Both Job and the Psalmist wrote of songs in the night. Songs are simply life set to music. We sing songs of joy and sometimes we sing sorrows song, night songs. Sorrow may make us better or bitter. Some turn their sorrow into addictions others turn them into songs. The book of Psalms is the songbook of the Bible and it spans the spectrum of human experience and emotion. In the New Testament there are many references to the Psalms. Jesus sang Psalm 22 from the cross in the midst of the horror and the suffering of his crucifixion. Paul and Silas sang at midnight from a Philippian jail, beaten and bleeding but neither broken nor bowed. In the midst of your own pain and sorrow God will give you a song. He still gives songs in the night.
God is a God of substance. He is the substance that holds the universe together. Everything that exists received its substance from the mind and the spoken Word of God. The sun, the moon, the stars and the steadfast earth beneath our feet are all the creation of the God of substance.
People, however, seem to be more into image than substance. Arts, entertainment, fashion and advertisement are all vast industries built on the mirage of image. "Sell the sizzle," we are told with little regard for truth or substance. Pursuing fantasies is much easier than facing the facts.
King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of biblical Babylon, built a massive and impressive image and commanded everyone to worship his image. Almost everyone did, except for three Hebrew captives whose God of substance forbade them to worship images. They paid a price for their convictions but their God miraculously delivered them from the fire that destroyed the men who cast them into the flames.
Hollywood, Wall Street, Madison Avenue and Washington DC all peddle the emptiness of image worship
but their promises and projections are like a mirage in the desert - mere images without substance. Their idols of success leave you empty and unsatisfied; too much is never enough at the altar of image.
God is not into image. His promises, like His Creation, all have substance and bring satisfaction. Jesus said "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) Speaking of Jesus Christ, Paul the Apostle said "...ye are complete in Him." (Col. 2:10)
I have found Jesus to be substantial beyond mere image. He is the "peace that passes all understanding", the "fullness of joy", and, yes, in Him I am complete.
Jesus speaks of a strong man guarding well his household and that no intruder can enter unless he first can bind the strong man. In the Christian life the Strong Man is Jesus Christ. When He rules from the throne of a Christian's heart no one or nothing can overcome him or her because this Strong Man cannot be defeated. When Temptation rings the doorbell and the Strong Man appears at the door, Temptation must flee because he cannot stand against Him.
However when the Wrong Man (self or satan) sits on the throne of the heart, defeat is certain. Alone we cannot stand against sin and temptation. We will be defeated again and again as long as the Wrong Man is ruling the heart. Jesus taught that all manner of sin proceeds from the heart, from the inside out. Sin then is an inside job! No wonder that the Wrong Man is powerless to confront the onslaught of sin and selfishness.
The Apostle John reminds us that "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." But only if the Strong Man is ruling from the throne of your heart. Who rules your life: the Strong Man or the Wrong Man?
Psalm 61, some scholars say, was written while David was in exile. He chose to flee rather than fight with his son Absolam. He left his throne, his palace and his beloved Jerusalem but he did not leave his God. He cried out to his God from a place that he called "the end of the earth." A place where he felt destitute and forgotten. It seemed his very heart was almost overwhelmed. "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I" was his cry. "Lead me" because I am too weak, too lost and too weary to find it on my own. "Lead me" because I know you care and I know you can take me to that place of rest, restoration and saftey. The rock was a place of rest, refreshing and security. Israel received water from the rock in the wilderness. The Bible says there was honey (sweetness) and oil (anointing, healing) in the rock. Jesus said the rock is the foundation for the house of the wise and to Peter He proclaimed that "upon this rock [Jesus] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." God hid Moses in the cleft of a rock and covered it with His mighty hand.
When you are weary, thiristy, hungry or afraid, run to the Rock. In the Rock you will find rest, refreshing, sustenance and saftey.
David was in dire straits. King Saul and his army sought after him to kill him. He sought solace in a secluded cave in the wilderness. Four hundred desperate men found him and joined him there. The Bible says "... everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him..." Misery must really love company! When David thought he needed solitude God sent a multitude of misfits and malcontents to crash his pity party! In time God used these unwelcome intruders to become the core of David's great army.
Solitude and self-pity were not the solution. God used the unwelcome four hundred men to get David the caveman out his cave, into the battle and ultimately on to the throne as David the King.
It's time to come out of the cave! Join the battle! God has great things in store for you!
Welcome to athensupc.com and the Pastor's Pen. I am so glad you took the time to visit us.
First things first, please allow me to express a Texas-sized thank you to my daughter Cheri Grissom for creating this website for us. Thanks for the generous and selfless investment of your time and creativity!!!
GOD IS POSITIVE
God is positive - not negative. God is Love, God is Light and God is Life. Each essence is vital to our existence and well being and they are all positive attributes. Knowing and serving this positive God gives us a positive outlook and an abundant life filled with Love, Light and Joy even in the negative environment of this present world.
Stay positive and have a blest week!
Pastor Johnny D. Grissom started his life in Ranger, Texas April 23, 1952 and his Christian life in Midland, Texas June 19, 1967.