Singing To God

At creation, when "I laid the foundations of the earth . . . the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:4,7) – thus the Lord God spoke to Job in the day when He revealed Himself to His servant in all His mighty power and glory.

There are hundreds of references in the Bible to singing – singing to the Lord for His righteousness, singing to the Lord for His mercy and love, singing to the Lord for His power. And yet when His people Israel were in captivity in Babylon because of their sin, idolatry and disobedience they could not sing.

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion . . . For there those who carried us away captive required of us a song, and those who plundered us required of us mirth, saying, 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion!'

"How shall we sing the LORD's song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her skill! If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth – if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy" (Psalm 137:1,3-6).

The people were desolate, too desolate in spirit to sing, yet the Psalmist assures us that "the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me – a prayer to the God of my life" (Psalm 42:8). Even in the darkness of the night of despair the Lord will be present to give "songs in the night" (Job 35:10).

We read in Isaiah 54 a paeon of praise and encouragement that speaks of the absolute certainty of Israel's future. The message was given to God's people, and it still stands, and will yet be totally fulfilled for them, as He brings them forth into glorious victory by His own powerful hand – God the Lord of Battles, God the Lord of Hosts.

"'Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not travailed with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,' says the LORD" (Isaiah 54:1).

We remember Sarah who had not borne a child, and did not till she was ninety years old! Twenty years previously God had made His promise to Abraham that He would make of him a great nation. God's promise was certain, and here we have a God, Abraham's God, who says exactly what He means, and means exactly what He says.

Although He kept His servant waiting twenty-five years, the promise was fulfilled and God came upon these two, Abraham and Sarah. Sarah was barren, and in the natural it was an impossibility for her to bear a child. The Bible is very clear on this: "Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing" (Genesis 18:11).

But God had made His promise, and there would be no doubt of its fulfilment, therefore we read: "Sing, O barren, you who have not borne!~ Break forth into singing . . . " And in the Letter to the Hebrews we have an update on that great event: "By faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

"Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky for multitude – innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore" (11:11,12). This reflects wonderfully on the fulfilment of His word: "Sing . . . for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman."

This is God! He is the all-sufficient EL SHADDAI, sufficient in all things! He is not fettered by the laws of nature. He is supreme over them.

Every birth is a miracle, and the miracle of the birth of a son to Sarah has been gloriously repeated in the birth of a nation, the nation of Israel in 1948, which was a miracle birth if ever there was one! That the nation came to the birth at all is a miracle considering the trauma of the Nazi era, and in 1948 the fate of Israel as a reborn nation was in the balance, and there were few who believed that the nation would survive.

But God showed Himself to be faithful to His promise: "'No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against you in judgement you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,' says the LORD" (Isaiah 54:17).

This promise has stood true throughout the fifty odd years since the establishment of Israel, and will continue to do so. The UN vote in 1947 gave the Jewish people a national homeland – rather cramped quarters to be sure – but this became larger in 1956 and 1967 when God delivered them from their enemies who had attacked them.

God delivered them again in 1973, and although Satan has found ready tools for his work of trying to thwart God's plans in these past wars – Russia and the surrounding hostile nations all round them when they have tried to bring about the extermination of Israel and Israel's people – Israel's enemies have reckoned without the God of Israel.

Even now when their enemies are seeking to destroy and exterminate or obliterate or annihilate them He "gives songs in the night." No doubt it seems, and has seemed many times, to be a dark night for Israel and its continuance as a nation, but again, God "gives songs in the night" as we trust Him.

It may seem that God has forsaken His people, but He says: "'For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you' says the LORD, your Redeemer" (Isaiah 54:7,8).

God will keep His promises. Israel is special in the heart of God, and we must never forget that the Word says: "the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (Letter to the Romans 11:29).

What a miracle day is coming when "all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins" (Letter to the Romans 11:26,27).

This will be the greatest new-birth miracle before all the nations, because in that day the world will realize that the people of Israel are God's people, and the God of heaven, the God and Father of the Lord Messiah Yeshua, whom His people will acknowledge and receive, is Israel's God.

"All flesh shall know that I, the LORD, am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob" (Isaiah 49:26). "Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his wonders among all peoples" (1 Chronicles 16:23,24).