This past week was yet another star-studded awards show – the CMA’s. It was a night for all of country music brightest stars to put on the glam and gather to recognize outstanding achievements in the industry. As an act of confession, I must admit that I’m a bit of a pushover for country music. As a Coweta County resident, you’ll find me turning up the radio when an Alan Jackson song comes on. Go ahead, mock me. I don’t care. With that said, even die hard country music fans must acknowledge that their particular genre of music has generated some very “colorful” songs over the years.
Who could forget classics like, How Can I Miss You if You Won’t Go Away? There’s always Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn singing the great duet, You’re the Reason our Kids are Ugly. What about Roy Clark singing, Thank God and Greyhound She’s Gone? Then there are such unforgettable songs like If My Nose was Running Money and Bobby Bare singing, Drop Kick Me Jesus. I’m certain that the list could go on and on, but most people would simply say, “Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.”
Regardless of what genre of music you prefer, it goes without saying that music is a powerful thing. Music can calm us. King Saul was calmed by David’s playing of the harp. It is not uncommon to hear soft, relaxing music being played at a dentist or doctor’s office for that purpose. Music can agitate us. In December of 1989, Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega surrendered to US troops after being bombarded with high volumes of heavy metal music over several days.
One of the things that music has been used for throughout our history is the commemoration of significant events. Our national anthem was penned by Francis Scott Key while observing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the War of 1812. There were many powerful songs that were written shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The great Christian hymn, It is Well with My Soul, was written by Horatio Spafford. He wrote the lyrics while crossing the Atlantic when his vessel passed by the location where his four daughters had been killed in a shipwreck a couple of weeks earlier.
David, known as the “Singer of Israel” was no different. He composed more than 75 of the psalms that we find in the scriptures. Many of them were composed at times when David was under great duress and affliction. Some were composed as psalms of repentance. Some were composed to marvel in the glory and greatness of God. Others, called psalms of lament, were composed to convey a great sense of loss and heartbreak. Though it is not in the psalter, we find one of these songs of lament in the opening chapter of 2 Samuel, as David and his men grieved the death of Saul. In this song, David again reminds us of his profound respect for God through his profound respect of the “LORD’s anointed.”
Music is an important part of our culture, but it is perhaps even more important to our faith. For thousands of years, God’s people have been expressing praise through song. For the last two millennia, Christians have been singing the glories of our Savior, Jesus Christ. God may not have blessed you with the ability to play a musical instrument, and your singing may only sound good when the radio is turned up or when the shower is running. While we should always play and sing our best, God doesn’t judge our songs on the beauty of the performance, but by the heart of the one singing. Just as the old gospel hymn Blessed Assurance declares, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.” No matter what kind of a musician you are, you have a song to sing and a story to tell