strength and salvation. Let us learn the Bible lesson of song, not being like Israel, who sang his praise, and soon forgot his works, Psalm 106:12-13.
Occasions for Song
Looking throughout the Bible, it is amazing how much of a role singing plays.
Angels sang at creation, Job 38:7. Israel sang after the victory at the Red Sea, Exodus 15. The Messiah and the disciples sang at the Last Supper, Matthew 26:30. David led Israel in singing when the ark was returned from the Philistines, I Chronicles 15 and 16. David sang to the Eternal His rock at the defeat of his enemies, II Samuel 22, Psalm 18. Deborah and Barak sang at Israelís deliverance from Sisera and Jabin, Judges 5.
Israel sang at the well of Beer, Numbers 21:16-17. Hezekiah sang at his healing from certain death, Isaiah 38:18-20. Paul and Silas sang hymns in prison, Acts 16:25. Israel sang at the return of David from the slaughter of Goliath, I Samuel 18:6, and at grape harvests, Isaiah 16:9-10. Wailing songs of mourning occurred at the death of Josiah, II Chronicles 35:24-25, and at the death of Jairus' daughter, Matthew 9:23.
From joy to sorrow, singing is found throughout the Bible. As someone said, "Music was created to give praise to the Eternal." Another saying is, "To sing is to pray twice."
Singing a Dominant Part of Old Testament Worship
The Israelites must have been a very musically inclined people, II Samuel 6:5. David chose 4,000 musicians from the Levites, of these, 288 were specially trained to be musical leaders, I Chronicles 23:5, 25:1-31. The "service of song," I Chronicles 6:31, was led by Heman the singer, verse 33. "Lifting up the voice with joy," Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was skillful and taught other singers, I Chronicles 15:16-22. He was "the master of song," verse 27.
Solomon wrote 1,005 songs, I Kings 4:32.
Hezekiah continued the use of singers to accompany the burnt offerings, II Chronicles 29:27-28.
After the return from Babylonian captivity, the singers were re-established, Nehemiah 12:42-47. In Ezekielís temple of the future, there will be chambers of the singers, Ezekiel 40:44.
Singing A Vital Part of New Testament Worship
I Corinthians 14:15, "I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also." Psalms 47:7, " . . . sing ye praises with understanding."
I Corinthians 14:26, "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm . . . . Let all things be done unto edifying."
Ephesians 5:18-20, " . . . be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."
Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
James 5:13, " . . . Is any merry? let him sing psalms."
Hebrews 2:12, "I will declare Thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee."
Women Sang With Men
Singing is not limited to Levites, men, or a certain age group. All are to sing to their Maker.
Men and women sang together in II Samuel 19:35, II Chronicles 35:25, Ecclesiastes 2:8, Ezra 2:65, and Nehemiah 7:67.
Song of the Wicked
The wicked sing, but their song shall be cut short, Job 20:5, Isaiah 23:15-16, 24:9, Ezekiel 26:13. Sometimes the wicked sing over the troubles of the righteous, Lamentations 3:14, Job 30:9, Psalms 69:12. Theirs is the song of fools, Ecclesiastes 7:5.
The words of the Almightyís prophets are to some only like a pleasant song: they hear but do them not, Ezekiel 33:32. God hates songs by the wicked at feast days, Amos 5:21-24. Woe to them that invent to themselves instruments of music for a wrong use, Amos 6:5. Their songs will be turned into mourning, Amos 8:3, 10.
Why Do the Righteous Sing At the Defeat of the Wicked?
The righteous sing and rejoice, Proverbs 29:6. Why do they sing unto the Eternal? One reason is to rejoice in the past (or future) defeat of the wicked enemies of Godís people. The primary reason is to praise God for His goodness, deliverance and strength. In Exodus 15, Israel sang at the defeat of the Egyptians. Through songs of praise, His people give honor to Him who gives them strength.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah believed God, and sent out singers before the army, resulting in the Eternalís performing a miraculous victory, II Chronicles 20:20-28.
Time and again, David sang to the Lord for judging (defeating) his foes: The Eternal will judge the world, and will not forget those who seek Him, for He will hear the cry of the humble, Psalm 9:8-12. He shall subdue the nations under us when He is King of all the earth on His throne, Psalm 47:1-7. Let us sing because He comes to judge the world, Psalm 98. He will judge the wicked. He is angry with the wicked every day, Psalm 7:8-17. He has maintained our right and cause, and destroyed the wicked, therefore we will be glad and rejoice in Him, Psalm 9:1-5. He has delivered us from the violent man, therefore will we sing praises to His name, Psalm 18:48-49.
Godís hand has destroyed our enemies; let us sing and praise His power, Psalm 21:8-13. In mercy He has delivered us from our enemies, Psalm 57:1-11, 71:22-24. We will sing praises because He will pour out the cup of His wrath upon the wicked, Psalm 75:8-9. We will sing praises to God as long as we live; let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, Psalm 104:33-35. Our heads will be lifted up above our enemies, therefore will we sing praises to the Eternal, Psalm 27:6.
We sing because He has delivered the soul of the poor from evildoers, Jeremiah 20:13. Let us sing for the destruction of Babylon, Psalm 137:1-9, Jeremiah 51:47-48.
