This past Sunday we were exploring some of the factors that we all experience in our bodies and minds and discovering how they can affect the shape and health of our faith.
A couple of questions came up during Q&A:
- Are we aware enough of the power of singing for keeping the devil at a distance? Memorizing and singing a psalm, hymn or spiritual song at the time of an attack chases him away.
- In the Bible, God’s voice is heard in judgement (like Adam & Eve, or David & Bathsheba). Yet his voice is silent in suffering (like Job, Paul’s thorn in his flesh). Why the difference?
Thanks for asking and, in doing, enriching the conversation.
1. Are we aware enough of the power of singing for keeping the devil at a distance? Memorizing and singing a psalm, hymn or spiritual song at the time of an attack chases him away.
So glad you raised this. Couldn’t agree with you more. Indeed, music and song are emotionally and spiritually powerful. They are the language of the soul. Which is why, I believe, one of the first places that the Devil tries to get a community of believers to start fighting is…. about music. It’s highly effective, because of the power in song.
I’ve also seen struggling, anxious people find a real measure of peace from listening to music in a genre that speaks to them.
A biblical example of this is the troubled King Saul of Israel. Who suffered severe paranoia, and associated emotional & mental problems. His servants brought in David to bring calm to the King (1 Samuel 16).
Christian music can give new courage and hope when we are floundering.
It reaches deep into our being, beyond immediate circumstances. And beyond whatever blocks the mind can erect.
It helps us praise God as almost nothing else can do.
That’s also why I am SO strong on congregational singing in worship. Not just a concert where the band plays, and a few on stage sing. But – everyone singing. New stuff. Oldie-but-goodies. Ancient music. Together as a community. Where we can hear each other sing. And share the experience. When we do, we are pouring medicine and encouragement into each other.
I’m grateful to be part of a church community that can and does sing – from the bottom of their heart.
Thank you, Lord!
2. In the Bible, God’s voice is heard in judgement (like Adam & Eve, or David & Bathsheba). Yet his voice is silent in suffering (like Job, Paul’s thorn in his flesh). Why the difference?
I appreciate you pointing out that God’s voice comes out at times in Judgement. Like the examples you list. And others, of course. But there are times where God does not raise his voice in judgement.
AS well as times when God DOES raise his voice in comfort. Think of the coming Christmas season, when we’ll all be quoting Isaiah 40, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” Or the words of God’s angel – remember the first words spoken just about every time an angel appears to someone? “Fear not.” Or so much of Jesus’ presence and ministry on earth – yes, there is judgement spoken to the ruling elite. But there is deep comfort and compassion in his voice spoken to the struggling and suffering. I would dare say that the Son of God was more about speaking comfort than judgement. Which, perhaps, is what is behind the Holy Spirit inspiring St. James to write “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13).
May we be agents of mercy and healing for brothers and sisters, whose damaged bodies and minds are causing pain and struggle in their faith lives.