Sing to the Lord a new song,
And His praise from the ends of the earth,
You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
You coast lands and you inhabitants of them!
11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice,
The villages that Kedar inhabits.
Let the inhabitants of Sela sing,
Let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord,
And declare His praise in the coast lands.
13 The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man;
He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war.
He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud;
He shall prevail against His enemies.
Jesus said that we look but don't see and we hear but don't understand what we hear. So many of us read the Old Testament and cone away thinking God is genocidal and only loves the Jews. Maybe it's because we read Genesis and Exodus and then get weary in Leviticus and quit? Even then the real truth is there, even if made murky by the slant we have out on it.
Here is some practical truth that may help us see and hear better. When we have a view of situation already in mind, we read all events through that lense. For example if I think a person doesn't like me, I interpret all the things they do and say and don't say through that lense, reinforcing my idea that they don't like me even though none of it may be reality.
I can't count how many times I have heard people talk about the God of the Old Testament as if He is somehow entirely different from Jesus yet Jesus said if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father.
In fact I propose to you that God knew we got the song wrong. He knew we had the wrong lense. He knew we were interpreting His actions and His character in a way that was genocidal and in many ways pagan. For this reason He not only promised a Deliverer but He promised a new song. A song that would reach the coast lands and beyond. A song that would send a Jewish prophet to "evil Nineveh" even though his own life song of walls and prejudice prevented him from wanting to go.
This new song was inclusive. It stretched to Tyre and Sidon. It rang out in Samaria, it crossed the water to "swing infested" Decapolis. Romans heard the song and joined the chorus. Jews stood baffled and confused and many refused to sing. Prostitutes joined the song. Tax collectors sang harmony. Sinners carried the melody to new heights.
It was a new song indeed, wildly unexpected, socially disruptive, and it turned the world and the Story upside down even though God had been singing it since Eden. We just lost the tune and made up our own.
There are two songs. One of inclusion and one of exclusion. Which one will you and I sing?