Ian Taylor - Some Songs in the Bible - Japan - 1996

I have enjoyed some songs in the Bible. Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Paul wrote a similar thought to the Colossians. It is good to sing and encourage one another. We sing in meeting and other times, too. It is nice when the songs of God are springing forth from our hearts. Live life like a song—full of joy. Our song can be silent, seen not heard. Why do we sing in meeting? It’s not just a filler! We sing and blend our voices and hearts. That is the first reason. Our hymns express the feelings of all our hearts.  A second reason is it is an opportunity to adjust the feelings of our hearts. We may come into the meeting not too settled. Perhaps we feel rushed. Hymns help to get our hearts in tune with Heaven. Choose them carefully. Make your hymn a suitable choice. Somebody prayed, “Let us sing the songs of victory but also learn the lessons of defeat.” We can use our failures to become wiser and more careful next time. Revelation 15:3 tells of the song of Moses and of the Lamb. This is the same song. 

 

The first song in the Bible is Exodus 15. The last song is this in Revelation, the Song of the Lamb. There are many in between. There are many similarities. There are similarities in the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb and all the others. They are all written to the same theme: redemption. Let us look at some of these songs, not the songs so much, but the experience that produced them.  

 

Exodus 15, the background: the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt. There was no song then. There was crying and groaning that God could hear and He remembered His covenant with Abraham. It was time to lead them out. He raised up Moses and Aaron. He sent ten plagues. Each produced a greater separation from Egypt. There was a work going on in their hearts making them different. They had different thoughts, feelings, ambitions, pleasures to the world around them. The Egyptians hated sheep. The Israelites kept lambs in their homes, then killed them. They put blood on their doors and feasted on lamb. They were delivered and there was a song. 

 

Hannah’s song. 1 Samuel 2, Things were in a very sad condition.  There was spiritual darkness.  It was hard for a person like Hannah.  She came to convention.  She prayed faithfully.  This was not just for her own benefit.  She prayed for a child and she would return him to the Lord. She was prepared to put the best of teaching into his life, and then to give him back. It cost a lot of tears. There had been much sadness but it turned to joy and a song came. Sometimes birds lose their song. Hens lay eggs and cackle. But then comes molting season; there are no feathers, no eggs and no cackling! Their song came with fruitfulness. It was similar in Hannah’s life. She felt discouraged and unfruitful, but a change came. She sang about the Lord raising up the beggar and setting him among princes, sons of a king. I am enjoying such spiritual privileges, sitting among princes and princesses. 

 

A song of David. Psalm 40:2, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” He was in such an awkward situation, a pit with slippery clay. He had no power to remove himself. He cried to God for help. God set his feet on a rock. Through the Gospel we are picked up and set on the rock of Christ. Asaph had a song, Psalm 73. This is similar. He said his feet had nearly slipped. He was looking at foolishness in the world and he grew envious of the prosperity of the wicked. That became his goal, but the sanctuary experience lifted him out of the pit. In Psalm 40, David had a new song, a song many would see. He would show his song. He had a son, Solomon. Solomon wrote a song, the Song of Solomon, about the bride seeking for her bridegroom. It gives a picture of the joy in being united with our Bridegroom. 

 

2 Chronicles 29, here we have Hezekiah’s song. Verse 27, “And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began also…” There was a time when there was no song because there was no sacrifice. Hezekiah became king at 25 years of age. His father was a very wicked king, and there was much wickedness and disorder. The doors of the temple were closed. There was no light, no incense, no daily burnt offering. What if the door of our hearts should close? The incense represented prayer, so no prayer life, no sacrifice. It would be a sad picture if our hearts’ doors would be shut. There would be no light, no prayer, no life, no sacrifice. The first thing Hezekiah did was to open the door and carry out all the filthiness. I don’t know what all that was, but I do know it is very easy for the world and self to get into our hearts. Then they could begin the daily sacrifice. He was king for 29 years. How soon did he start to set things in order? Verses 3, 7.

The first year. Which month? The first month! Which day? The first day! There are things here He wants to set in order. When will we start? Start today. This is the first day of the first month of the first year. Verse 34. There were many sacrifices made that day and there was need for many priests. There were too few. The Levites came to help. They were accepting extra responsibilities. Then other priests saw the need and sanctified themselves. 

 

Psalm 37 is a song about the Babylonian captivity. How could they sing His song in a strange land? They hung up their harps; they weren’t even trying to sing. However, Daniel and his friends in very difficult circumstances were able to sing the Lord’s song.  

 

There was a song at Jesus’ birth. Luke 1 and 2 gives 4 songs:  Mary, Zechariah, the angels and Simeon. They all had the same wonderful theme of deliverance.

Matthew 26. Jesus went to Gethsemane. They sang a hymn first. They had the Book of Psalms. I wonder what they sang in that last meeting. 

 

Revelation 5, the song of the Lamb: There were 4 beasts and 24 elders all singing praise to Jesus, the Lamb. All the angels of Heaven joined in, 10,000 times 10,000 voices blending in. Then every creature joined in. I want to learn it better, praise for deliverance, thanks for the Redeemer.