Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 137, 144, 42, 43; Exodus 10:21-11:8; 2 Corinthians 4:13-18; Mark 10:46-52
Today’s Writer: Hank Bahr
What is it about music that gets to your head, your heart, and your soul like nothing else can? Prose and poetry are great, but nothing truly touches your soul like music. The Psalms are my favorite book in the Bible and are the real “music” of Scripture. They were meant to be sung. Indeed, David, the author of most of the psalms and my favorite character in the Bible, wrote them as songs to be sung (with his harp/lyre whatever?)
David was a man of honor yet committed adultery; he was a man who had a “heart” for God yet committed murder. David was the high king of Israel yet danced half naked in a parade before the Ark of the Covenant, embarrassing his wife (something I can truly relate to!). This same David wrote SONGS to his Lord! Yet it is the rare time indeed that we “sing” the Psalms. O yes I know. We “chant” Psalms every Sunday. Sorry folks. Chanting ain’t singing!
Today’s Psalm, Psalm 42, is a great example. Many years ago when I was a ministry youth leader, we sang a lot. One of the songs we sang was Psalm 42. The words were a bit different, but the meaning was still there, and the beauty of it still lingers in my memory. Unfortunately, I have lost most of the lyrics that went with the song, but the first stanza went like the following: sung to the tune of the Water is Wide: Just Google The Water is Wide to get the tune.
As a Doe longs for flowing streams
So longs my soul for thee O God
My soul doest thirst for the living God
When shall I come to see thy face?
If you “sing” this, you can’t help but FEEL the desperate desire for God. The last stanza gives you back the ‘hope’ we all need.
Why so cast down O soul of mine?
Why so upset and scared within?
I’ll hope in God, and praise him still
For He is my help, and my one true God.
A few years ago, Lane and I had the privilege of going to the Holy Land. We were in line to enter the area of the Wailing Wall, the only remaining piece of the Temple. While in line, two young Israeli men, dressed in white clothing came singing and dancing up and down the line. They weren’t panhandling but seemed to be very happy with their singing. I had heard that in ancient times Jewish pilgrims would SING Psalms on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Perhaps they were like these young men. I wonder if our Lord SANG on his way to Jerusalem for that last Passover?
David (and God) gives us another command in another Psalm (100).
“Make a joyful NOISE unto the Lord, all ye lands
Serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a SONG (emphasis added).”
Hey, even if you couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, God calls us to make a joyful NOISE. So cut loose! Let your Heart Sing!
Is that your photo of the young men you saw singing? What a delight!