Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our desire to sing a new song to the Lord, as we read in Isaiah 42:10, is decidedly a good desire. The Lord is great and mighty, worthy of all honor and praise. Verse nine even says that God is declaring new things. So as we recognize new things that God is doing, we rightly desire to sing a new song to him.
Yet before we become too creative, let us carefully remember. God has already done plenty that is worthy of praise. And God never changes in his essence and character. How are we going to sing his praises? We sing them in accord with what he has done in the past. What if we think he is doing something that is new? We want to evaluate it carefully. Is it something that corresonds to God's character? Or is it something that is more aligned with our human nature, which we recognize as earthly, temporal, even sinful?
God does new things every day. His mercies are always new. His lovingkindness knows no bounds. But he is always going to hold to the same type of righteousness, the same condemnation of sin, and the same definitions of sin and righteousness. That never changes.
How do we praise the Lord? We do it in harmony with his works. He is the one who created, organized, and sustains all things. He is the Lord who gives life. He is the Lord who calls his people by his righteousness and makes them righteous as he is. He is the Lord who uses his holy people as a sign of his grace for all nations. He is the Lord who gives sight to the blind, and rescues prisoners from their condemnation.
That's plenty to be going on with, for now. Yet we also want to recognize carefully that Jesus identified himself as the very God who does all this, and that he specifically says he is the one who rescues all who believe on him from sin, shame, and destruction. All glory be to God on high. He is able to work today just as he has always worked. His righteous character never changes.
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