Singing comes natural when life is good, the bills are paid, the family is well and the future looks bright. However, when the news isn’t good, singing often escapes us. David taught us in Psalm 57 to sing in the cave. Running for his life, with his enemies camped all around him, he wrote:
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. (Psalm 57:1, ESV)
Before David sang, he cried out to God. His singing never glossed over his fear, never ignored his dilemma. When you’re in the cave, there’s no need to pretend life is good. Problems are problems. Hurts are hurts. Bad news is bad news. A troubling diagnosis is a troubling diagnosis. David calls his enemies lions, fiery beasts with spears for teeth and swords for a tongue!
But he doesn’t stay there.
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! (Psalm 57:7, ESV)
This is the same Psalm! David is still sitting in the same cave. Saul is still pursuing him. None of that has changed.
When you’re in the cave, you will have to will what you do not feel.
What is your song? When life unravels, what fills your mind? The content of David’s song emerges in verse 10: your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. When life is unsteady, God is. God’s faithfulness extends to the clouds. In other words, when David can only see the walls of the cave with his physical eyes, his eyes of faith see the faithfulness of God extending to the clouds.
David reflects on the character of God (he wills to see God in spite of his circumstances) and as a result reflects the character of God (he feels God’s presence).
I love the determination and faith of the phrase till the storms of destruction pass by. David knew he wouldn’t be in the cave forever. Neither will you. One day we will emerge from this unexpected trial. The sun will shine again.
“How can you be so sure?” you ask. Easter. Yes, Easter!
In between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday was Silent Saturday. Mary and her friends mourned. Peter wept. Judas lay dead. The world was silent. Hope seemed lost. But Silent Saturday gave way to Resurrection Sunday. Jesus rose! Everything I believe is staked on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I live my life by it, preach with its shadow long and constant over my sermons, lead with its hope waving like a victory flag over a conquered land.
Silent Saturdays give way to Resurrection Sundays.
You see, David wasn’t the only one who went down into a cave. Jesus did too! But while in his cave, Jesus marched down into hell, took the keys to death, hell and the grave from Satan, and rose victoriously on the third day. It’s a silent Saturday right now…but resurrection Sunday is coming.
This old song is built on Psalm 57:1. Take time to take it in. This storm will pass by.