Singing is inherently inspired. Songwriters write about their most awe-held topics. Singers sing about their most beloved experiences. Musicians muse over their most unshakeable hopes and dreams. We sing from our heart’s ever-flowing fount of wonder. Furthermore, singing is inherently inspirational. Teens lose their minds over the latest pop song. Armies have rallied to victory around the beat of a drum. Churchgoers are moved to faith by gospel-climatic lyrics. Our heart’s fount of wonder overflows into life’s features.
The book of Jeremiah is a tough book to take in. God warns an unfaithful Israel to recognize their idolatry and repent, and but they refuse and willingly ignore God’s impending justice.
To that end, in Jeremiah 9:17-21, God instructs Israel to summon their most skilled mourners and raise a lament to help the wayward nation see that their worship of false gods (Jer 9:13-14), pride (Jer 9:22), and faithless religiosity (Jer 7:9-11) has led them to devastating and shameful ends.
This is not the song Israel ought to be singing, rather Israel’s ought to be singing about their knowing (read: relational experiencing) of God – that He is the LORD who delights in showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness throughout the world (Jer 9:24). The praise of God, not the anguish of sin, was to be Israel’s song but their pride has led them here.
It is better to sing God’s praises than to mourn sin’s consequences.
It is better to sing the right song – the praise to God over the praise to anything else. Not only a literal melody, but a life absolutely dedicated to God above all else. God cautions that the praise of anything but Him eventually and always turns into mourning. The worship of creation, self, or religiosity produces only destruction, leaving us to mourn our foolish giving in to vain glory.
To sing rightly of God’s praises is to learn and practice knowing God, more exactly to experience a right relationship with Him. Trust God for righteousness and restoration. Study the Bible with the goal of responding in faith. Pray consistently, constantly, and without reserve for personal repute or advantage. Fill your heart and mind with God’s character, works, and promises then watch your life and the world to see His divine activity while observing sin’s usual and destructive trappings. Practice serving others with a godly humility and love. Fight against temptation with the immediate celebration of God and His worthiness. Repent of sin, both the act and desire, and rest in God’s faithful provision of righteousness through Christ.
The right song is richly rewarded by God with deepening trust, healing, steadfastness, and love. Learn of this sweet song by learning of your Savior. Commit this great melody to memory by practicing reliance on the Faithful One. And prepare to recite this salvation song for all eternity before the One who called you out of sin’s anguish and unto Himself.