Psalm 149 - Sing to the Lord a New Song

INTRODUCTION: The time to sing a new song for the called out children of God has been previewed more than once in the history recorded in scripture. There will be a final time for that to be an everlasting joy when all saints are gathered together when the Lord makes all things new! This psalm presents a format that has been available for centuries to direct the thoughts of the saints to have the joy of a new song continually replaying from within their hearts.

NOTE: Scripture passages are from the American King James Version.


A - SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG

"1 Praise you the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. 2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises to him with the tambourine and harp."

COMMENTS: When Moses lead Israel out of Egypt, the LORD protected them after they had passed through the middle of the Red sea on dry ground, but drowned their enemies. Exodus 15 "1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying, I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea. 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. ... 20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them, Sing you to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea." This was indeed a new song, accompanied by dancing, as the LORD had called a people to glorify his name. Then we have Hannah's prayer referring to saints even before the period of the kings began in Israel. 1 Samuel 2 "9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail." A new song was also available to Gentiles even in the Old Testament times. Psalm 96 "1 O sing to the LORD a new song: sing to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people." And each new song is to be a song of praise. Psalm 144 "9 I will sing a new song to you, O God: on a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises to you."

Saints have good reason to rejoice as the one who made them is also their everlasting king, as is declared in the following passages. Psalm 100 "1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all you lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know you that the LORD he is God: it is he that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." Psalm 47 "6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises to our King, sing praises. 7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing you praises with understanding." in his letter, the apostle Paul greeted those in Rome who were called to be saints. Romans 1 "7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." Israel waited centuries for the appearance of Messiah, not fully understanding that the purpose when Jesus appeared was to provide the perfect sacrifice for all who were his chosen people. All of God's saints now wait for his return; and the second coming of our God and king for all of his chosen ones is just as certain as was the first coming. Revelation 11 "15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."


B - THE LORD WILL BEAUTIFY THE MEEK WITH SALVATION

"4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. 5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud on their beds."

COMMENTS: It is because the Lord takes pleasure in his people that he beautifies (makes very pleasant, adorns, crowns) the meek (those who are humble, patient, gentle) with his salvation. What a blessing that the God of all creation would have pleasure in making his loving kindness manifest in those he has called, through his gift of a beautifying salvation. The Lord's guidance and teaching is reserved for the meek. Psalm 25 "9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way." And again, a psalm speaks of the Lord taking pleasure, Psalm 147 "11 The LORD takes pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy." Moses and Jesus were both described as meek. Numbers 12 "3 Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were on the face of the earth." Matthew 11 "29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls." The apostle Peter wrote of how God values those who have a meek and quiet spirit. 1 Peter 3 "4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Considering all this, we should endeavor to direct our thoughts to praise the Lord when we lie down to sleep, and when we first awake in the morning. The glory spoken of in this psalm could be further expressed as adoration, praise, and thanksgiving offered in worship. The one who holds all power also has mercy in abundance. Psalm 59 "16 But I will sing of your power; yes, I will sing aloud of your mercy in the morning: for you have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble." The Lord's chosen ones are truly blessed that he takes pleasure in them. Revelation 4 "11 You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created."


C - THE HONOR TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT

"6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; 7 To execute vengeance on the heathen, and punishments on the people; 8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute on them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise you the LORD."

COMMENTS: When the LORD called Israel out of Egypt to be his special holy people, he gave them instructions to destroy the nations who were in the land he had promised to Israel. And when they were faithfully following the Lord, they had decisive victory over those in the Promised Land who were condemned by God. Deuteronomy 7 "1 When the LORD your God shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you; 2 And when the LORD your God shall deliver them before you; you shall smite them, and utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, nor show mercy to them: 3 Neither shall you make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son, nor his daughter shall you take to your son. 4 For they will turn away your son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy you suddenly. 5 But thus shall you deal with them; you shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. 6 For you are an holy people to the LORD your God: the LORD your God has chosen you to be a special people to himself, above all people that are on the face of the earth."

But Israel became more and more ensnared by the "gods" of the land over the centuries, and their kings became the ones bound with fetters. 2 Chronicles 33 "11 Why the LORD brought on them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon." 2 Kings 25 "7 And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon." Without knowing the time of writing for Psalm 149, the writer may have expected that God would eventually give victory with a literal sword in the hands of his people. The passage may also have a metaphoric application that the word of God openly displayed in the lives of the saints will bring condemnation like chains upon the unbelievers. This sense of meaning could have been possible without the full understanding of the author as his writing was directed by the Holy Spirit. In the final days of the southern kingdom the Lord spoke through his prophet about a time yet to come for judgment to be executed. Jeremiah 33 "14 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up to David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name with which she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness." Another prophet declared that the Lord will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth. Isaiah 11 "1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked."

The apostle Paul wrote about the time when the Lord will bring vengeance upon the ungodly and will be glorified in his saints. 2 Thessalonians 1 "5 This is an obvious sign of the righteous judgment of God, to the end that you may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which you also suffer. 6 Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay affliction to those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted with us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 giving vengeance to those who don't know God, and to those who don't obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus, 9 who will pay the penalty: eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired among all those who have believed (because our testimony to you was believed) in that day." Paul also gives us word about the sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6 "16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" That sword of the Word of God is very powerful beyond even the material realm. Hebrews 4 "12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." The risen Christ is the one who embodies all this power as described for us by the apostle John. Revelation 1 "16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength." By considering David's words as he brought the ark of God into Jerusalem we can learn about how we are honored by being in the presence of the Lord now and in the time to come. 1 Chronicles 16 "26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. 27 Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place." As the chosen of the Lord we are in his presence, and all strength comes from him and is to his glory. For all this we should readily and regularly repeat - praise the Lord!


--- Reflections in prayer ---

Just as this psalm enjoins the people of Israel to praise the Lord with new song in the congregation of the saints, I want to participate in the renewed praise offered to you Lord anytime I am gathered with other believers in a congregation for worship. You are my maker and my ultimate and eternal king, and knowing that you have chosen me as one of your own gives me reason to rejoice greatly. Even though I may not have inherent musical talent, I can have the song within my heart, and I can thoroughly enjoy the instrumental music and singing of those who have such gifts with which to offer praise. May I always remember that as I present myself before you as meek, humble, patient, and gentle; you will beautify me by the adorning and crowning of your Spirit as it pleases you. May this cause me to be joyful when I Lie down and when I rise up. I want to be ready for whatever part you have for me to be honored in your presence when you Lord Jesus are revealed from heaven with your mighty angels in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those who don't know God, and to those who don't obey the Good News of you Lord Jesus. They will pay the penalty: eternal destruction from the face of you Lord and from the glory of your might, when you come to be glorified in your saints, and to be admired among all those who have believed. Hallelujah, come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen.

Published 26 August 2012