EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 07-Sep-2008


by Guy Berry


I would like to speak this morning about singing and about songs.  John read a very appropriate verse before we sang this morning.  He read Psalm 13:6, which says:

I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. 

All through the Bible, believers are commanded to sing to God.  We sing about His salvation and about His grace, but I would like to open this study by just reading a verse out of Psalm 32.  Many of us are familiar with this Psalm.  David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaks about how a man is blessed if his “sin is covered,” covered by the blood of Christ.  In the earlier verses of this Psalm, David talks about acknowledging our sin unto God, confessing our transgressions.  Then we read in verse 7, Psalm 32:7: 

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. 

So I would like to speak about these “songs of deliverance.”  What are the “songs of deliverance”?  Are they the hymns we sing when we come together to praise and worship God? 

Well, yes; but actually, we will see that the phrase “songs of deliverance” spoken of here is actually referring to the whole Bible.  What we will see is that the whole Bible is the “songs of deliverance” unto salvation. 

This word “deliverance” is translated “escape” in Psalm 71:2.  Let us turn there.  It is speaking of salvation, of escaping the wrath of God.  In Psalm 71, this word is translated “escape” in different places but it is translated “deliver” here in this passage that I am going to read.  Psalm 71:1-2 says:

In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape… 

This is the word that has been translated as “songs of deliverance” in Psalm 32:7.   

Continuing in Psalm 71:2-4: 

Deliver me in thy righteousness… 

This is speaking of salvation.

…and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.  Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

This particular word in Psalm 71:4 translated as “deliver” is the same word as “songs of deliverance” from Psalm 32:7.  I am just trying to make the point that the Word of God, the whole Word of God, is the “songs of deliverance.” 

There are several words in the Old and New Testament that are translated into the word “song.”  The word for “songs” in Psalm 32:7 suggests “shouting for joy” or “rejoicing.” 

Look with me now at Psalm 126.  I will read the whole Psalm.  Psalm 126 speaks of turning the captivity of Zion.”  Again, this is relating to salvation.  Psalm 126:1-5 says: 

When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing… 

This is from the same word for “songs.” 

…then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

This word “joy” is from the same word that has been translated “song” or “singing.” 

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

In the next verse, Psalm 126:6, we read about the seed of the Gospel as it is sown with weeping: 

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed… 

Then again in verse 6, Psalm 126:6, we see this word for “songs”:

…shall doubtless come again with rejoicing… 

Again, the same word for “songs/singing” and “joy” is translated as “rejoicing.”  These are “songs” of joy. 

Psalm 126:6 finishes with: 

…shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him

Let us turn to Job 35, which is the book right before Psalms.  In this chapter, we read of a man by the name of Elihu who waited until Job’s other three friends were finished speaking before he said anything to him.  They came to console him after the Lord had brought a great affliction on him.  We read in Job 35:1-2: 

Elihu spake moreover, and said, Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God’s? 

He was offended because Job had been saying that since he was righteous, he wondered why God had brought this affliction upon him. 

Then Job 35:3-7 says:

For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin? I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee. Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou. If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him?… 

In other words, if you sin, how is that going to harm God? 

…or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him? If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?

If you sin or if you are righteous, how does that affect God? 

Then Job 35:8-9 says:

Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man. By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry…

This is speaking of the oppression that God brings upon the unsaved.  He says:

…they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.

But He is going to say here that they do not seek God in this oppression.  He says in Job 35:10-12: 

But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night; Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.

He is saying that unsaved man does not seek God, even though God gives “songs in the night,” even though He gives His Word. 

Turn to Psalm 42:7, which says:

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Again, this is referring to someone who is in affliction, yet this person is crying out to God, as we read in the next verse.  Psalm 42:8: 

Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

And in the night his song shall be with me.”  Again, this is speaking of the Word of God. 

Elihu has just spoken here about how God gives us “songs in the night.”  Actually, this world is benighted, as it were.  This world has been cursed by God.  He left us.  When we fell, we were no longer in His presence.  This world became cursed and we know that mankind, in himself, does not want the Gospel.  God speaks in Isaiah 14 of Satan as “the man that…made the world as a wilderness.”  But again, in this benighted world, this world of darkness, God gives us “songs in this night,” speaking of the Word of God. 

