Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered (Psalm 108:6 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Back when jelly bracelets, Aqua Net hairspray, blue eyeshadow and parachute pants were a thing, I wrestled with frustration every time radio disc jockeys talked over the beginning or ending of a song.
Because before the days of digital, I used to record songs on audio cassettes with my handy-dandy cassette recorder so I could listen at leisure.
Truth be told, we technically did have the option to buy a 45 and spin the song, but I had very little money. So instead, I’d hover my pointer finger over the red-circled record button and wait for a popular song to come on the radio.
When the music began, I’d press the magic button, then dance giddy knowing I’d soon be able to listen to that song anytime I wanted! I can only imagine the number of Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Whitney Houston, Richard Marks, Steven Curtis Chapman and Bryan Adams songs I pirated unknowingly. (Lord, forgive me!)
I made mixtape after mixtape.
Listened to them on a towel in my backyard while lathering myself with baby oil and spraying Sun In on my hair.
Listened to them in the bedroom I shared with my two sisters.
Even listened in the car.
Today young people don’t understand the magical relationship between cassette tapes and a pencil. And in a day when we can access any song, lyric, artist, or album instantaneously, many just don’t appreciate the value of a good mixtape! Am I right?
David pulled together an old school mixtape in Psalm 108. The verses are actually pulled from two of his previous psalms. Today it’d be called a Scripture mash up. This explains why we see two distinctly different themes in this chapter… worship and war. The cool thing? Victory is found in both.
Worship went up… “I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth” (Psalm 108:3-5, NIV).
And war was waged… “Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies” (Psalm 108:12-13, NIV).
Even now, wars rage all around us. News and social media assault us continually with unsettling updates from the front lines of battles both seen and unseen. Wars between countries. Wars of ideology. Wars of morality. Wars within our families and communities.
Worship is a powerful weapon in times of war.
Worship tunes our hearts to the heart of God in the midst of chaos and confusion. The discipline of worship directs hearts to look up for help in times of trouble instead of looking to our left and right. Worship reminds us that the love of God is greater than the hatred of man. That the faithfulness of God reaches beyond the schemes and plans of the Accuser. That the glory of God is inexhaustible and will shine in victory when all wars on earth are won and done.
When worship rises our hearts rise also… to a place where we can rest in the confidence of and powerful presence of Jesus. Just like each well-recorded song was a victory on my mixtapes in the 80’s, Psalm 108 reminds us to prioritize praise and prayer so we can share in the victory of God’s powerful, ever-present help in times of need.
Dear Lord, My heart is steadfast, determined to celebrate victory in and with You today! Your love is great, and Your faithfulness knows no end. In times of wonder, worry and war, You are worthy of praise and honor, and I am victorious in Your strength and salvation.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What combination of worship and war would the mixtape of your life feature right now?
Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.
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Thank God for music. I can relate to your story so much. I don’t know what I would have done without my radio in middle school and beyond. I didn’t have a tape recorder but listened to songs so many times and wrote down the words so I could learn them. God lifted me out of the muck with songs. Praise God!
Gwen, thank you for your time, effort, and heart in this devotional. It was really helpful to me this morning.
Right now, my worship has looked like saying no to things in order to prioritize consistent quiet time with God. It’s SO easy for me and I think most people (maybe even all) to busy ourselves with good things and get nervous and anxious when we have to sit still. It’s when I take Psalm 46:10 moments where God really does His healing work in me and gives me direction. As for war, I’m struggling right now with controlling my thoughts and emotions — specifically, feeling easily intimidated. ****I would appreciate prayer for boldness and bravery and to get a little feistiness in me. :)****
Mary, I pray in Jesus name that God would continue to minister, strengthen, and enliven you through music. In fact, I think that’s a cool idea to slow down and write out the lyrics to meaningful songs in order to really let them sink in. Good idea!
A package came in the mail addressed on our 17 yr old last week. HE BOUGHT A CASSETTE PLAYER! The little one, I assume, as the box was small. Can you imagine my frustration as I explained to him all the problems cassettes were, why they had been moved away from. Every song from everywhere is on his phone! Remember the years of taking songs from cds and uploading to computer to download onto a made for you cd?! It was the longest conversation we’ve had in a long time, and still brings a smile to my face. The Bible is like that now…even though I can open mine, I can still in seconds find what I’m looking for online. Highlight Psalm 108, web search and bam! There it is. I remember those days well, Gwen. The music, the sun in. Music is my go to to lift up the sorrows of the day, and worship our Lord through our troubled times. Well written memory, and well written devotional. Thank you!
Hi Tiffany, I find myself in the same spot and have been wondering if it is my lack of faith in God or the illusion that I am in control when I worry. Either way, praying for peace and the joy of salvation to be restored to you. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.2Tim1:7. God bless you 🙂