I have a fairly good sized iTunes library of music. And in my library I have a playlist I’ve called “Top Rated.” I’ve gone through all my albums and have put the best one or two songs from each album into the playlist. When I buy a new album I will, at some point, select the song that has connected with me the most and add it also to the list. As such, it’s become my “go to” playlist. When I’m feeling kind of up . . . I’ll often listen to those familiar favorites. When I’m feeling not so up . . . I’ll go to these songs that I know have ministered to my soul in the past. When I need something playing in the background that I KNOW will be in tune with wherever I’m at . . . yup, “Top Rated.” The psalmist, it seems, had a “Top Rated” playlist too . . .
Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning. (Psalm 119:54 ESV)
Working through Psalm 119 is always one of the favorite parts of my reading plan. Twenty-two readings . . . eight verses per stanza . . . one grand theme. The living Word of God. His laws . . . His testimonies . . . His commandments . . . His precepts . . . His rules . . . His statutes . . . His promises . . . all, says the songwriter, “are my delight” (119:24). And, as discovered this morning, they were also his songs. Songs for the sojourner.
By the very nature of being a sojourner, things are transient. Pilgrims don’t expect a lot of permanency. Even the house of those sojourning is temporary . . . something that can be packed up, picked up, and ported to wherever the next stop happens to be. The way of the sojourner often leads through deserts . . . sometimes encounters enemies . . . and once in awhile, finds a nice resting place beside some oasis. But there’s always an expectation, that until they reach home, the way of the pilgrim will be one of constant change and new challenges. It is then that pulling out the “familiar tunes” can be not only a blessing, but a great stabilizing force.
Such is the Word of God.
There’s no greater lyric, than the lyric breathed out by God Himself through holy men as they were moved by the Spirit of God. No greater melody than the rhythm of heaven pulsating from the precepts and promises of God. Appropriate for under-girding the soul when it’s soaring with wings of eagles . . . so helpful for lifting the soul when it’s mired in the muck. These eternal songs by divine revelation find their way on to our “Top Rated” and we sing them in the house of our sojourning . . . as we travel the pilgrim’s path.
Those who know me well know how easy I can sometimes get thrown off kilter. Don’t think it often shows itself outwardly, but things can go so upside-down so quickly on the inside. On my heels . . . lacking the predictability and stability that I so naturally desire . . . all a reminder that I’m not home yet. And so, “wherever I lodge” (NIV), it’s good to “hit play” on the songs of salvation. To open up in the morning the songbook of revelation . . . trusting the Spirit of illumination to remind me of the “old, old story” with familiar, yet fresh, insights from God’s Word.
Then begins the song . . .the making of blessed melody in the heart. Then, there rises the soul-soothing tunes of a faithful Father who has promised to always accompany us on pilgrimage. Then, explodes the symphony of grace . . . the movements of all that God has done . . . the compositions being written daily by mercies that are new every morning . . . and the anticipation of the crescendo that will be heard when the last trumpet sounds. All found in the Word of God . . . all found in His “Top Rated.”
Your Word has been my song . . . and will continue to be my song . . . in the house of my sojourning. All by Your grace . . . all for Your glory!