You have a heart murmur.
Let it be stated to every reader of these lines that he has a heart murmur.
This is not a physician’s diagnosis of a physical condition. It may or it may not be true in that sense that you have a heart murmur. With most of the readers of these lines this undoubtedly is not true. With those among whom it may be true it still does not mean that they have anything about which to worry, and that this condition indicates future heart trouble or heart failure due to that murmur.
But it is Scripture’s testimony that every man, woman and child that dwells upon the face of this earth, or ever breathed the air of this globe, has a heart murmur. Even then Scripture does not say that this is a spiritual affliction, but Holy Writ simply states it as a spiritual reality. The statement is found in Psalm 19:24, where our English translation (The Authorized or King James Version) employs a different word. In that translation we read, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” We can read it another way, and we prefer to read it that way, wherein it becomes, “Let the words of my mouth, and the murmuring of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” The root meaning of the verb is “to murmur.”
We take the liberty, however, to change that still further to, “let . . . the song (or the singing) of my heart be acceptable to Thee, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” For the word is used that way, as to the idea, in Psalm 35:28 and Psalm 71:24. In both verses we find this expression, “My tongue shall speak of Thy righteousness.” But in the setting of Psalm 35 there is added, “And of Thy praise all the day long.” In Psalm 71the connection is that of the preceding verse, where the psalmist says, “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee.” Psalm 35 in its preceding verse had said, “Let them shout for joy and be glad.” The setting of both texts then is that of a joyful heart that does not simply say a few nice words but sings God’s praises. The murmuring of the heart of the regenerated and redeemed child of God is a song of God’s praise surging through that heart and moving the lips to either speak or sing. The heart has a song in it, even as the murmuring brook sings its constant song of praise to God.
It does make a great deal of difference what song is in the heart. There will be a heart murmur, but what does it say within us? Is it a murmur of joyful praise to God? Or is it a growl and grumble of dissatisfaction? David, the author of the 19th Psalm, has a heart murmur or song of praise. His natural eye has seen the heavens and the heavenly bodies of the firmament. And the glory of God which they declare—for thus he begins the Psalm, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth forth His handiwork”—has been reflected by his regenerated and sanctified soul to cause a song of the glory of God to dwell in his heart. Likewise has he seen, with his spiritual eye, the beauty of God’s Word. And this causes a second stanza to that song in his sanctified and regenerated heart to be present.
With and in the natural man the opposite is true. He sees the glory of the creature. He speaks of the beauty of the heavens and of the vastness of the firmament. And his heart murmurs with a proud song of what man will do and how he will conquer this outer space. He sees no glory of God, but he does see a challenge to get glory for himself. God’s Word and God’s law he curses, and he has in his heart nothing but a song of the lust of man’s flesh. He murmurs after the baser things of life. On the one hand he reaches ever upward toward the moon; and on the other hand he rushes to the depths of filth and immorality. His murmur in his heart is not acceptable in the sight of God. He has a serious heart condition which will bring him to the torments of hell. And his mouth therefore spouts forth cursing and blasphemies instead of songs of praise and blessings to his Creator and God. These go together even as the Psalm indicates. The words of our mouths are acceptable in God’s sight only when the murmuring of our hearts is acceptable in His sight. That murmur produces the words. The song in the heart determines the song on the lips. And when men hypocritically sing the songs of God’s praise, this too is due to the fact that the heart murmurs with hatred of the living God. And God Who hears that murmur judges the words of the lips in the light of that song in the heart.
It is essential then that we have a song of praise in our hearts. And it is also revealing when we have other songs on our lips. Likewise is it true that our songs reveal our belief concerning the living God. When we freely and repeatedly sing songs that are a perversion of the truth concerning God, we reveal that our hearts do not know the truth of God’s Word or else despise it. Then there is a dangerous heart murmur within us, and we need a spiritual heart transplant. Tragic it is when we defend such heart murmurings that direct the praise and glory to man and that express disgust and irritation at His Word and law.
That does not mean that unless we sing a song that is a versification of the Word of God we reveal that there is something spiritually wrong with our hearts. Then there is something wrong with these hearts also when we compose our own prayers and do not make a versification of those found on the pages of Holy Writ. But it certainly does mean that our songs and prayers must be based solidly upon what the Scriptures declare. When we deviate from that line in our songs or in our prayers and praise the creature, or express desires contrary to God’s law, it means that there is a wrong murmur in the heart. It means that we have a serious heart ailment.