When Israelís enemies are smitten, we shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept. It will be like music! Isaiah 30:27-33 (RSV).
Other Reasons To Sing Praises to the Eternal
We can sing to Him for healing us and lifting us up from the oppression of our foes, Psalm 30:1-4, 12. All the earth shall worship Yahweh and sing unto Him, Psalm 66:1-4; the Kings of the earth, even Ethiopia and Egypt, will sing unto God, Psalm 68:31-32. Sing because the Eternal is a father to the fatherless, a judge of widows, Psalm 68:4-5.
Sing for Godís faithfulness, Psalm 89:1; because He has blotted out our transgressions, redeemed us, Isaiah 44:22-23; because of His mercy, He has not forgotten us, Isaiah 49:13-15; for His great mercy and truth, Psalm 108:1-4; for his lovingkindness and truth, Psalm 138:1-2,5. I will sing praises to Him, because He is my defense, my strength, and my mercy, Psalm 101:1-8.
Sing for His marvelous deeds, that He has remembered the covenant with Abraham, Psalm 105:1-8. He has made us, we are His people, Psalm 100:1-5. He has chosen Israel, Psalm 135:3-4. Let them shout for joy that favor our righteous cause, Psalm 35:27. He has confirmed the promises made to the fathers, Romans 15:8-9.
The earth sings for joy ó so should we! Psalm 65:9-13. I will sing unto Yahweh, because He has dealt bountifully with me, Psalm 13:6. Sing because He gathers the outcasts of Israel, heals the broken hearted, lifts up the meek, Psalm 147:1-7.
Second Song of Moses
The Eternal knew Israel would depart from Him after Moses died. Therefore, He inspired Moses to teach a song to Israel that would be a witness against them, Deuteronomy 31:16-22, 30, 32:1-43. Typically, Israelís departure would be prophetic of what would happen in the latter days (Deuteronomy 31:29), the end times.
This passage, besides the one in Exodus 15, is also referred to as the "Song of Moses."
A New Song
Those saints who obtain the victory over the beast, his image, and his mark, will stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God, singing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb, Revelation 15:1-4.
The 144,000 will sing a new song before the throne that no man could learn, Revelation 14:3. The four beasts and 24 elders in heaven sing a new song, Revelation 5:9-10.
Praise the Eternal, sing a new song, Psalm 33:1-3. He has put a new song in my mouth, Psalm 40:1-3. Sing a new song, show forth His salvation from day to day, declare His glory among the heathen, Psalm 96:1-13. Sing a new song for His marvelous victory in the sight of the heathen, all ends of the earth have seen His salvation, Psalm 98:1-9. I will sing a new song, Psalm 144:9. We will sing a new song as the Eternal executes His judgments, Psalm 149:1-9, Isaiah 42:1-4, 10.
Songs "In That Day"
Isaiah 26:1, 19 says, "In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah . . . . awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust." The world will learn righteousness in that coming day, verse 9. That is something to sing about!
The desert shall blossom as the rose and rejoice with joy and singing; the tongue of the dumb shall sing, the ransomed of the Eternal shall return and come to Zion with songs, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away, Isaiah 35:1-2, 6, 10; 51:11. The mountains and hills shall break forth into singing, Isaiah 55:12. The peaceful earth will sing, Isaiah 14:7. In that day, Godís people shall sing, see eye to eye, when Yahweh redeems Jerusalem, Isaiah 52:6-10. His true servants shall sing for joy of heart, Isaiah 65:13-14.
Israel will be redeemed from Babylon and come out singing, Isaiah 48:20. When the Eternal turns again the captivity of Zion, our tongue will be filled with singing, Psalm 126:1-6. The saints shall shout aloud (sing) for joy, Psalm 132:16. It will be as the gleaning of grapes, but the remnant shall sing for the majesty of the Eternal, Isaiah 24:13-14. Sing, oh barren, for Israel is remarried to her Maker, Isaiah 54:1-5. Sing with gladness for Jacob and the goodness of the LORD, Jeremiah 31:7, 12-13.
The Eternal will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations, Isaiah 61:1-11. Sing, for the Eternal shall dwell in Zion, Zechariah 2:10, Zephaniah 3:14, 17.
The Song of the Vineyard (Isaiah 5)
The vineyard of Yahweh of hosts is the house of Israel, and Judah His pleasant plant. He looked for judgment and righteousness (good grapes), but instead found sin (wild grapes). Song and music were at their feasts (Isaiah 5:12), but not the knowledge of the Eternal. This is the reason for Israelís captivity.
The Song of the Vineyard in Isaiah 5, and the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 31-32 have the same message. We, like Israel, have gone astray in many ways. Unless we continually sing to the LORD, not forgetting His mighty works, we will sing a song of woe one day.
Yahweh My Strength, My Song, My Salvation
In that day, I will say, O Yahweh, I will praise you! Though you were angry with me, your anger is turned away. You are my salvation, I will trust you, Almighty Yahweh, my strength, my song, you are become my salvation. Praise your name! I will sing unto you, Yahweh, for you have done excellent things. Now you are known in all the earth as the great Holy One of Israel who lives in Zion. (Isaiah 12, authorís paraphrase). W
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