Bible, Despair, Joy, Modeling, Peace, Praise, Scripture, Singing

GLOOM, DESPAIR AND AGONY

ZEPHANIAH 1:15

“That day is a day of anger, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,”

Back in the 1970’s a comedy show hit the airwaves of the U.S. entitled “Hee Haw.” One of the songs that was sung regularly on the show was about gloom and despair. The lyrics were:

Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me

These words may not all fit today’s verse, but they sure come close to how someone who was facing the day of the Lord and His judgment would feel. Of course, it wasn’t about having bad luck. It was all about bad choices – specifically one – rejecting Jehovah in favor of idolatry and rebellion. That choice would certainly bring gloom, despair and agony.

APPLICATION

We who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and have accepted Him as Lord and Savior have no reason to worry about gloom, despair or agony. Our hope is in Him. Certainly, none of those words describe our Lord. He is joy, light and radiance. He brings peace and comfort. He exudes the glory of God.

So, why do so many Christians walk around singing that old Hee Haw song? They almost act like Eeyore, the donkey from Winnie the Pooh. Every time you see them all you hear about is how bad things are. They are children of the King, but they act like a lowly peasant who has been downtrodden and forgotten.

I choose to walk in victory. I choose to sing a different song. I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. He has put a new song in my heart. Will you sing with me? Will you praise His holy name? Let the world know about the joy you have because you have chosen to follow Jesus. They need to hear it and you need to proclaim it.

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!

Standard
Bible, Exalting, Praise, Rejoicing, Scripture, Singing, Worship

SELAH

HABAKKUK 3:13

“You went forth for the salvation of Your people, for the salvation of Your anointed. You smashed the head of the house of evil to uncover him from foot to neck. Selah”

I like to sing, and to be able to sing you must know when to pause or rest. It helps if you can read music, but a lot of people sing without ever having learned to do that. A pause in music can be powerful, if done well and done right. It accentuates the rest of the music.

Why am I giving you a music lesson? Because remember when I started chapter 3, I told you that Habakkuk wrote these verses in combinations of three Hebrew words. He wrote it to be able to be sung to music. So, it makes sense that he would say “Selah” to mark a pause. Think about that. Why a pause? What was he trying to point out?

APPLICATION

Maybe you need to take a pause. That pause, that Selah meant something. The word “selah” actually means to lift up or exalt. Hmmm! Think about that. How can we pause in order to lift up or exalt our Lord? What could you do this holiday season to lift up Jesus?

We get so busy with all the holiday trappings that we forget to stop and thank Him for all He has done. We forget to take a breath and actually enjoy our family instead of hustling and bustling from this house to another house. We try to cram as much into the holiday as we can.

I want a slower Christmas this year. I want one in which my family can say “Selah” and pause to lift up and exalt my Lord. I want to think about the true meaning of Christmas. It is not about the tree or presents or Santa Claus. It is about Jesus. Don’t make light of that this year. Selah!

Thank You, Father, for reminding me here in this verse to pause and lift You up. I exalt Your name.

Standard
Bible, Blessing, Choir, Praise, Scripture, Singing

SET TO MUSIC

HABAKKUK 3:1

“A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.”

I love to sing. Currently, I am singing in my church choir, and we are preparing for our Christmas program this weekend (those in the Chattanooga area are invited to attend either Saturday at 2 p.m. or Sunday at 5 p.m. – Brainerd Baptist Church. You can also watch it online at brainerdbaptist.org). I love singing praises to our Lord. Obviously, Habakkuk did also.

Why did I just say that? Because the word “shigionoth” means exactly that. Chapter 3’s verses are written in groups of three words which made them match up to melodies sung by someone. I don’t know if Habakkuk sang this to the people or just wrote it in such a way that others could sing. Singing your prayers to the Lord is a great way to worship Him.

APPLICATION

Think of some songs that you have sung in the past or are currently singing that could be sung as prayers to God. I truly believe the Lord loves to hear us praise Him in song. In fact, we know there will be choirs in heaven, so He must enjoy the sound of choirs. Revelation 19:1 says, “After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God,’”

We also saw the angels singing and praising God at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Luke 2:13-14 tell us, “13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying, ‘14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.’”

It is obvious God loves music, especially choirs. Are you singing praise to Him today? Do you have a melody in your heart? Spend some time this Christmas season singing your prayers to the Lord. Lift your voice! It doesn’t matter if you can sing or not. Your voice will be pleasing to Him. I promise.

I will lift my voice to You, O God. Hear my praise and let it be pleasing in Your ears.

Standard
Bible, Blessing, Comfort, Encouragement, Inspirational, Listening, Obedience, Praise, Singing

A GOOD RESPONSE

HOSEA 2:21

“‘And it will come about on that day that I will respond,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth,’”

Back in the 80’s I was serving at a children’s home in South Carolina. One of my responsibilities was to have a thirty minute counseling session with each of the children on my caseload (24 children). Nothing was more irritating than the child not responding when we met. I could handle yelling and even crying. But when they just sat there and said nothing, I was irritated.

Aren’t you glad God doesn’t just sit there? He always responds. Look at today’s verse. The word “respond” is used three times. This word could be translated “sing.” Isn’t that cool? The Lord sings to us. He sings to the heavens. I just love that, don’t you?

APPLICATION

Have you ever responded in song to the Lord? Colossians 3:16 tells us to sing songs with gratitude in our hearts to God. What if you started each day with a song to God rather than a groan? That would be fantastic. Your husband or wife and children might wonder what happened to you.

Do you have a favorite hymn? Sing it now. Belt it out. Wake your neighbors (just kidding). Perhaps you have a favorite praise song. Then start your Quiet Time singing that. God is worthy of our praise. He delights in it. He will respond to it.

One of my favorite hymns is How Great Thou Art. If you know it, sing it with me now:

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, 
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; 
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, 
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Chorus:
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, 
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, 
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

O God, You are great and my soul does sing to You. I can imagine You singing back to me.

Standard