TEXT: Psalm 77:1-6
1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
Songs in the Night
When we hear the phrase “songs in the night” our minds are filled with two thought patterns that are at odds with each other. When we think of a song, we think of joy, happiness, laughter, and good times. However, when we think of night, we think of darkness, sadness, grief, despair, and gloom. Only in God’s Word do we find something so paradoxical as songs in the night. There is another passage in Scripture that uses the phrase “songs in the night.” In Job 35:10, Elihu says, “Where is God my Maker, who giveth songs in the night?” Listen to how Spurgeon expounds on this seemingly contradictory phrase, “songs in the night.”
He said, “Night is one of the greatest blessings men enjoy; we have many reasons to thank God for it. Yet night is to many a gloomy season. There is ‘the pestilence that walketh in darkness;’ there is ‘the terror by night;’ there is the dread of robbers and of disease, with all those fears that the timid know, when they have no light wherewith they can discern objects. Night is the season of terror and alarm to most men. Yet even night hath its songs. Have you never stood by the seaside at night, and heard the pebbles sing, and the waves chant God’s glories? Or have you never risen from your bed, and thrown open the window, and listened there? Listened to what? Silence—save now and then a murmuring sound, which seems sweet music then. And have you not fancied that you heard the harp of God playing in heaven? Did you not conceive, that the distant stars looking down on you, were also mouths of song—that every star was singing God’s glory.” He goes on to say, “Man, too, like the great world in which he lives, must have his night. And many a night do we have—nights of sorrow, nights of persecution, nights of doubt, nights of bewilderment, nights of anxiety, nights of oppression, nights of ignorance—nights of all kinds, which press upon our spirits and terrify our souls.”
I am sure that all of us present today can identify with the “night” as described by Spurgeon. We have each had nighttime situations in our lives. Night time time represents a time of trial; a time of suffering; a time of heartache and pain; a time of difficulty; a time of broken fellowship. Rest assured that as long as you are living on this earth you will have your night time. However, Jesus Christ tells us in John 16:33 that no matter what is going on in our lives, we are to “be of good cheer.” He said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” In other words, you ought to be able to sing a song in the night.
Allow me to say here that nighttime in our lives can come for various reasons. Sometimes, the night is self-imposed. This comes about because of our own sins, our own disobedience, our own rebellion to God’s Word. King David experienced this kind of night after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed in battle.
At other times in our lives, the night can be brought on by the devil. You can rest assured that the devil is still out to get God’s people. If you are busy serving God and being a blessing to others, the devil will try to do whatever he can to stop you. Job experienced this kind of night. The Bible tells us that he “was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil,” yet the devil attacked him materially, financially, health wise, and spiritually all in an attempt to get him to turn his back on God.
Finally, in Scripture, we see that some of our nighttime experiences can be God-given. God brings us through such dark seasons in order to strengthen our faith, to execute His plans on the earth, and to draw us closer to Him. Joseph experienced this kind of night. You’ve heard the story of how he was hated by his brothers, falsely accused, thrown in jail, and nearly forgotten. But God had a plan for him. God was putting him in position to become one of the most powerful men in the then-known world.
So, ladies and gentlemen, when we look at the reasons for our nighttime experiences, we can see why God wants us to become acquainted with the idea of songs in the night. Psalm 42:8 states, “Yet 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.” From our text for today, we can see that the Psalmist is going through a very dark and difficult time. But, in the midst of his situation, the psalmist tells us, “I call to remembrance my song in the night.” Why is it important for us to sing songs in the midst of our nighttime situations.
1. A song in the night tells us that the night will not last forever. The psalmist sings in the middle of his difficulty. He says, “I call to remembrance my song” — When? — “in the night.”
One reason why he can do this (and why we can as well) is because we know that the night will not last forever. Every struggle, every trial, every season of distress has an expiration date. Even the chastisement of the Lord will come to an end. Psalm 30:5 says, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” You don’t have to wait until the night is over in order to sing. You can sing a song in the night because you know that, one day, the night will be over.
2. A song in the night tells us that we are not alone. Little children are often afraid to be left alone in the dark. However, it is not really the darkness that they fear — it is the loneliness. If their mother or father is with them in the darkness, the darkness is not so scary anymore.
It is the same way with us in life. When we get into a bad situation, we are quick to think that we are all alone. Often, we feel like we are the only one going through difficult circumstances. We feel abandoned and afraid. However, out of his nighttime situation, the psalmist tells us, “I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.” Everybody else may have abandoned you in the darkness, but rest assured that God is with you. He hears your prayers. He sees your circumstances. He knows how you feel. He is not the kind of Friend who will abandon you at the first sign of trouble. He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. Because of that, you can sing a song in the night.
3. A song in the night tells us that the night has a purpose. As you go through your difficult situation, the question that you will likely ask yourself most often is “Why?” Why me? Why this? Why now? It is much easier to accept a situation if we know that that situation has a reason behind it. However, sometimes, it is hard for us to see the purpose behind our difficult situation while we are in the midst of that difficult situation.
The Bible is replete with stories that show us God working in the background in order to bring about a greater good from a seemingly bad situation. Sometimes, God wants to use us to bless others. Sometimes, He wants us to get a spiritual character issue corrected. Sometimes, He is preparing us for a future task. Sometimes, He is teaching us that we need to rely solely on Him. I mentioned the story of Joseph earlier. Joseph was hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of raping his boss’s wife, and imprisoned for years. The one chance he did have of getting out of prison was squandered because the fellow prisoner whom he had helped out forgot to return the favor. That would have discouraged anyone. Joseph had a serious nighttime situation. But all of that suffering, disappointment, and pain was worth it when Joseph was called on to lead Egypt during seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. He became the most prominent official in all of Egypt — second only to Pharaoh.
All of what Joseph had been through led up to him helping Egypt, the surrounding area, and his own family survive the terrible famine. Joseph didn’t know why God allowed so much trouble in his life, but God had a purpose through it all. You may not understand the purpose that God has for your nighttime situation. But, as Maya Angelou said, “The bird does not sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.” You can sing a song in the night if you understand that God has a purpose for everything you are going through.
When we look at nature, we see a powerful example of songs in the night from the nightingale — so named because it sings at a time when other birds usually don’t sing. Many years ago, an English preacher was outdoors when he heard six nightingales singing at one time. He said, “If you have never heard the nightingale sing you don’t know how much music God can cram into a little bird’s throat.” He called it “wondrous music, that music of heaven.” The darkness does not stop the nightingale from singing its beautiful song.
So, we see that it is indeed possible to sing songs in the night. If you understand that the night will not last forever, you can sing a song. If you understand that God is with you in the night, you can sing a song. If you understand that there is a purpose for your night, you can sing a song.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.