Songs in the Night

“SONGS IN THE NIGHT” is a devotional book used by many Christians at the close of the day. These little gems give peace of mind and heart after a day of toil. The title of the book is a scriptural expression found in Job 35:10, “But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night.” God’s people, by reading the passages for each day in these “Songs in the Night,” are granted a glimpse of the goodness of the Heavenly Father. By listening to the voice of their Creator they are enabled to rise above the sin and degradation of the world of mankind.

In the Book of Job, God is pictured as asking Satan, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8) Satan suggested that Job’s righteousness was because God had placed a hedge around him and made him prosperous. Take away this protection and his prosperity and “he will curse thee.” (vs. 11) God permitted Satan to test Job’s loyalty by having tragedy after tragedy befall him. God knew that Job’s love for him was not based upon the fact that he abounded in temporal provisions. Job loved God because he knew his loving character and righteousness, as the Scriptures declare, “I am God, and there is none like me.”—Isa. 46:9

The experiences that were permitted to fall upon Job would tax the heart of any person! He lost all his sheep, cattle, and camels, and his precious sons and daughters were all killed. (Job 1:13-19) Job himself was afflicted with boils from the crown of his head to the very soles of his feet. (Job 2:7) Though Job was crushed by these hard experiences, he did not understand why God had permitted all these afflictions. In spite of all this distress Job had learned a ‘song in the night.’ He sang a song which was a comforting assurance, even in the midst of the darkest period of his life. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”—Job 13:15

There were other songs in the night learned by Job, and he expressed these for us as well. “If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.”—Job 14:14,15

Job trusted God as expressed in this wonderful verse, “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” (Job 19:25) What a beautiful hope Job had and he was able to express it in song.

Job truly believed that a Redeemer would come and would deliver him from the grave. Even though his flesh would see corruption, he knew that he would awake, and behold the goodness of the Lord. His eyes would see the blessings of the kingdom day, and he would share personally in the blessings of that day, because he would have a resurrection from the dead to life on earth. Job had learned his songs in the night well.

David also learned songs in the night, for many of his words contain the glad message of assurances from God. For example he says, “The Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” (Ps. 42:8) He also said, “Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.” (Ps. 119:54) Little wonder that God spoke of David as being “a man after his own heart.”—I Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22

This does not mean that David never succumbed to the weakness of the flesh, for he was born in sin and “shapen in iniquity,” (Ps. 51:5) as are all members of the human family. This statement implies that David’s heart was loyal to God, and whenever he sinned he was truly repentant, and turned to God for forgiveness.

David’s life was touched with stormy and trying experiences. When his beloved son, Absalom, turned against him, he was forced to flee for his life, and his throne was temporarily taken from him. Yet his song in the night was, “Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”—Ps. 3:3

David also wrote prophetically of the church, the saints who will live and reign with Jesus. He wrote, “Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.” (Ps. 149:5) In this psalm, the saints are seen in a condition of perfect rest. They see the glorious character of God. They can praise God with intelligence and understanding. That will be the blessed condition of all who make their calling and election sure.

Meanwhile, the saints who are still on trial are having experiences which are described by the Apostle Paul as “much tribulation” before they can enter the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22) While enduring tribulations, they too are learning songs in the night and are encouraged by their understanding of God’s plan. The Apostle Paul said, “The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his invitation, what the glorious wealth of his inheritance among the saints.”—Eph. 1:18, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

Their faithful promise and hope, which is like an anchor to their souls, is the reason they can be joyful in all of life’s experiences; and this is the reason they are considered “peculiar” by others. (I Pet. 2:9) They have peace and joy in the midst of turmoil. Outsiders cannot understand how this can be, for they are blind to the glorious Gospel.

We are still living in the dark night of ‘weeping,’ with sickness, sorrow, evil, sin and death. This will continue until the glorious morning of that grand kingdom, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5) The Scriptures also say, “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Rom. 8:22) These are waiting “for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (vs. 19) The whole creation ‘groans’ under the load of sin and sorrow. They see little or no reason to rejoice as bitter experiences come upon them—unemployment, loss of homes, hunger, sickness, pain, sin, and death.

Christ’s followers share in some of these same experiences, but nevertheless they have a reason to be joyful, and hopeful. Having entered into a covenant relationship with the Heavenly Father, and having surrendered their individual wills to the will of the Father, they submit all to his care and supervision. Their spiritual insight has granted them a glimpse of a better day. For the church, they see the glory that lies beyond this present age of suffering—one of living and reigning with Christ. For the world, they see a kingdom without end, in which all the ills that have plagued mankind for the past six thousand years will be abolished, when all that are in their graves shall come forth.

The followers of Christ see beyond the present dark night of weeping, and therefore, can sing a song in the night. In the experiences of Paul and Silas, they were able to sing such a song. The occasion was when Paul and his companions were going from Lydia’s home to a place of worship outside the city gates. They encountered a slave girl possessed with a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune telling. She followed Paul and those with him, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”—Acts 16:17, New International Version

This occurred for many days, and it troubled Paul. So he commanded the spirit to leave this slave girl. At the moment the spirit left her, she lost her fortune-telling powers. Her masters, seeing this, seized Paul and Silas and brought them before the magistrates of the city, saying, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice. The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.”—Acts. 16:20-22, NIV

Paul and Silas were beaten with many stripes, and cast into prison. It was not a well-lighted, well-kept prison—but a dark dungeon. Their feet were bound in stocks in such a manner that any movement was very painful. Bleeding, and painfully bound in stocks, they did not lament, and blame God. “At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” (Acts 16:25) They ‘sang praises unto God’! This was their song in the night, given to God, in the midst of a dark hour of pain.

They did not take joy in the pain they were suffering, but, rather, were grateful for the privilege of suffering in the Lord’s service. They were glad to be counted worthy to share in the Master’s sufferings and cause. They were glad to know him, the perfect, sinless, undefiled One, who had endured such great things, even death upon the cross, because he loved the Heavenly Father and the world of mankind so much.

Though Paul and Silas were miraculously delivered from prison on this occasion, their lives were consumed in the Lord’s service. As followers of Christ, we can appreciate the experiences of God’s people throughout the ages, but we are especially mindful of the difficulties of walking in the narrow way which lead to glory, honor, and immortality. We have learned the joyful ‘song of Moses and the Lamb,’ and sing this song, which is our inspiration in all the experiences of life.

Some experiences may be very painful, yet God deems them needful so that we might fully develop the character that is pleasing to him. Soon this night of weeping will be over. As poetically expressed, “Only a few more trials, only a few more tears.” Our earthly pilgrimage will soon be over, and we will be at home with the Master, and the Heavenly Father. Then shall we see those dear faces which we have loved so long, but lost awhile, and what will be brought to pass are the prophetic words of Isaiah 14:7, “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.” Jesus told John, “I make all things new. … Write: for these words are true and faithful.”—Rev. 21:5

The song we sing during this night of weeping will turn to ‘joy’ in the morning. All will come to know the “old, old story, of Jesus and his love.” It will be perfectly sung in that day, even as we are privileged now to sing our songs in the night. What a blessed people we are to see the depth of God’s plan for the uplifting of mankind, and to have a part in the dispensing of the features of that plan! But only if we are “faithful unto death.”—Rev. 2:10

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.” (Ps. 92:1) Let us pray that we may never lose sight of this joyful ‘song in the night,’ so that we may be counted worthy to be with those that are with the Lamb on Mount Sion, singing a new song.—Rev. 14:1-3

Dawn Bible Students Association
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