Let us now look at Psalm 119:54, because this verse really tells us that the Word of God is our “song.”  We know that Psalm 119, the entire Psalm, is about the Word of God.  Almost every verse, except for two or three, talks about the Word of God.  Let me read this whole section here in Psalm 119, starting in verse 49.  Psalm 119:49 says: 

Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

God gives us His Word and this is where our hope is. 

Then He says in Psalm 119:50: 

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Thy Word has brought me to life.  It is the Word of God that gives us life.  We must hear the Word to be saved.

Then He says in Psalm 119:51-53: 

The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law. I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself. Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

This word “horror” could have maybe been better translated simply into the word “wrath” or “anger,” because this just speaks of anger welling up in a person. 

Horror [anger or wrath] hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.  

But then in Psalm 119:54, He says:

Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.  

Thy statutes” of the Lord are the judgments, the precepts, the commandments; in essence, His Law.  They are all referring to the same thing—the Word of God—and here He says:

Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.  

Or “my dwelling.” 

Then He goes on to say in Psalm 119:55: 

I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night…    

Again, this is speaking of the night of the tribulation of this world, the darkness of this world.  “I have remembered thy name,” because God gives us “songs in this night.”

Then He goes on in to say in Psalm 119:56:

This I had, because I kept thy precepts. 

This could have been translated, “This was done unto me.”  In other words, the Psalmist was given this hope and this comfort in the Word of God. 

This I had, because I kept thy precepts. 

We cannot keep the precepts of the Lord perfectly unless His Spirit dwells within us.  His Spirit keeps the commandments perfectly, and yet we are in this sinful body.  Verse 54 was really a verse that opened this up for us, Psalm 119:54: 

Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

We are all familiar with Colossians 3:16.  Colossians 3:16 says:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

As we sing these faithful hymns or we speak of the Word of God, we are really “teaching and admonishing one another” with these “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”  “Admonishing” has to do with warning.  We warn each other of God’s judgment. 

A faithful hymn often speaks of judgment, and God has given us a couple of books in the Bible, whole books, that are songs.  Plus, there are 150 Psalms and they are actually all “songs of praise,” speaking of the Word of God.  I think that it is even safe to say that every doctrine in the Bible can be found in the Psalms. 

He has also given us the Song of Solomon.  That book is a “song” that speaks of the love between Christ and the church (the eternal Church).  Again, it is all the Gospel, the Word of God, and it is spoken of as a “song.” 

So let us look at some of the “songs” that God has given us.  Turn to Exodus 15.  When the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He led them through the Red Sea.  Pharaoh and his army were pursuing them when God opened the Red Sea for the Israelites.  Then as the Egyptians pursued them through that sea, God closed the sea back up and all of the Egyptians were drowned.  Again, this is a picture of salvation; being brought out of Egypt is a picture of salvation.  That sea was a picture of hell as it engulfed and drowned the Egyptians in judgment, and the Israelites sang a “song” after this that we find in Exodus 15:1-4: 

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song… 

You can read this in a couple of the Psalms, too.

The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

He goes on in this “song” speaking of what God did to the Egyptians, and yet it is all the Gospel.  It is all part of the Word of God. 

Now look at Exodus 15:20:21: 

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

Or turn to Numbers 21, which is a very short passage that speaks of how God gave them water in the wilderness.  The Israelites sing to God because of this.  It says in Numbers 21:16-18: 

And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:

They are saying, “Sing unto the well.”  

Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it: The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah: 

In Isaiah, Christ is spoken of as a “well.”  Actually, out of Him “shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation,” but here the Israelites are singing to this well. 

In Deuteronomy 32, we read of the “song of Moses.”  In Deuteronomy 31, the Lord is getting ready to take Moses, and Joshua is getting ready to take over the leadership of Israel.  They are about to go into the Promised Land.  In Deuteronomy 31:14-16, we read:

And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation. And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle. And the LORD (JEHOVAH) said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

God is telling them what is going to happen with the Israelites. 

Then we read in Deuteronomy 31:17-19: 

Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.

He is commanding Moses to write “this song.”  I need to read this whole passage so that you will see that God is commanding Moses to write “this song” in which you will see that “this song” is the Word of God. 

In Deuteronomy 31:20, He says: 

For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.

Remember that this is a “song.” 

Continuing in Deuteronomy 31:21-30, He says: 

And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee. And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book… 

He does not say “song” there; He says “law”:

And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death? Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them. For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands. And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.

