Singing in the Cave

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. 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).

What is your song? When life unravels, what fills your mind? Your house? Your car? Beginning today we will release songs we have recorded here at Grace. Savor them. Memorize them. Sing them!

Here’s one we sang recently at Grace. Worship. Enjoy.

 

Keep Calm and Worship

Keep-calm-and-carry-on-scanWikipedia reports it like this:

Keep Calm and Carry On was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for the Second World War. The poster was intended to raise the morale of the British public, threatened with widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities. Although 2.45 million copies were printed, and although the Blitz happened, the poster was hardly ever publicly displayed and was little known until a copy was rediscovered in 2000.

Between September of 1940 and May of 1941 London was bombed 71 times. 100 tons of high explosives were dropped on cities in England. One million houses in London were either destroyed or damaged and more than 40,000 citizens of England were killed. War is bloody and dangerous.

2 Chronicles reports it like this:

And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another. (2 Chronicles 20:22-23 ESV)

Three enemies are storming Jerusalem. All conventional wisdom says do anything but sing. Plan your strategy. Draw your swords. Man your stations. Certainly there are times when conventional wisdom works. Then there are times when conventional wisdom falls short, when you’re outnumbered, when the enemy is just too strong and the odds are stacked against you.

What can you do in those times?

Keep calm and pray. Remember Jehoshaphat’s prayer? We don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you. Jehoshaphat prayed God’s character and remembered God’s works.

Keep calm and worship. He did the most unconventional thing: he placed the worship leaders in front of the generals, the praise team in front of the army. The choir marched into battle first. You see, we have the advantage of knowing the outcome. Jehoshaphat didn’t. He had the diagnosis, not the prognosis.

I love the progression of events! And when they began to sing and pray, the Lord. Their sacrifice of praise filled the halls of heaven. God acted on their behalf. He created confusion in the enemy camp, turned them on one another, and his people watched it unfold.

Whatever you’re facing today, sing. I know it sounds simple, maybe even trite. It isn’t. Worship in spite of your circumstances. Do not allow your current predicament to rob you of giving God the praise He deserves. Do not allow your current crisis to curtail your worship of the crucified and risen Christ.

Keep calm and worship.