Deep Calls to Deep

Deep calls to deep
    at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
    have gone over me. Psalm 42:7 ESV

My wife and I used to love a T.V. series called, “Numbers”. For those not familiar with it, the story line revolves around two brothers. One is an FBI special agent named Don and his brother Charlie, who is a brilliant mathematician. Don likes to kick in doors and catch the bad guys, while Charlie loves to hang out in his garage and work on equations on a blackboard. In each episode, Don needs Charlie to help solve a crime using that mathematical mind in some interesting ways. Charlie will come in, gather the evidence, then with some neat special effects, we are treated to the inner working of Charlie’s mind as numbers, geometrical shapes and algebraic equations flit across the screen. Though I hate math, I can identify with Charlie, though my thoughts would flit across the screen as notes rather than numbers. And as a lifelong musician and a lover of music, I have become intrigued by the various musical directions given in, many of the Psalms. Phrases such as “to the tune of The Lilies” (Psalms 45 & 80) or with stringed instruments, (4, 54, 61 and others), make me wonder what these passages actually sounded like. Many different instruments are recommended, such as Trumpets, flutes, cymbals, and an eight stringed harp. Other Psalms simply say, “a song” which may mean they were sung a cappella.

Now this all may sound nit-picky, but I believe that what God wants us to know through those tiny details is that He wants to connect with all kinds of people in a million different circumstances with music. You could almost call music the language of Heaven. Job mentions a moment when the morning stars sang together. Isaiah tells us that “the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12) and in Revelation 5:9, John tells us of people in Heaven singing, “a new song”.

Everywhere, in situations of grief as well as victory, in gratitude for blessings as well as when we cry for help, God has music that will cry out to him, from “deep to deep” In those times, God gives us a language, that can carry our words as well as a melody that will express our hearts even when words fail us. Music is not only a wonderful gift; it is a staircase that our prayers go up to speak to our Father. Notes are like the shaft of an arrow that drives us towards God’s target as well as the point that sinks His message into our hearts. Music is the breath of God that fills our sails and drives us across the ocean and an anchor in a storm, when we don’t know if we can hang on another minute. No, we will not learn how the Psalms originally sounded on this side of Heaven, but we can know that the God who gave them music, loves us enough to give us our own melody as we travel the road, He has called us to walk today.

God’s Great Symphony

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His faithful love endures forever! Psalm 136:1 NLT

If we look at Psalm 136 as if it were a grand symphony we could think of, these first verses like the trumpets blasting out an opening about the goodness of God. They alert us and fill our ears with the knowledge that our God is higher than any other power in the entire universe and above every other god. Then the composer plunges ahead with soaring strings that reach higher and higher ringing out with the beauty of creation and how God made the heavens, the earth and the sun, moon and stars. But with each new measure that is played we hear again a harmony note reminding us of God’s eternal love. Then the orchestra hushes as the score moves on to recount a specific list of each thing that God has done for His people Israel.

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Next a military drum roll marches out the victories God has led them through. First the deliverance from the empire of Egypt, then the crossing Red Sea and finally the defeat of the armies of the Amorites. Each verse sings out that God is faithful and with every note that is played we see His goodness. When thunderous rising notes of opposition challenge His children, God’s unfailing melody of love assures us to rest. No wail of lament or minor key of sorrow will last. They will all pale in comparison one day to the beauty and power of God’s love that echoes in every verse. They carry us from the beginning of creation, through every problem that we have faced and show us that only His love lasts forever. Then the crescendo of praise hushes to a silence at the final fading note of the symphony causes us to pause in awe remembering all that God has done and we give thanks In that glorious amazement we realize that both our blessings as well as our difficulties will pass away but the great symphony of the love of God will last forever and forever!

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A Place Called Home – Song

Sometimes advice is tough to take because what is being suggested seems really hard (or even impossible) to do. So when Barbara of My Life in Our Father’s World asked if I couldn’t write music for a poem I posted last week I thanked her for the idea but inwardly just shrugged it off. But somehow I knew my impulse was wrong on a number of levels so I began to pray and ask God if He had something more in mind than I did…(Dumb question!) You see the real issue was that the reality behind the words to this poem, now turned song, is a very painful one. I had been in five different places in three different states by the time first grade came along. My younger sister and I moved so often that it was hard to remember our phone number (No cell phones back then). But all through the avalanche of changes, God was watching and waiting for me to find in Him the home that He had prepared. And though the scars of that time remain, I can truthfully say how glad I am to know Jesus in a unique way because of that journey. I pray you will be blessed as you listen. For anyone struggling with some of those same issues I pray that you truly find that home Jesus promised when He said.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:3 ESV