Summary: When you are on the Lord’s side, you have the assurance the Lord is on your side. Even when the emeny is laying a trap for you.
CHURCH HYMNS’ HAVE FALLEN ON HARD TIMES. SOME ARE TRYING DESPERATELY TO RESUSCITATE THEM OR TRYING TO RESURRECT THEM DEPENDS ON HOW YOU READ THE HYMN’S VITAL SIGNS. SOME ARE SIMPLY WAITING IN THE WAITING ROOM FOR PASTORS TO PRONOUNCE HYMNS DEAD, AND ANNOUNCE PRAISE AND WORSHIP AS THE NEW LEADER OF OUR WORSHIP SERVICES. I’M NOT SURE IF WE CAN RESURRECT THEM OR RESUSCITATE THEM OR EVEN IF IT’S TIME TO PRONOUCE PRAISE AND WORSHIP AS THE NEW LEADER. THE REASON IS BECAUSE THE HYMNS HAVE SO MUCH POWER AND POTENTIAL, BUT I THINK THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH SOME OF THE CHURCH’S HYMNS IS THE TEMPO. PERHAPS IF WE COULD PICK UP THE TEMPO A BIT, THE WORDS WOULD HAVE THE SAME IMPACT ON THIS GENERATION THAT IT HAD ON PAST GENERATIONS. “I LOVE THE LORD, HE HEARD MY CRIES, AND PITIED MY EVERY GROAN” THAT CAN SPEAK TO ANY GENERATION. “GUIDE ME O, THOU GREAT JEHOVAH.” MY CHILDREN NEED TO FEEL THE WAVES OF SECURITY THAT HYMNS FLOODS INTO ONE’S SOUL. WHAT ARE WE TO DO WITH THE HYMNS OF THE CHURCH, WHO HOLDS OUR HISTORY IN HER ARMS, DO WE TAKE THE EXAMPLE OF THE WORLD AND KEEP THE PAST IN THE PAST AND PUT THE HYMNS OUT TO PASTURE? WHAT ARE WE TO DO WITH THE HYMNS, SHOULD WE ALLOW HER TO TEACH OUR YOUTH HOW TO SING A SONG, FULL OF THE FAITH THAT THE DARK PAST HAS TAUGHT US? NOW I DIDN’T MAKE THAT SUGGESTION UP, I THINK IF WE COULD LEARN FROM ISRAEL AND THEIR ANCIENT HYMNBOOK WE CAN RETAIN THE WORDS EVEN IF WE CAN’T RETAIN THE MUSIC AND THE TEMPO. THIS IS WHAT THE BOOK OF PSALMS REPRESENTS FOR ANCIENT ISRAEL. THEY ARE HYMNS WITHOUT THE MUSIC. THE TEMPO HAS BEEN LOST AND ALL THAT REMAINS ARE THE LYRICS, BUT THEY ARE SO MUCH MORE NOW THEY ARE INSPIRED WORDS, AND HAVE AN IMPACTED OF GENERATIONS AFTER GENERATION.
DAVID WANTED TO SHARE WITH ALL BELIEVERS IN ALL TIMES A LESSON, AN IMPORTANT LESSON THAT HE LEARNED AND EVERY BELIEVER NEED TO KNOW. HE COMMUNICATES THIS IMPORTANT LESSON IN THE FORM OF A HYMN. IN THIS WAY THE LESSON COULD BE EASILY LEARNED AND RETAINED, LIKE LEARNING YOUR ALPHABET BY SINGING THE ABC SONG. THIS LESSON OF DAVID IS RECORDED IN PSALM 124.
(READ PSALM 124 – LISTEN TO THIS HYMN WITHOUT MUSIC, THIS PSALM OF DAVID)
After returning home, after the parade and the award ceremonies. After hearing all the people talk about not only his bravery but the bravery of his men. People were saying, “What a leader, what a general, what a great strategic mind David has.” The women was singing and teaching their children to sing the praise of David and David’s men. They were brave, they were courageous, and they were valiant. Once David got back home and was alone and had time to think about the battle. Once David had time to reflect of the previous experience, he knew it was not his bravery, nor his plans, not even his leadership that had gotten them the victory. Alone, a dark cloud settles in David’s mind, bringing a certain aftershock of fear and dread. Questions race through his mind, what could have been, how things could have turned out, how close they were from been utterly destroyed, what was the turning point in the battle? As David reflected he recognized that it was not their bravery, their courage nor their valiant effort. As David sat there in the dark, David pondered in his mind that it was not his planning, because many times he had to think on his feet, it was not his leadership, because there were times he just yelled, “I’ll go, even if I have to go all by myself”. No, as David brood over the previous day’s journals a cool breeze of clarity blew away those dark clouds of fear and dread. It was like seeing a rainbow after the heavy rains. David knew what the difference was and he want Israel to know it.
David reflects over the battle and the Provincial Protection of the Lord, and question what made their great escape possible. To express this David used Litotes. Litotes is an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of the contrary or stating the negative to express the positive. The most famous Litotes is in the Model Prayer, “Lead us not into Temptation” stating the negative to express the positive meaning, “Lead us away from temptation.” Or Luke when he described Paul missionary journey in the book of Acts, “Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” Meaning there were a lot of Greek men and women. Or Jesus used John 6, All that the father has given to me, will come to me, and they that come to me, I will not cast away” meaning those that the father gives to Jesus he will preserve, He will hold on to, He will retain. That’s a Litotes stating the negative to express the positive. I overheard a couple of ladies in the Elevator one day. One said, "So your daughter is getting married what kind of man is he?" The other said, "Yes, he is a recent graduate from the universary and have accepted a great paying position at the computer company. They are suppose to buy a house in the suburbs, I’m happy for her." "But what kind of man is he?" "He’s not a bad fellow" That’s a Litotes, stating the negative to express the positive. David expressed this in Litotes; “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side” stating the negative to express the positive, “The Lord was on our side”.