Image of shadowed hand holding a flower above sheet music
Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

What is the meaning of “song?” One definition is “a short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung.” 

The Holy Bible talks about songs in the Book of Exodus. “The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”

When French villagers helped Jewish refugees hide during World War II, some sang songs in the dense forest surrounding their remote town to let the refugees know it was safe to come out from hiding. The Holy Bible talks about songs once again, in the Book of Job, 35:10: “But none saith, where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night.”

Those mostly Protestant people in Nazi-occupied Le Chambon-sur-Lignon opened their homes to their brothers and sisters from another faith, risking everything. Led by local pastor André Trocmé and his wife Magda, they gave refuge to more than 3,000 people.

In another dangerous time, David sang when his enemy Saul sent nighttime assassins to his house. His use of music wasn’t a signal but a song of gratitude that conveyed his trust in almighty God, his refuge. David rejoiced, “I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love, for you are my fortress, my refuge in time of trouble.” (Psalm 59:16)

The Holy Bible says that songs are a way to be filled with the Spirit: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:19)

It also includes singing to find strength when rejoicing in God. “You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely … But I will sing of thy power, yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning, for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will sing, for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.” (Psalm 59: 9-10 and 16-17)

How do you feel when you’re singing your favorite praise song?

David’s praise, and the villagers singing in Le Chambon, offer an invitation to bless God today with our singing, making melody to Him despite the worries of life. His loving presence will respond by strengthening our hearts.

Why do praise songs inspire us to feel stronger?

It is truly a blessing when we can give cheerfully to those in need and receive cheerfully from those who just might have more than they need. Amen! “Give and it should be given back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

Dear God, strengthen my heart with praises that transform my fears and worries into worship of you. Amen!

Love always,

Rev. Dr. John F. Littlejohn

Chaplain