Now the “song” begins, and we read in Deuteronomy 32:1-3: 

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

Now look at Deuteronomy 32:15-16 where He says: 

But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick… 

This is speaking now of pride in the Israelites and the sin that is going to develop in the them:

…thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.

This is all the Word of God, but it is in a “song.”  This goes on until verse 44; then finally in Deuteronomy 32:44, we read:

And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.

“Hoshea” is Joshua. 

Let us now turn to the book of Judges.  In Judges 4, we read the story of Deborah and Barak and how they defeated Sisera.  Then after they have won this battle, we read in Judges 5:1-3: 

Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, Praise ye the LORD… 

And here they are singing: 

Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. 

This “song” is speaking of this battle at Megiddo.  Here again, this “song” is speaking of the judgment of God

Then in Judges 5:12, we read:

Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.

Or look at 1 Samuel 18.  This is after David, as a young boy, has killed Goliath.  In 1 Samuel 18:6-7, we read: 

And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. 

Then if you turn to chapter 21, we read about the Philistines.  It says in 1 Samuel 21:11: 

And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

They are singing of the account of David killing Goliath; and, again, we see the Gospel in this.  As David kills Goliath, this is a beautiful picture of Christ defeating Satan.  But again, it is a “song.”  These are “songs”; the whole Bible is “songs of deliverance,” “songs” of salvation. 

Let us now look at 2 Samuel 22.  This is David’s “song” of praise to the Lord after He had given him victory over all of his enemies.  In 2 Samuel 22:1-3, we read:

And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

This is all about salvation and praising God in a “song,” “songs of deliverance.” 

Lately we have become familiar with this story in 2 Chronicles 20 of Jehoshaphat.  He was going out to battle against the Ammonites and the Moabites and the Edomites when the Lord came to him and told him that he would not even have to fight in this battle.  The Lord tells Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:16-17: 

To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle… 

And “in this battle” that has been won for us by God for our salvation, we did not have to do any fighting at all ourselves.  He says:

…set yourselves, stand ye still… 

This means to do nothing.

…and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. 

The Israelites went up on this cliff, and then we read in 2 Chronicles 20:20-22:

And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

Here we read that all that the Israelites did was to sing praises to God and these three tribes simply consumed each other in this battle.  They were singing praises to the Lord.  

Again, all through the Psalms, we are commanded to sing praises to God.  In the introduction to Psalm 7, which is inspired, it says: 

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. 

Or look at Psalm 9:1-2, which says:

I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Notice what it said in Psalm 9:1: 

I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

This is what we do.  As we gather together and we speak about the Bible, we “shew forth” the praises of Him “who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”  We find this statement in 1 Peter 2:9 where it says:

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

One of the ways in which we do this is to sing these beautiful Psalms and hymns that speak of the wondrous works of God in His salvation. 

Turn now to Ecclesiastes 7.  This speaks about the “song of fools” (Psalms then Proverbs then Ecclesiastes).  Ecclesiastes 7:5 says:

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise… 

A rebuke is a correction.  Sometimes it is unpleasant but:

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

God speaks of the unsaved as “fools” and that they have their “song” that they sing. 

There is a good verse in Zephaniah that talks about how the Lord sings.  This is found in Zephaniah 3:17 (Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, then Haggai).  Zephaniah 3:17 says:

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

So this speaks about the Lord singing. 

In Revelation 15, He speaks of the “song of Moses.”  Again, this is in the context of judgment.  In Revelation 15:1-3, we read:

And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

We just looked at the “song of Moses.”  It was speaking of how the Israelites would fall away and be judged of God. 

Let us close by looking again at Psalm 42, which we read earlier.  There are a lot more verses where a command is given to sing to the Lord.  In Psalm 42:7-8, it said:

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Or look at Psalm 118.  Very simply, again, this is a Psalm of thanksgiving to God, glorifying Him and His salvation.  The Psalmist here is speaking of his enemies.  Psalm 118:11-14 says:

They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

You can read this in other places in the Bible as well. 

Could it be that each one of us could say that the Lord is our “song.”  Again, we come together and we sing these beautiful and faithful hymns, but they are right out of the Word of God if they are faithful.  Again, this whole Word of God, this whole Bible is “songs in the night” or “songs of deliverance.”