The Oldest Songs

In all ages songs have given expression of the deepest feelings and beliefs of mankind - they express our longings, loves, joys and sorrows. They are a wonderful part of the culture of all nations.

Thousands of songs are written each year in all lands and languages. Their appeal is universal. Some traditional songs can be remembered for several generations. Most songs however are popular only for a short time. “Pop” songs may be at the top of the “charts” for some weeks, but soon others replace them. Most then pass into oblivion.

or a song to be regularly sung and appreciated beyond a couple of centuries is remarkable. Some have even lasted for over a thousand years; such has been the truth and beauty of the words. However, one of the oldest songs is about three and a half thousand years old. It was written by Moses after the children of Israel came out of Egypt around 1400 BC It is Psalm 90. All during the past three and a half thousand years this song has been regularly sung and appreciated. In fact, most of the Psalms are about three thousand years old, the majority being written by King David of Israel who lived about 1000 BC Isn’t that remarkable?

For songs to endure for so long, they must have great appeal and worth. That they are still sung and read regularly today throughout the whole world speaks to us of abiding truths that have met the deepest needs of all races of mankind. The Psalms speak to us of truths that endure throughout all generations of people and all conditions of mankind. These oldest of songs address answers to the BIG questions of life. They speak of an almighty, unchangeable God, who is creator and judge of all. In them we find our selves and our deep limitations and needs described. We are shown the answers to life and death, and where we may find true and lasting life, peace and security. They point us to God and His work in Christ Jesus.

Are not these songs then truly worth reading, digesting and taking to heart? If we take the time to read them, we will find beliefs for life that have been proved true over thousands of generations of mankind. These are the truths we need today, not the passing fads and ideas that so many of the superficial, fickle “pop” songs embody. Read for example, Psalm 23, of the Lord being a shepherd to those who trust and follow Him. In Psalm 100 we have a call to joy in the knowledge that there is a creator and sustainer of the world. Psalm 90 speaks of One who endures and is faithful in all ages and generations, in contrast to the passing of mankind. Why don’t you read them, and seek to appreciate the wonder of them, for they are nothing less than songs that God in His goodness has given us.

Rev. Chris Coleborn

Cohuna, 13th. March, 2000