19 May 2008

Longing For God’s Song … Zeph 3.17

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bobby's World, Christian hope, Faith, Grace, Hebrew Bible, Ministry, Prayer, Zephaniah

Longing for God’s Song …

You know, I am amazed by the power of music. Movies powerfully synchronize music with pictures to move an audience. Athletes can burst into tears when they hear their national anthem. Governments often try to control the music people hear. Moms can love their babies to sleep with a soothing melody. Plato in his ideal Republic argued that music was to be strictly controlled.

There are few things that are as capable of teleporting me through time and space to a distant memory or scene in my life as music. To this day when I hear “Lady in Red” I think of Lori and my high school prom. I will never forget “Pressure” by Billy Joel because it was the song on the radio as Pamella and I pulled into the parking lot of my first ministry interview in Saucer Creek, MS. “We Shall Overcome” helped define a movement. I listened to Pink Floyd through the night on the Natchez Trace Parkway after some unpleasant business and singing “Wish You Were Here” because my family was not there. I was all alone … It remains one of my favorites and it still speaks powerfully. I cannot hear “Hey Jude” without thinking of a little Talya traveling with me to Memphis to go to Harding Grad every week and she loved that song and would play it over and over in the CD player. When I hear “I want to get away” by Lenny Kravitz, I think of Rachael who loved that song immensely. There are some songs that I simply cannot play: She’s a Rainbow by Rolling Stones; Halo by Beyonce; etc.

And so it goes …

Music speaks to our hearts in a way that words, logic and so-called reason cannot touch. I find that I can be moved to tears through a song quickly because of the emotion it evokes. I find that my vision of God can become exalted and I am uplifted through song in a way that I am never in a sermon or even prayer.

God loves music too. I have been trying to hear his own music in my life. That old Hebrew prophet, Zephaniah, claims that Yahweh sings over us. He sings songs of victory over us. He sings of his love and comfort for us. Perhaps I have had my radio too loud … I am trying to have an “ear to hear” the melodious voice of our Abba. When I am alone and afraid, I say “daddy sing to me once again.” I want to hear that one healing song.

Yahweh your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quite you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing
(Zephaniah 3.17)

Father … help us to hear the song as we sleep tonight.

Bobby Valentine

9 Responses to “Longing For God’s Song … Zeph 3.17”

  1. preacherman Says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I really needed it.

  2. Jeanne Says:

    Funny, I’ve read/sung those words before but never thought of God as actually singing. I’ve imagined him listening, being sung to, but never on the “production” side of music.

    Duh! In a world so full of beautiful sounds, a world where the human voice can express love so clearly, why would the Creator of Music himself not participate in such an act?

    My mind goes back to high school, when the choir groups would gather around the piano and sing together… some of the guys had voices that would melt me down to a puddle of blissful goo. Didn’t matter what they were singing– I recall a tenor friend of mine practicing a German aria for a competition. Pure honey to the ears! If an imperfect human voice can engender that much pleasure, I can only imagine what we’ll be feeling when we actually have our eyes and ears opened to the presence of God and can hear him singing over us. The Beatles, the Stones, even the Jonas Brothers 😉 won’t be able to compare.

    (So, would that make the angels his back-up singers or his original groupies?)

  3. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    angels as groupies … I like it, 😉

    Bobby V

  4. Stoogelover Says:

    I’m sure you meant to say “God loves [a capella] music too.” but you’re forgiven. 🙂 Great thoughts … you took me back to some of the songs that have been a huge part of my life and remain in my memories.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Bobby, even though you and I have had a difference of opinion about who has had the “greatest impact” on our culture for the last 40 years, I do agree that the music is truly the gift of God and one that, at least for me, brings me closer to His heart than anything else. Unfortunately, Satan also knows how to misuse music to stir the soul in passions we need to flee. Remember when the movie “10” came out and “Bolero” becme the song for lovemaking btwn Bo and Dudly? Ravel originally wrote it as a ballet set in Spain about some dancers in front of a factory. When Torvil and Dean used the theme in the ’84 olympics, the inspiration of the music caused them to dance/skate to an olympic gold medal and the only perfect score ever to be received (ever) in ice dancing. But we probably only remember “10”.
    My point: Music can move us nostalgicially or it can inspire us forward toward the future. It’s an extremely powerful gift that can be used for the glory of God or the advance of evil. Let the “user” beware.
    Bob… “I still like John Denver’s Poems and Prayers and Promises” over ANY Beatles song….Lollar

  6. cwinwc Says:

    So true brother. We can be almost 50 years old and yet feel like we’re back in high school when a certain song plays on the radio.

    When we were kicked out of a local Bible Camp that we had worked at for years, the song, “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” took on a powerful meaning to me.

  7. Adam Gonnerman Says:

    Oh how we need the songs. Especially this week, with all the news of tragedy and death. It might make us want to hang up our harps on the willows (Psalm 137, I think), but this is when we need music the most.

  8. Tracy Moore Says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I had never seen this. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Sharon Leighton Says:

    Having decided to take a major break from Facebook (until after the US 2024 election), I went to your blog and decided to read the bottom one on the list. What a blessing!

    I have read some people who claim that we do God a disservice when we sing about Him, reducing Him to “sloppy sentiment”. But you seem to be saying that expressing our love through music is something that God and we have in common, and that it is, therefore, a good and noble thing.

    To sing, and to listen to His song. You have inspired me, and I am grateful.

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