And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they sing a new song… No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. (Revelation 14:2-3)
The author of the book of Revelation, John, hears a voice from heaven that “sounds like many waters and like the sound of loud thunder.” He next hears the heavenly host singing a “new song.” He says that the heavenly host can’t learn the new song without being among the numbered.
Are we singing? Whether we know it or not, we all sing certain songs. The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Are we singing the old songs that we have been given or made up or the new song that Jesus gives us?
I sometimes don’t sing my new song because I fall back into the singing of my old songs. My old songs are about despair, not delight; agony, not peace; loneliness, not a community; poverty, not abundance; never being good enough, rather than being loved; being a failure, rather than being forgiven.
I’m not the only person who sings bad old songs. The old songs we sing aren’t unique; no, they are pretty much the same. Words like “loser,” “coward,” “failure,” and “unlovable” are prevalent in our old songs. Our old songs can make us deaf to what God wants us to hear and mute to what God wants us to sing.
We can join the Jesus choir because we’re among the numbered. The Jesus choir is dedicated to singing, not the old songs of sin and death but the new song of love and grace. Singing in the Jesus choir will give glory to God and bring joy into our lives. Singing our new song now is good practice for the singing we’ll be doing forever. I encourage us to sing the new song Jesus wants to teach us with so much gusto and trust that we forget the old songs.
- What are the old songs that you sing? From whom or where did you learn those songs? What does singing them do to your heart?
- What are the new songs Jesus wants you to learn?
- What would it take for you to move from the old songs of sin, death, despair, shame, fear, and inadequacy to the new songs of forgiveness, life, joy, freedom, courage, and peace?