I don’t know if you are like me and sometimes imagine what song would be playing at different points in your story. As in a musical, if you will.
The story of the Bride of Jesus is a bit like this in scripture. The Sovereign Lord, the great composer of history, has through His Word created a masterpiece – breath-taking, diverse, deep and beautiful. He says that no man can fathom what he has done from beginning to end. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecc 3:11)
There’s the book of Lamentations, in which everything looks dire for God’s chosen people. A lamentation is a sad song. To ‘lament’ is to weep, wail and cry.
You can imagine the pathos and dramatic strokes of the composer’s keyboard as the book’s author recalls the devastation of Jerusalem.
Lamentations 1 (from vs 1):
“How deserted lies the city,
once so full of people!
How like a widow is she,
who once was great among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces
has now become a slave.
Bitterly she weeps at night,
tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers
there is no one to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.
After affliction and harsh labor,
Judah has gone into exile.
She dwells among the nations;
she finds no resting place.
All who pursue her have overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.
The roads to Zion mourn,
for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate,
her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
and she is in bitter anguish.”
Despite her weakness and imperfection, Jesus continues to weave a story of His love for His Bride. In the soundtrack of His Word, there is also a poignant love song, Song of Songs, a metaphor of the all-encompassing love the Lord has for His Bride.
Many have blushed reading this chapter of overzealous love.
His Story unfolds with the dawn of a new era, as the promised Messiah steps into the narrative, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
In the gospel accounts of Jesus’ ministry, the children sing out ‘Hosanna! Glory to the King!’ as Jesus enters the gates of Jerusalem.
Isaiah foresaw this moment as the Spirit of God whispered His divine plan to His servant – a plan so great, this same Jerusalem which sat in ashes, singing lamentations – would rise to beauty, with a song of joy! (Isaiah 54).
Jesus awakens and crowns His Bride as the splendour of the nations, preparing a feast for her in the presence of her enemies. He promises her in Revelation 3 that the synagogue of satan will bow and declare that He has loved her.
In Isaiah, He reveals how everything that was sent to destroy her was to fashion her into a weapon for His glory. See the enemy had no insight into this. All his efforts to bring her to nought, through his systems of deception, lies, accusations and betrayal, have culminated in this moment of the Bride’s grand reveal. “No weapon formed against you will prosper!” the Lord declares. (Isaiah 54:17).
Does she know who she is, this Bride? What if she stands up and just starts to speak the Word and trust in the authority given to her by the Sovereign King of Kings, her Bridegroom. What would happen then?
This story, His Story, is sacred to the Lord – all of His Story was written about Him and His bride. He has invested everything in its narrative. Its authenticity has been sealed by His own blood.
His Bride must choose Him. His Bride must know He loves her. Choice and sacrifice, a true love is forged. Through His Story He lets us into His heart and we glimpse this most beautiful Jesus who desires more than anything a true love relationship with His Bride.
Here’s the thing, true love can only exist with perfect choice.
Why He wrote it this way is a mystery but it is His story. He wanted it this way. He’s God – and who knows how to write a story of true love better than the Word of God? He existed with God in the beginning and is Himself God. Jesus of Nazareth.
Because she has been so downtrodden, Jerusalem doesn’t know who she is. She has forgotten. She has believed the lies of the enemy. The book of Isaiah speaks of how leviathan, the spirit of lie and deception, has tried to confuse her and draw her away from her Messiah.
But God says in the end He will deliver His people and restore her song of joy.
She doesn’t overcome by her gallant efforts but by the blood of the lamb and the power of her testimony. (Revelation 12.
So do we wait until everything looks perfect before we sing for joy or do we accept in our hearts that this Word we hold so dear is true and sing for joy because it was finished, victory was won, at the Cross? The deceiver (the liar), the destroyer (the killer and thief) was defeated at the cross. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy but Jesus comes so that we might have life and life in abundance. (John 10:10).
Do you know that Jesus inhabits the praise of His people?
You are waging war against the spiritual enemies of the Lord through your worship, not in your strength, but through ushering in the King of Kings, God of Heaven and Earth.
Your praise opens the gates for the King of glory to enter into your situation. It was this way when Jehoshaphat was given strategy by the Lord to send the choir ahead of the soldiers.
Can you imagine this – the choir singing sweet melodies ahead of Israel’s brutish, tough soldiers?
Their opponents must have scratched their heads: “What’s going on?”
The spirit of the Lord moved with the praise of Jehoshaphat’s army and it says the enemy became so confused that the three armies standing against Israel turned against each other and defeated one another.
Imagine the shouting of victory from the Israelites as they witnessed this spectacle. They didn’t even lift a finger in the battle. They just sang. They praised God for the victory believing it was as He said it was – that the victory had been given to Him.
Like Jehoshaphat’s army was promised victory, we as His Bride have this same promise. This is why Jerusalem can exchange her sad song for a song of joy. Bear in mind, the prophet wrote Isaiah 53 and 54 as a continuous revelation, so after the victory of the cross, revealed to the prophet of the Lord in Isaiah 53, the Spirit of the Lord then showed His prophet that His people could stand and sing for joy (because of the revelation just given, Isaiah 53).
His Bride just has to believe it has been finished!
And then stand!
And thank Him for what is done!
Sing for joy Jerusalem!
All the enemy has succeeded doing, according to this passage of scripture, is turn her into a weapon – a sword, if you will, to cut off his own head (much as David cut of Goliath’s head with his own sword).
So turn up the volume of praise in your life and sing. It’s time to live out loud. Sing a song for joy and praise Him because his love will never change! Not even if the mountains are shaken. Not even if the hills are removed. In the grand finale of your story, His Story – written about Him and His Bride – is a song of complete joy.
In this world you might have trouble but He has overcome the world!
When the devil rises to make you doubt this – because of your circumstances or stuff you are going through – remind him, “The show isn’t over until the fat lady sings!”
“See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.” (Song of Songs 2:3-4).
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph 3:17
To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/
©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.