Why Sing a New Song to the Lord

There are all kinds of old songs that mention singing a new song to the Lord. From Catholics, to Baptists, to even U2, the theme of singing a new song to God comes up all over the place.

I was reading Psalm 98 last night, one of the references in scripture to singing a new song, when I finally asked, “Why? Why should I sing a new song to the Lord? Aren’t the old ones just fine?”

I thought back to an evening during my semester in Jerusalem when I found out that I would be able to stay and finish my semester despite the turmoil in the midst of the 2000 intifada. Gushing with relief and gratitude, I penned a poem or song, I’m not quite sure, that I can only compare to a Psalm. It was a celebration of God. I’ve never written anything like that before or since.

Was this a new song? In a sense, yes. And the attractiveness of a new song is the celebration of God’s new work. If we are the people of God singing new songs, that means we are living with God and experiencing the new work of God. In fact, if we run short on inspiration and “material,” chances are we have lost touch with the subject of our new songs.