“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”
– Psalm 40:1-3
In our Pause Bible Reading Plan for this week, we encounter Psalm 40. In the opening three verses, David gives us a closeup picture of his experience of grace.
Having cried out to God, he seems to emphasize his patience to listen, not knowing exactly how God might come to him with the answer. Regardless of the “how” or “when” of God’s response, his determination was to be ready. Have you been crying out to God—are you ready for when and how He will respond? David informs us that the Lord brought him up and out of the pit of destruction and out of the miry clay that had him stuck. In addition to this gracious act of God’s deliverance, he tells us that the Lord also established his footing and put a new song in his mouth. God always does a complete job, that’s the nature of His grace.
Back to the “new song.” Anyone who knows me, knows I love music, all kinds of it. And though my voice quality has never rivaled the Anthony Benedetto’s of the world…I love to sing! But equal to singing, I love to whistle. And with a voice that has been used, and perhaps abused, for almost 67 years, my whistling is generally more kind to the listener than my singing is these days. All that is beside the point…and the point is, because of the grace of God, I STILL HAVE A NEW SONG! I’m not surprised that I do. In fact, I would be surprised if I didn’t, having experienced what I have of the awesome grace of God. These days, my new song is one being whistled more than sung, but the source of the tune remains the same.
As with David, behind my song is the unfailing reservoir of God’s grace that continues to feed my song with unending measures of “praise to our God.” Make no mistake, no human could create an experience that produces the kind of triumphant gratitude that is evident in this psalm or in my whistle. From deep in my soul, this gratitude informs and resources my whistle. Periodically, the wind being blown by my pursed lips is the expression of my absolute security, now that my feet are set on the Solid Rock of my salvation and I am firmly in the “grip of His grace.”
In the same way that Paul and Silas sang their song in the Philippian jail, and it impacted the jailer and all those present, so too with David’s song, anyone who hears it (and knows his life) “will trust in the Lord.” So, whether you sing, hum, play an instrument or whistle, if the song is your expression of your gratitude to God, which flows from the unfailing reservoir of His grace, you can expect there can come change to anyone who listens to and enjoys your song…even if it’s whistled.
Pastor Dan Hicks