I recently found a phrase in the middle of a scripture that made me smile, even though the context didn’t. Still, I think pulling that phrase out of its context is not wresting the scriptures in this case. “God my Maker, who gives songs in the night,” Job 35:10. I wonder how many times those hymns popped into our heads because a loving God sent them our way to help calm us and reassure us.
The righteous sing for joy on their beds, Psalm 149:5. After I found that verse, I began to wonder why “bed” was particularly mentioned, just as “night” was in Job.
Perhaps it is a metaphoric allusion. We take to our beds when we are seriously ill. I can get up and do things when I have a cold, but if I am really sick, I am in bed. People who are nearing death are usually in bed, in fact, we call it the “death bed.” In times of worry, when we try to sleep, we find ourselves tossing and turning in bed, just as I have done so often recently. Why would we be inclined to sing at those times?
Isn’t it obvious? If we are God’s children, we have hope, we have a foundation of joy in our lives that keeps us grounded, and that joy often shows itself in song. Even in prison, having been beaten and wondering what the morning would bring, Paul and Silas sang hymns of praise “at midnight,” Acts 16:25. They weren’t in a comfortable bed, but the “nighttime” of trouble was upon them. Even from childhood, aren’t we all just a little afraid of the dark?
Do not think it strange that songs often come to us during these times. Our God does not leave us desolate. He gives us songs in the “night,” songs of comfort, songs of hope, songs of praise for his grace and love, songs of encouragement, songs of edification and even chastisement. Those songs would not come to your mind without a God who cared enough not only to send his Son, but to send you songs in the times you need them most, in the night time of sorrow and fear and pain.
Often the grace of God comes in a song that keeps going round and round in your mind. It’s up to you to sing it.
By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. Psa 42:8