By Elizabeth Prata
We as believers are a singing people. In lesson 2 of RC Sproul’s teaching video series “What Did Jesus Do?: Understanding the Work of Christ” (free at Ligonier) Sproul talks of the Songs in the Bible; OT’s Song of Moses, Miriam, Deborah, and in the NT, the Infancy Hymns of Mary, Simeon, and Zacharias, and also Revelation’s New Song. He explained that whenever God does a huge act of redemption, gratitude and awe springs forth in praises in hymn of the great God. These are recorded in His word, these songs of praise and thankfulness being a beautiful segment of our faith.
I never forget the scene in the missionary story of Gladys Aylward in China as she recounts in her autobiography The Little Woman. She is cold and lost in an unmapped section of China, escaping war in the interior, and with war behind her and mountains in front of her, it seems there is no place to flee. Her companion Dr. Huang went ahead to scope out the terrain. Waiting alone, she sang hymns. Her voice must have carried in the clear mountain air.
Unknown to her, a lamasery of Tibetan priests dwelled up high inside the crevices dug into the side of the mount. They had found a tract from the Bible in town years before, about John 3:16. They became intrigued by this ‘God who loves.’ They prayed and waited and wanted to know more, but for 5 years could learn nothing. Then one of the persistent priests decided to make a foray into the interior towns where they sold their herbs and finally found a mission station where the man handed them the 4 Gospels.
Eagerly the Tibetan priest brought it back to the lamasery and they read the Gospels and believed what they said. They understood little though. One phrase stood out to them- ‘Go therefore into all the world and preach the Gospel.’ Being patient, they knew that this ‘God who loves’ would send a messenger to preach to them.
When they heard Gladys singing, they knew this was the messenger they had waited so long for. Why? They said,
“Only people who know God will sing.”
Bible’s Songs of praise:
Moses’ Song: Exodus 15:1-18
Miriam’s Song: Exodus 15:20-21
Deborah’s Song: Judges 5:2–31
Zacharias’s Song: Luke 1:67-79
Mary’s Song: Luke 1:46-55
Simeon’s Song: Luke 2:25-32
Someday there will be A NEW SONG!
The New Song: Revelation 5:9,
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,”
And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. (Revelation 14:3)
And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
4Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”