The power of song.
16 But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble. (NIV)
If we only read our text today, it seems a simple declaration of praise sung almost every Sunday in our churches. But the context finds David in his home under siege from his own King who has betrayed him and seeks to kill him. The word ‘literally’ is overused these days, but literally, David knows there are mercenaries outside his home intent on ending his life. And what does David sing?
I will sing. I will sing of your strength. I will sing of your love. In the morning, I will sing.
This hymn is a call to the Lord for rescue and for the Lord to scatter David’s enemies. It reveals to us an assurance in David’s heart that God would protect him through the night’s assault and in the morning, he would be singing of the greatness of God. But his song doesn’t begin in the morning. He sings in the assault knowing he will still be singing in the morning. In the darkness, he sings a prayer of protection full confidence his song will change in the morning to a song of awe for the God who will answer his prayer.
Song for David was a weapon. Throughout the psalms, David sings over his own fear. It is still a spiritual weapon for us as well. To sing a song of praise forces us to push out the words of the song despite the words in our hearts. Fear may rest in the heart, but the song refuses to listen. To worship in song is like the cattle chute forbidding us to move anywhere but to Him.
There are critical moments in our life where we must choose to sing to the Lord not because we feel what we are singing but because we need to feel what we are singing. We need to cast off fear, shed our depression as if it were dead skin, scrape off the grunge of darkness. With each phrase and each melody sung in full voice, we are putting our faith to work, believing for what we cannot see, certain God will keep His promise.
These moments are not lip service to God. Our desire is to have the faith found in the song. We are not being fake. Rather, we have taken hold of our chosen weapon for the moment to do battle against all that would kill our faith and our soul.
Prayer: Lord, teach me to sing when I don’t feel it. Let the song guide me to the Throne Room. Let each stanza would the enemy until he retreats back to where he came from. Amen.