SONGS IN THE NIGHT
Dr. Tom Berry
A young man named Elihu pointed out some of the
fallacies made by Job and his faultfinding friends:
"But no one says, 'Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the
night.'" (Job 35:10). Elihu was a young man but he
was wiser than Job's three older friends. They had bent the
truth so bad that God said that if they didn't make offerings and
Job didn't pray for them He would deal with them in wrath.
The worst thing God said about Elihu was that he "darkens
counsel by words without knowledge." (Job 38:2).
That might be paraphrased, "He muddies the waters because he
doesn't really know what he is talking about."
But Elihu was right
on target about one thing. As he observed Job seemingly
uncomforted in his troubles he hit on the reason many professing
believers go through trial without comfort---they don't seek their
God Who gives songs in the night.
Man has his literal
nights. They can be depressing. Frank Sinatra had a
rather famous quote in which he was reputed to have said, "I'm for
anything that will get you through the night, be it prayer or a
bottle of Jack Daniels." The Scripture affirms ". .
.Those who get drunk are drunk at night." (1st
Thessalonians 5:7). The same can be said of those who commit
robberies and murder. In January and February there are an
inordinate amount of mental and emotion problems, and even
suicides. Those who are reputed to have a lot of smarts tell
us the big factor is the long nights and short days that are often
Man also has his
spiritual nights. There are nights of grief, anxiety,
bewilderment and persecution. Job said that ". . .Man is
born to trouble as the sparks fly upward." (Job 5:7).
But there is a God Who gives songs in the night! One of the
most wonderful endowments God has given man is the ability to
sing. Man has forty-four muscles in the throat and lungs
capable of producing 173 million variations of sound. God
didn't just give us this ability to sing in the sunshine, but also
in the night.
GIVER OF SONGS IN THE NIGHT IS GOD, OUR MAKER
We don' need God to
give a song in the sunshine. When the cupboard is full; the
cheeks are rosy with health; the bank account is large;
everyone is our friend and life is abundant with luxuries, any
fool can sing. Those who have a song through the night
season will need to get it from God their Maker. Only He can
give us a song when we've buried the one we've loved more than
anybody else on earth...when we're in rags and hungry...when we're
sick and hurting,...when the world and former friends are cursing
us, when all of our plans have come crashing to the ground.
Habakkuk had this
song. Listen to him sing it.
"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the
Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields
yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and
there be no herd in the stalls---
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
(Habakkuk 3:17, 18.)
Preachers are often
called on to comfort people in their sorrow. I always try to
get those who hurt to look to the Lord. If they don't get a
song from Him it is beyond me to give them one.
TYPE OF SONGS GOD GIVES
First of all there
are songs about the past. Check out the song David was
singing about deliverance from sin: "He also brought me
up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet
upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song
in my mouth---praise to our God; Many will see it and fear,
and will trust in the Lord." (Psalm 40:2, 3).
Ponder the son of praise Moses wrote when God gave miraculous
victory at the Red Sea in Exodus15. Dwell long on David's
songs for God's protection and provision in Psalms 34 and 37.
Then, there are
songs of the present. There is the song of joy that comes
from fellowship with God: "The LORD will command His
lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be
with me..." (Psalm 42:8).
There is the song
of joy that comes from worship in God's house: "Make
a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord
with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know
that the Lord, He is God; 'It is He Who has made us and not we
ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with
praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For
the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His trust endures
to all generations." (Psalm 100: 1-5).
There is the song
of joy that comes from soulwinning; "Those who sow in
tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth
weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with
rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalms
There are also
songs about the future. Hallelujah! As God's children
we have a thrilling destination. Samuel Stennett could
"On Jordan's stormy banks
I stand and cast a wistful eye
to Canaan's fair
and happy land where my possessions lie.
I'm bound for the
promised land. . ."
Another poet was moved to write,
is not my home. I'm just a passing through.
My treasures are laid up away beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore."
SONGS OUR MAKER GIVES IN THE NIGHT ARE THE BEST SONGS OF ALL.
First, they are the
best songs because they are more hearty. I have boundless
appreciation for our great hymnbooks, but the songs I like best
are the ones I can lay the songbook aside and sing from my heart
because I have entered into their truth by actual experience.
The song has become mine just as much as the person who wrote it.
Someone has said, "The nightingale's song seems to be the sweetest
of all because the nightingale is the only bird who sings in the
Songs in the night
are the best because they are the most lasting. Some of the
light and frothy sunshine songs that give us a fleeting refreshing
don't fit in the long night seasons. They sure wouldn't do
when we say our last goodbye here and go out to meet God.
The songs God gives in the night will fit any time and in any
situation. The songs God gives in the night are songs of
real faith and true courage and genuine love.
SONGS GOD GIVES IN THE NIGHT DO GREAT THINGS.
The songs God gives
in the night season brings immediate cheer to our heart.
It's a little bit like the young fellow who has to walk past the
graveyard in the dark. Singing helps immeasurably.
Martin Luther said, "The Devil cannot bear singing."
The songs God gives
in the night cheer those about us. When we sing in the night
season it is a testimony to others. It adds a note of
reality to our Christian profession. In the book,
Pilgrim's Progress, young Christian came to the darkest point
of his journey. As he did he heard someone ahead singing, "The
Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...yea, though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art
with me..." and Christian was cheered. My, how the songs
of Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail spoke to the heart
of the jailer and the other prisoners!
One of the great
things we can be assured about songs in the night is that they
please God. God inspired 150 psalms to be sung to Himself.
He likes it!
One of the things
we read will happen when the saints gather in glory is, "And
they sang a new song..." (Revelation 5:9). What a
song that is going to be! Night will be gone forever.
Those who have sung in the night will now sing in eternal
On the other hand,
those who have never sought God, their Maker through faith in
God's Son will enter into eternal night. They never got a
song for the night season here. They will never have one
Copyright © 2002
Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.