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Worship Devotional


 Orange County Worship Fellowship



Meditating On the Words of

Christian Music


Devotional for December 29, 2002

Psalm 32:6


By Ross Maxwell



“The first song ever recorded in Scripture is in Exodus 15 as a song of deliverance written by Moses after God had delivered them out of Egypt and destroyed Pharaoh's army at the Red Sea . It describes God's glorious deeds, His inscrutable ways, His attributes and character, His preeminence as the only true God and His eternal reign as Sovereign Lord and King.”(Steve Camp’s 107 these)


Ex 15: 1-17

Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and said, “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; the horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.  The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.  The Lord is a warrior; The Lord is His name.  “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; and the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea .  “The deeps cover them; they went down into the depths like a stone.  Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. “And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You; You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff.  At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up, The flowing waters stood up like a heap; The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea.  “The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.’ “You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters.  “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord?  Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?  “You stretched out Your right hand, The earth swallowed them.  In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.  “The peoples have heard they tremble; Anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia .  “Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed; The leaders of Moab , trembling grips them; All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. “Terror and dread fall upon them; by the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; Until Your people pass over, O Lord, until the people pass over whom You have purchased.  “You will bring them and  plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, The place, O Lord, which You have made for Your dwelling, The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established. “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”  For the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea. Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing. Miriam answered them, “Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; the horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea.”



What is the song about?

·       God's glorious deeds – highest achievement, splendor, prosperity

·       His inscrutable ways – incomprehensible; unfathomable

·       His attributes and character – holiness, justice, all knowing, all powerful

·       His preeminence – excelling other, above others


Here is one of the first songs in the New Testament

Mary’s Song in Luke 1:46-55 This is often called ‘The Magnificat’


And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.  For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.  “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. “And His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him.  “He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.  “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.  “He has filled the hungry with good things; and sent away the rich empty-handed.  “He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”


What is the song about?

·       Rejoicing, exaltation

·       Acknowledgement of low estate and being God’s bondslave

·       Might acts of God: His mercy, scattering the proud, brought down rulers, filled the hungry, sent away the rich, exulted the humble

·       Remembered Israel in His covenant of old


Both these songs are songs that were written to remember an event.  Here are some songs that bring to mind certain times and events in my life


·       “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name” – the church I went to in college had it’s service broadcast over the radio.  Each week this was the song that played as the introduction of the broadcast.  This brings back fond memories of that time

·       “And Can It Be” – This song reminds me of a certain night coming back from a Christian coffee house during my college days again when my roommates and I came marching back to campus singing.  This was shortly after the time we came to a realization that God was sovereign in the salvation of His children.

·       “The Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah” – While I was attending EV Free in Fullerton it was the custom there to stand during singing of this song.  This custom came about because the King of England upon hearing this song was so dramatically moved my the music, that out of reverence, he stood.  Again, memories of past times.


There is a message in worship for others and for us.  Worship and the words within our songs can be an expression of thanks and praise to God for His deeds or for His character or for what He has done for us.  Like prayer, we should be specific about things.  When we say we are thankful, we should go on to say what we are thankful for.  When we say that God is good or God is great, we should say how God has been good to us or what about Him we think is great.  By doing this we become more of an ‘ambassador for Christ’, more of a witness to the non-believer, as well as a better influence or encouragement to our fellow believers.  


Worship As An Outreach To Others

·       From Col. 3:16-17 we learn that worship has the ability to teach and admonish believing Christians.  Note that the passage says that this is to be done with wisdom and that that wisdom is wisdom that comes from one who speaks from a knowledge and understanding of Scripture.  


Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father


·       Gospel songs that call other to faith and repentance.  Can you remember some of these from your past years in Sunday school and church?  This type of song has a place within the times that we gather.  From 1 Cor. 3:6 we remember that it is the Spirit of God that causes the soul to be re-born.  We might like to have control over this, but we do not.  


I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.  Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.


Worship To God From the Believer

·       Expressions of thanks and praise (song to be sung this month ‘For He Is Good’)


Psalm 107:1-2

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary


Lam. 3: 22-25

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.   They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.


Meditating on Songs and Deliverance:


When thinking on the subject of meditation, generally we think of memorizing and meditating on Scripture.  The classic verse that comes to mind that speaks of this is:


Josh 1:8

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success


The reasons we would want to do this are many.  One reason is our continual battle with sin as a believer.  We see the example of Christ in the wilderness of using scripture to do battle with the devil.  The devil himself may not pick on us individually; however we do battle everyday in our minds.  With a clear understanding of scripture and how to deal with these thoughts we can truly walk in the obedient way.


2 Cor. 10: 3-5

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,


A proper discussion of scriptural meditation would not be complete without mentioning the following verses:


Rom 12:1, 2

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.


The verse that I wanted to use as the basis for this devotional is Psalm 32:6


Psalm 32:6

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.  You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.



In light of the biblical references to meditation we have just looked at above, how would you think the words of a song or hymn effect the Christian?  Would it be important to have songs that represent a clear biblical view of God?  What about a clear and accurate representation of the doctrine of salvation for instance?  Can you see how the words of a song are important; to Christians; to non-believers?


Thinking about the subject of ‘songs of deliverance’, what songs have ministered to you over the years?  Can you remember the circumstances that brought them to your mind? Did these songs help your through a time of worry, a time of not knowing what to do, a family crisis, or pursuits in business.  How about those times of internal temptation to gossip, hate, shade the truth a little, or impure thoughts?  What songs helped you through these circumstances?  Can you remember any particular songs that were influential in your salvation?  These brothers and sister is what I am referring to as ‘songs of deliverance’  Shifting gears slightly to our text in Psalm 32:6, has there been a time in your life where the Lord has delivered you out of some great trouble or out of a perilous circumstance?  Do you have a song to sing in order to remember that time, similar to the ‘children of Israel ’ as they were lead out of Egypt and mentioned in Exodus 15?  This song would be the true ‘song of deliverance’ that would give glory to God.


I trust that the Lord will give you a song in your mouth to give praise to other and give you the motivation to live a holy life to bring glory to Him.


Psalm 40:3

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord