Songs in the Night

“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” (Psalm 42:7-8)

There are times in the life of a believer when he seems about to sink under great avalanches of trouble and sorrow. But then “I call to remembrance my song in the night” (Psalm 77:6), and God answers once again. In the book of Psalms, the theme of conflict and suffering is prominent, but always there is also the note of hope and ultimate triumph.

The very first psalm, for example, notes the conflict of the righteous with the ungodly, but promises that “the way of the ungodly shall perish” (v. 6). The second psalm foretells the final rebellion of the heathen against God and His anointed, but assures us that God will “vex them in his sore displeasure” (vv. 2, 5). In Psalm 3, the believer says: “Many are they that rise up against me.” But then he remembers that “salvation belongeth unto the LORD” (vv. 1, 8). He cries in Psalm 4: “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer” (v. 1).

In Psalm 5, immediately after the first imprecation in the psalms (“cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions”) occurs the first specific mention of singing in the book of Psalms: “Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout [literally ‘sing’] for joy, because thou defendest them” (vv. 10-11).

The Lord Jesus and His disciples sang a psalm, even as they went out into the night of His betrayal and condemnation (Mark 14:26). This is His gracious promise: “Ye shall have a song, as in the night. . . . And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard” (Isaiah 30:29-30). HMM

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