“I will sing a new song to You, O God; upon a harp, an instrument of ten strings, will I sing praises to You. “ Psalm 144:9
In reading some of the events of Christianity through the years, Psalm 144 is referenced on numerous occasions by those who have found comfort, strength and courage in facing the battles and challenges of life. For example, many going off to war have claimed verses 1-2: Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle — my loving-kindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in Whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me. ”
Psalm 144, unquestionably a psalm of David, seems to be a pivotal transition in his life from prayer to praise. The previous four psalms contain cries of despair and even the first eight verses of Psalm 144 flash forth David’s plea for His God to reveal Himself and deliver him from his enemies. From verse 9, quoted above, the transition from prayer to praise is so dramatic that it grabs our attention. At this very point in David’s life something very remarkable was happening. What it was that fired this fresh fervor to praise God I do not know. But from verse 9 throughout the remaining six psalms David begins to live above the circumstances, above his troubles and trials. His faith seems to soar him about the clouds of doubt and despondency where he begins to sing a NEW song in praise to God. No more “second-hand ” praises, no more “heartless ” homages to God, no more “down-in-the-dumps ” pity parties.
In Psalm 145 David extols his God and covenants with Him that he will bless His name forever! Each of the remaining psalms (146-150) begins with a shout of joy, “Praise the Lord! “It seems as though David finally sees God for Who He really is! Now David concedes that God was in everything! And in everything God was to be praised. So he composes a NEW song from a heart swelling with gratitude to His glorious God, and then played upon his harp of ten strings!
To some extent haven’t we all been there? Caught in the web of worry on one hand, yet caught up to heaven with the glory of His presence? I can almost sense David’s bliss as I write. Oh, how good He has been to us! But how can I adequately thank Him? We may not be gifted to write new songs and play them in praise to God by means of an instrument, but we can be instruments of praise by giving once again our all to Him by means of a fresh renewal of spirit. By re-confirming our call to leave the world behind and love Him with all of our hearts, and use what humble gifts He has bestowed upon us for His glory until He comes for us or calls us to Himself.
One night in prayer meeting an old man prayed, “Lord, I praise You with an instrument of ten strings. “ As the people wondered what the ten strings were, the old man prayed on…… “I will praise You with my eyes by looking to you, I will praise You with my ears by listening only to Your voice, I will praise You with my hands by working in Your service, I will praise You with my feet by running in the way of Your commands, I will praise You with my tongue by bearing testimony of Your loving kindness, and I will praise You with my heart by loving only You.”
You see, when God saves us, and calls us, we become instruments through which He wishes to work. He desires to play upon the 10 strings of our lives a melody that will be received by the world. Sometimes the devil discourages us to think that what we do doesn’t seem to count. But down through the centuries of time God in His grace has been pleased to use “ordinary people “ in “ordinary surroundings ” to draw attention to Himself. Especially those who have learned to give thanks and praise to God.
As we approach the Thanksgiving season, why don’t we sing a new song unto the Lord by praising Him with our instrument of ten strings? We can praise Him with our eyes by “looking unto the hills, from whence cometh our help ” (Psa. 121:1); we can praise Him with our ears as did Samuel when he said, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth “ (I Sam. 3:10); we can praise Him with our hands by using them for Him, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might “ (Eccles. 9:10); we can praise Him with our feet by being careful where we walk, “Ponder the path of thy feet ” (Prov. 4:26); we can praise Him with our tongues by telling others of Him, “That which we have seen and hear, declare we unto you ” (I John 1:3); and we can praise Him with our hearts by loving Him, “Whom having not seen we love ” (I Peter 1:8). Yes, Thanksgiving is God’s reminder to be instruments of praise. The instrument of ten strings represents all that we can give or be for God. May weuse these gifts to praise His holy Name.