The beginning of a new year is a significant time on our calendar. It means it is the end of another twelve months and the start of a new opportunity. We naturally use it as a way to celebrate saying “goodbye” to the old and “hello” to the new.
This caused me to think about how God used the word “new” in the Bible and I did a short word study. Let’s take a look and see the significance of this three-letter word.
First, in the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) the emphasis in the use of the word “new” is on “new wine” and “new grain”. Wine and grain were both very important staple foods in ancient Israel. (“May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.” Gen. 27:28) They represented the very best of God’s provision for his people. Portions of new wine and new grain were to be given back to the Lord as an offering on his altar.
What has God provided to you that he wants you to return to him? Returning to him, often in the form of giving to others in need, what he first gave to us helps us recognize his ownership of all things. By keeping our hands open when we receive from the Lord, he can use us as a conduit of his provision to others.
Next, in the Psalms, we see the psalmist using “new” as a form of worship.
“Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” (33:3)
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.” (40:3)
“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.” (96:1)
“Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.” (98:1)
“I will sing a new song to you, my God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,…” (144:9)
“Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.” (149:1)
A new song meant the musician used his skill and creativity to attribute praise and adoration to the Lord through music. Today, we can equally worship the Lord through song. What song do you want to sing to worship God?
Lastly, we see “new” in the books about Jesus, Paul and others – The New Testament. A “testament” is the covenant between God and man. The books and letters of the new covenant share the “newness” Jesus Christ brought to man. We just celebrated Christmas, which celebrates his coming, and a new year reminds us that in Him we find all things new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17)
As we begin this new year, commit to the Lord your complete heart and life. Live “in Christ” as a new creation in the power of his Spirit. Walk in the newness of life that he has so graciously and sacrificially given to you.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at www.OneMaster.org.