“I will sing praises to you . . . the God who shows me steadfast love.” (Psalm 59:17)
Over the past several years, shows such as The Voice and American Idol have skyrocketed in popularity. The other day I found myself wondering why this is so. Here’s what I think:
When you watch The Voice it makes you feel like the things we all want for our lives aren’t so unattainable after all. Onto the stage walks an ordinary person like you and me who has a chance to share their voice with millions of watchers. In some cases, an elite group of the most talented and famous people in the world celebrate their voice and make them feel wanted—even loved. In some sense, by watching, we get to live vicariously through them as their greatest dreams come true, even if only for a moment.
Deep down, we all long to be wanted and loved. That’s what makes a show like The Voice so appealing. Watching an average joe be so admired for their performance resonates powerfully with millions of Americans. Yet according to Psalm 59:17 (quoted above), though the world may not recognize it, there’s another reason for we Christians to use our voice, and it has nothing to do with performance.
Look at the header of Psalm 59 and one thing becomes clear: David wasn’t singing to perform. He wasn’t putting on a show for anyone: “…of David. When Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him.” This refers to a story told in 1 Samuel 19 where Saul is being driven to cold-blooded murder by his jealousy of David. Thus David is hiding out in his house, peeking through the blinds and wondering at what moment one of Saul’s hitmen was going to break in and off him.
Clearly, these were not circumstances in which a guy would normally sing to rejoice in the goodness and love of God. But David sure did, because he knew that God’s love “is better than life” (Ps. 63:3). So whether he lived or died, David would use his voice to praise God because he knew how loved he was. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God approved of him. Why? Because God had shown him His steadfast love over and over throughout his life. Thus David knew that God’s love would never fail him, not even in his darkest moments.
It’s the same for you and I. God has shown His love for us once and for all: “…but God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). We don’t sing God’s praises for attention or approval, nor do we sing because life is a cakewalk. No, we sing because we know that in the midst of life’s ups and downs, we are eternally loved by God. The cross of Christ forever stands as an emblem of that fact.
All of us will come to church this weekend as individuals who face unique life circumstances, some of which are very difficult. The hard truth is, our days will always be littered with such troubles. But you must remember that as long as God loves you—and because of the cross, He always will—you will never run out of reasons to sing. So won’t you use your voice this Sunday to praise Him for loving you while you were dead in sin?
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Set List for Sunday, September 23, 2018:
Yes And Amen (T. Brown, C. McClarney, N. Moore)
Glorious Day (S. Curran, J. Ingram, J. Smith, K. Stanfill)
Living Hope (B. Johnson, P. Wickham)
You Are God And You Are Good (M. Carter, A. Ivey, J. Reeves)
This I Believe (The Creed) (M. Crocker, B. Fielding)
Doxology (T. Ken)