"Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds." Psa. 149:5. "Any bird can sing in the daytime; God gives songs in the night," it has been remarked.
Above all the power of trial and weariness and pain, the Holy Spirit of God can lift the suffering Christian, so that "in the night" of testing and "upon their beds" of affliction, they may sing aloud with joy.
Happy is the believer who, confident in his God, can thus rise above his present circumstances and rejoice in the Lord. Such an one, in the spirit of Habakkuk of old, may exultingly say,
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places." Hab. 3:17-19.
To the Jew, the fig tree, the vine, the olive, the fields, the flocks and the herds spoke of prosperity. Without these and their produce, famine would stare them in the face. Habakkuk's confidence is of a marked character therefore. Is not such faith to be followed? May we not say that it honors God and is delighted in by Him?
"How great is Thy goodness," exclaims David, "which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men!" Psa. 31:19.
Paul could write from the Roman imprisonment which he was enduring, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Phil. 4:4.
"Songs in the night" are these. And perhaps the night seasons are allowed to come upon us in order that such songs may rise from our hearts.
Amid the changing circumstances of life we may not be able to rejoice in them, but the Lord in His all-sufficiency is above all circumstances. In Him let us rejoice, as we journey on to our everlasting portion.
"And there in mine inheritance,
My kingly palace home:
The leaf may fall and wither,
Not less the spring will come.
Like winds and rains of winter,
These earthly sighs and tears,
Till the golden summer dawneth
Of the endless year of years."
First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].
Selections from Songs for the Night Seasons