Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)
TITLE: Our Weaponry
By Pam Vernon
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‘The life that counts must hopeful be,
In darkest night make melody,
Must wait the dawn on bended knee-
This is the life that counts…..’ 1
Darkest night? Melody? Could God be serious? I reached for the concordance to check this strange link – darkness and melody? Somewhere in the recesses of my memory were the familiar words ‘a song in the night’ – perhaps it was scriptural. There it was, Job 35:10 ‘…Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs of REJOICING in the night…?’ (my emphasis)…then…’who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens’…mmm, I’d just been discussing lately the ‘wisdom’ of animals – how the animals in the tsunami-hit countries had fled for the hills beforehand knowing what was coming. Job 36:33 had told me ‘…the cattle are told of His coming storm’. They were tuned in with God I believed – and after all, if He made them – why wouldn’t they be? My mother had always told me that cows knew when an earthquake was imminent. They just ‘knew’ she’d said. Then there were the animals that I’d read of recently who REFUSED to eat GE (genetically engineered) food – rats that were then force fed the new ‘man made’ or ‘fiddled with’ food as I call it – died! I’d learned (eventually) in my Christian walk that He was wiser and more clever than I (given He’d made me and my brain!) – I say eventually because it took a little while of trying out my own wisdom and falling over a few times to see it – so with this new revelation concerning night time and songs and the fact that He teaches us more than the beasts - then like diamonds it was worth digging for. I’d also read somewhere that diamonds were made under pressure and heat – so when pressure and heat came into my life God was BOUND to produce some jewel of wisdom in my life…ouch! Although I knew I should ‘rejoice’ when I encountered trials and temptations (James 1:2) – I was still finding that a little difficult to do – to say the very least.
Now, Isaiah 54:1 – that link again I mused…’Sing, O BARREN, you who did NOT bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud’…(my emphases again); here He was joining the trial place with singing again. I flicked also to Psalm 42:7 and 8; ‘All Your breakers and Your rolling waves have gone over me. Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and IN THE NIGHT His song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life’. The song sprang to mind taken from Isaiah 61:3 (Amplified Bible) ‘put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness’. This scripture read; ‘The Spirit of the Lord’….would ‘grant [consolation and joy] to those who MOURN…beauty instead of ASHES, the oil of joy for MOURNING, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a HEAVY BURDENED OR FAILING SPIRIT…that HE may be glorified.’ This was it then….the Lord God TRANSFORMS things –
excited, I glanced across the page and read in chapter 60:17-20, gold
instead of bronze; peace instead of tyranny; Salvation and Praise instead of devastation or destruction…the days of mourning will one day end. I thought then, of how in the Old Testament when the armies of Israel went into battle the singers and musicians went in front; what more peculiar order could there be than this? Singers in front with NO WEAPONS? But the scriptures reveal that against all odds the Israelites ALWAYS won – that is of course – IF THEY OBEYED. When God said to sing – they sang. When He said – be silent – (as when they encircled Jericho awaiting its destruction) – they kept silent. They won against all natural odds; not spiritual odds because there is no such thing in God’s economy. And here was my ‘jewel’ – obey God and sing – and He will transform me in the trial – and often but not ALWAYS, He will change the circumstances as well!
Isn’t that just like my faithful God? Like Miriam, when God had parted the sea to let the Israelites pass through, then miraculously destroyed their enemies, I too could joyfully sing;
Who is like You,
O Lord, among the gods?...
glorious in holiness,
awesome in splendour,
Yes, I thought with a smile, He IS an awesome God!
1 Pfc. Eldridge Walker, cited by Mrs. C Cowman, Streams in the Desert (1967) p73
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