Sing to Him a New Song, Play Skillfully

Psalm 33:3 goes: "Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy".

There are three music-related activities that are described in this verse that we can offer to God. We often focus on the last part, 'shout for joy', in that singing in worship to God is the end result of our compositions, arrangements, practices and rehearsals. However, from the verse, these activities are in themselves an offering to God, and we must take them as seriously as we do for worship.

i) Sing to Him a New Song
I believe this refers to compositions we make. This allows us to offer God the results of our creativity, much like how a child might design a drawing for his or her parents. Our compositions are not only acts of creativity, but also personal acts, because we express what we want to say and feel, rather than what another songwriter felt and said before.

To me, creative arrangements of old songs also count under this category. This is because new arrangements inject new life and meaning into old songs, and like before also requires the arranger to offer his or her creative energies unto God.

ii) Play Skillfully
We can also play skillfully as an act of worship for God. Imagine that the president of your country has requested that you play your instrument for him, for perhaps an hour. You would definitely put loads of effort into practice. The same is required for God, except that God is infinitely more important than any person! An excellent God definitely requires our attitude of excellence, and no slipshod work should be permitted.

Also, practicing on our instrument requires a substantial amount of time and effort, and in this way we give our time, time that could be used for maybe computer games and hanging out with our friends, as a sacrifice to God.

I also did a search for the word 'skillfully' in the Bible, and it appears about 4 times only, in Exodus and Leviticus, primarily about weaving garments. In Exodus 28, the priests' waistband is supposed to be 'skillfully woven' (v. 8) in the manner the ephod (another garment) is woven - a garment made of gold, blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and finely twisted linen (v.6). Such a garment must indeed require long hours of effort (especially if your clothes had gold on them!), and years of apprenticeship and experience. As a musician for God, you must also be willing to put in such effort and time to play your best for God.

In summary, singing songs to God is not the only music-related action we can offer to Him; we can also offer our creative energies through personalised compositions and arrangements, as well as sacrifice our time and effort to play skillfully for Him.


Joe said...

Amen Kenny...well said!!

Christian González G. said...

Many thanks for this, Kenny. God bless you for your work. I've really blessed for this blog.

Greetings from Chile :).

Anonymous said...

kEnny...i Have a Question to you.
i want to know if its o.k. if we want to play and MOVE FREELY while playing Worship Song....because we cannot feel the song if we only stand in one place...
please Answer....
GOD blesss

harry said...

Well, I agree with what you said, mostly. I quite offended and sad when I read "no slipshod work should be permitted". The problem is that I can't play skillfully as other talented player yet some people wanted me to play to serve GOD. I did give my best but I don't think it is considered played "skillfully". Hope I am not offended you. Sorry and GOD Bless

Harry said...

To anonymous.
Well, who said that it is a forbidden thing to do. David, although he is a king, he dance around when the ark of GOD is brough to Jerusalem. If it is forbidden, GOD just punish David but it did not happened So, for GOD it is okay. Some verses in Psalm also mentioned about that. Unfortunately, I forget which one. Sorry....

Anyway, it just depends on the person. If you comfortable, you can jump, dance whatever you want.

Some people don't do it beacause it just not suited for them. One reason is because that maybe they went to church that forbid such things. So, the follow it and therefore they became not comfortable with that kind of worship.

Hope this helps and GOD Bless U All

The story of David is in 2 Samuel 6: 3-5

KC said...

That's really a good writing!!

May I translate it to Mandarin and

post it on our church band's Blog?

this' Really HELPS!

kenny said...

Hi harry,
God is more interested in whats on the inside:

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Sam 16:7)

What is more important is that we adopt a spirit of excellence, to put in the effort in what we do for God, in this case preparing for worship service.

I can see that you wholeheartedly desire to give your best to the Lord, and I'm sure that it is a sweet offering to Him.

kenny said...

kc: no problem! do send me a copy for keeps too :)

Harry said...

Well, thank you. Your guitarpraise helps me a lot. GOD Bless U Always!!!!