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.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
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.