It is then important for our personal life; it is important for our home and family life; and it is important for our church life and its worship that our hearts murmur as David’s does in this Psalm so that our lips perform works acceptable in God’s sight. This means, then, that we will need the pure preaching of the Word and sound instruction for our children. It means that those who preach and teach in our midst and before our children must be men whose heart’s murmur is the truth. And it means that God must give us a heart that can receive that truth in love and that is under the influence of His Spirit of, truth. It may mean that we have to discard not only some of our songs which we have been singing personally, in our homes and in our churches, but also that we have to clean out that heart of old beliefs and preferences. And if we love God, we will be glad to examine what we have been singing with our lips to see whether these words actually express the murmur of our regenerated hearts and render to God the praise we want to give Him, or whether they deny Him that glory which the speechless heavens yet do declare.
Then, too, a living and growing child of God will add new stanzas to the song of his heart. Of course the Word of God has something to say about this. The psalmists make mention of this fact. The psalmist ofPsalm 96 speaks of a new song when he urges us, “O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless His name; shew forth His salvation from day to day.” Psalm 96:1, 2. As is evident from these words, the psalmist means the song of salvation when he speaks of a new song. The old heart murmur has been replaced with a new murmur. The old song of the flesh has been replaced by .a song of salvation and of the Spirit. That is the wonder of regeneration. It is mentioned also in Psalm 40:3, “And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.” David says it again in Psalm 144:9, 10 among many other passages in the Psalms, “I will sing a new song unto Thee, O God; upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praise to Thee. It is He that giveth salvation unto kings; who delivereth David His servant from the hurtful sword.”
Mention is made here in these passages of salvation and of a song because of that salvation. The murmur in the heart, then, is a new murmur because of a new work of God in that heart. The song of unbelief, the song of hatred against the living God, the song of rebellion, the self-seeking song has been replaced with a new song of praise to God for salvation which is full and free. This song is so different from the one taught Adam and Eve by that viper, whose poison was under his lips. Romans 3:13. Satan became our choirmaster. He picked out our song and approached us with it in the garden. He taught its words not only but got us to receive it into our hearts. And every child born in this world has that song of rebellion and of hatred against the living God issuing forth from his heart to move his lips to songs of the flesh. But God put enmity in the hearts of His own against Satan, his children and his ways and thereby gave us a new song in our hearts, one of praise to God: the song of Moses and of the Lamb. Truly we have a new song, an entirely new song. The rhythm is new; the harmony is new; the words are new; for the Composer, the Choir Director and the heart are all new.
This song is new also in the sense that it is one that Adam and Eve could not sing before the fall. A song of praise they could raise to God on high. They could sing of the heavens and their declaration of God’s glory, of the firmament showing forth His handiwork. But they could not sing of salvation, for they knew no such thing, nor could they comprehend it. But in the way of the fall and the salvation begun by God within them very shortly thereafter, they could sing a new song, an entirely new song. For now they could sing of God’s grace! That song of Moses and of the Lamb is a song of grace! And we ought to go through our hymn books and search our hearts to see whether our song is one of works. If so, it is not a song of God’s praise, and it is not a new song. It is the old song of the devil, the old song of Adam and Eve with their fig-leaf-apron works. Arminianism and Pelagianism are not that new song which God has put in our mouths. Satan put that one there by putting it in our hearts to be our natural heart murmur. The new song is a song of praise to God.
Away then with our songs that present a helpless though willing Saviour, Who goes away disappointed because we did not work and did not let the Almighty (?) have His way and was frustrated by a speck of dust! Away with all songs that place man and his will before the Christ and His will and power. Sing a new song, the one that extols that Christ for His power, grace, wisdom and a love that will not let us go.
But we may also add stanzas to that song of salvation. And it is to this that the psalmist refers in Psalm 40:3. He had stated in verse 1 and 2 that he waited patiently for the Lord. His patience was rewarded, for God inclined to hear his cry and brought him up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and He set his feet upon a rock and established his goings. That gave him a new song. New blessings bring new songs of praise. New revelations of God’s grace add new stanzas to that song in the heart. New mercies produce richer harmonies of that song of the redeemed. And that is why, when all this weary night of sin and death is over and the mists are rolled away, our song shall be full; and we will sing a new song that was impossible in such richness in this life. For we shall sing with Christ as fully taught by Him and as fully controlled by His Spirit. The old murmur will be gone completely; and our lips shall speak pure praise. We shall sing in His fear. For we shall then stand in holy awe and reverence before Him Who is the theme of our song.