Encouraging a higher standard for Christian music

Soul Music

Awake Early

Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

Are you a morning person? Do you know others who claim to be night people? Whether a morning person or a night person, each of us must ask ourselves if our heart is fixed upon God.

David wrote in Psalm 108, “O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory” Whether a morning person or a night person, the one who knows and loves the Lord God can have an unperturbed heart when he sees the world reeling around him. Our hearts bow to sing and give praise with all our intellect, our skills, our resources, ourselves. It is the call to obey the command of the unperturbed heart that causes us to rise in the morning with a song on our lips. David, an early riser, not only resolved to sing and give praises to God with his lips, but he resolved to employ the use of musical instruments in that same melody of praise. He implores, “Awake, psaltery and harp.” Not content with singing the praises of God alone, he will use the well-tuned strings of the psaltery and harp, and his flying fingers to accompany his vocal chords.

Still the key to his praise for God is not found in his voice or in the psaltery and harp. The key is found in his call to “awake” himself to the lively pursuit of praise to God. It is only when a thoroughly enraptured soul sings to God that his vocal praise is acceptable to Him. David says, “Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early” (Psalm 108:2). His praise to the Lord God will precede the dawn. The best and brightest hours of the day will find the psalmist heartily aroused to bless God. Not only will he awaken early to praise Him, but he will awaken every fiber of his being to praise God. Some engage in praise to God in a halfhearted manner; these sing in drawling tones, as if they were half asleep. They arise early to praise God but do not awaken their minds, their spirits, and their bodies in praise to God. Early risers who seek to please the Lord must make certain that they have awakened themselves thoroughly before they begin to praise Him, or their practice of predawn praise will be reduced to mere ritualism.

Having a time alone with God early in the morning is a blessed experience. But too often our prayer life early in the morning is burdened down with weariness, sleepiness, and a half-awake attitude toward God. When we have our morning devotions, we must be certain that we are wide awake and ready to meet with God. Then will our meeting with the Almighty be something enjoyable, something vibrant, alive, and awake.

Henry Ward Beecher relates an incident about a laborer on his father’s farm in Litchfield, Connecticut. Of this laborer he said: “He had a little room, in one corner of which I had a small cot; and as a boy I used to lie there and wonder at the enthusiasm with which he engaged in his devotions. It was a regular thing. First he would read the New Testament, hardly aware that I was in the room. Then he would alternately pray and sing and laugh. I never saw the Bible enjoyed like that! But I want to bear record that his praying made a profound impression upon me. It never entered my mind whether or not his actions were appropriate. I only thought, ‘How that man does enjoy it!’ I gained from him more of an idea of the desirableness of rejoicing prayer than I ever did from my mother or father. He led me to see that there should be real overflowing gladness and thanksgiving in it all.”

Is it any wonder that when David’s heart was fixed upon God, he called himself to awaken early in praise of God. To have our minds ready, the psaltery and harp ready, but not ourselves ready is an affront to our early morning praise to God.

Let us always be alert, awake, and available to praise God early in the morning. Only as we are sufficiently alive to engage in a meaningful and enjoyable prayer life with God, will He hear us when we pray, “Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Thy glory above all the earth.”

MORNING HYMN


Oh, the pure delight of a single hour

That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God,
I commune as friend with friend!

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