Wait on the Lord: Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs

Psalm-27--14Throughout the Bible, believers are encouraged “to wait on the Lord.” The concluding verse of my favorite Psalm (27:14) offers this reminder in the King James Version which I committed to memory as a teenager:

Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.

Here is the rendering in the New Living Translation:

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

The Psalms are poetic expressions often accompanied by music, rendering praise or adoration to God. Colossians 3:16 (NLT) speaks of three musical forms to express our gratitude to God:

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

What follows are examples of these forms:

Psalms

In reflecting on the Verse of the Day, I recall a poem that read on the Facebook page of my friend, Lester Wiley Carver. I viewed the work as a psalm of sorts, a song of praise to God, echoing the sentiments expressed in final verse of Psalm 27:

Wait On God “City of my Soul”

I could give you all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know me.
You’d not know the depths of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power I give to the faint.

You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair.
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in me.
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

You’d never experience the fullness of love;
When the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save for a start,
But you would not know the depth of the love of my heart.

The glow of my comfort late into the night.
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask.
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You’d never know should your pain quickly flee;
What it means that my grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true;
But, oh, the loss, if I lost what I’m doing in you.

So be silent my child, and in time you will see;
That the greatest gift is to truly know me.
And though if my answers seem terribly late;
My most precious of all is still, “WAIT”!

As I reflected upon poem that Lester posted, one of my own poetic works came to mind:

“Waiting in Gilgal” describes “The City of My Soul”, as I wait at this time in my life.

Waiting in Gilgal

If a man die, shall he live again?

all the days of my appointed time

will I wait, till my change come.

Job 14:14

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

In the midnight harbor, place black as a raven,

Yielded and still in this new place of transition,

Seeking to do God’s will, in ready position,

To be launched from here to my desired haven.

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

Groaning, travailing resounds from this place on earth,

In the birthing room where thoughts rise to the sublime;

Prolonged moments extend toward the fullness of time

Where agony precedes ecstasy in childbirth.

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

To be raised from the tomb, released from the cocoon;

Exhausted, I yearn to escape and touch the sky,

To be freed from these quarters of the butterfly,

Where to be transformed at last can come none too soon.

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

This place demands sacrifice and obedience:

Not like Saul in Gilgal, foolish and immature,

But like Caleb, who with age, had strength to endure,

Fulfilled all God’s will and claimed his inheritance,

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

Hymns

Another musical form to express adoration or prayer to God is the hymn, often sung individually or in a congregation. In commenting on our “waiting on the Lord, I note that we are not in a state of apprehension or anxiety, but we rest in a confident state, as the lyrics to” Blessed Assurance,” by Fanny J. Crosby, one of the most popular hymns of all time remind us:

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This most moving rendition of the classic is offered acapella by Matthew West

The lyrics from another hymn “Open My Eyes,” written and composed by Clara H. Scott, reiterate our being quiet as we wait:

Quietly now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God Thy will to see,

Open my eyes illumine me…

The lyrics to the hymn are displayed while Nathanael Provis plays the melody on piano, a perfect musical illustration of Psalm 27:14

Spiritual songs

Songs that teach or reinforce spiritual principles from the Scripture are as known as spiritual songs. A contemporary worship song with the same title as the hymn “Open My Eyes” is offered by Hillsong with these lyrics which serve as a bridge in the song:

And as I wait on You my God
I’ll know the voice of truth
In quietness I am in awe
And as I worship You my Lord
I understand the cross
The sacrifice of God

We conclude with the lyrics to an original song composed in light of Psalm 27:14:

While I wait, I will worship

While I wait, I will worship/I will worship while I wait

Though the enemy overwhelms me and floods my soul with pain,

Like Job in the midst of all his troubles, I will worship while I wait.

That God is good, always good, this I will proclaim

While I wait, I will worship/I will worship while I wait

These examples of psalms, hymns, and spiritual song come to mind while reflecting on Psalm 27:14.

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One Response to “Wait on the Lord: Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs”

  1. brenda johnson Says:

    Thanks for another lesson on patience!

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