Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. —Psalm 57:8-10 NLT
Have you ever been so weary that even waking up felt impossibly difficult? I remember a time in the middle of a care-giving season, I was napping in my big, brown chair, and I just could not seem to wake up. My eyes would flicker, and I was vaguely aware that it was getting later and later in the day and tasks were awaiting, but my woozy-brain told me to “shush” and back to sleep I would go. Again and again. It was actually a little scary how hard it was to wake up that day. I had very little life in my bones. Eventually, of course, I got back up and back to work. People were depending on my assistance, and it was time to stir. Once I was up and moving, my energy returned, and the benefits of rest from my nap fueled me for the remainder of the day. I had needed the sleep. I also needed to wake up!
In our passage of Scripture today, David had a sluggish soul. We find him hiding in a cave, trying to avoid being killed. I imagine that his life had taken so many twists and turns that his head hurt. He’d been a simple kid watching sheep in a field, composing songs, and fighting the occasional bear. As the youngest son not much had been expected of him except to keep the sheep safe. Then one day he was called in from his job and anointed with oil and proclaimed the future king of Israel! Fast forward to a time he killed a giant with five stones and started leading warriors into battle. For a little while life was really good. The women of the land wrote songs about him, and his victories were decisive and impressive. He was even given a princess to marry. And then it all went south, and he was on the run for his very life.
He’s writing this psalm from a cave. Not a very fun place to live. Caves are cold and clammy, often with a constant drip of water. Sleeping on stone sounds pretty miserable too. Plus, the darkness of a cave. This was David’s life with no end in sight. So, his soul was not in a joyous mood. Weary and tired, he did not want to wake up to another dreary cave day.
Ever had a time like that? You might know in theory that you ought to be focused on God and somewhere deep inside you do still want to be full of praise and joy for Him, but the reality is, you are stuck. Stuck in a place of great weariness and sludge. It’s dark and dank and clammy and you are sleeping on stone. There doesn’t seem to be any way to get the joy of your salvation back. How does one wake up a soul?
David makes three “I will” statements in Psalm 57:8-10 that teach us much about waking a soul. Even when he was weary and sluggish, David chose to make himself do certain things. Let’s look at them and learn:
Choose to Go Outside. I will wake the dawn with my song. David forced himself get up and out and watch the dawn. It might have been one of the only safe times of day to be out of the cave without being spied and captured. He watched dark turn to light as God lit the sky and brought the dawn. Now, we don’t necessarily have to get up to see the sunrise, but I believe quite strongly that getting outside and admiring the wonderful world God has made will help a mood change and a soul revive.
Choose to Thank. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. David also chose with his will to thank God in the midst of the dreary. He recognized that a grateful heart would wake up his soul to the blessings he still had in the midst of his troubles. He had a band of faithful men with him in that cave, watching his back and giving up their own comforts because they believed him to be God’s anointed. His life had been spared multiple times. He had the promise of eventual victory. These may have been some of the thanksgivings he willed himself to recite and remember.
Choose to Sing and Praise. I will sing your praises among the nations. David didn’t just watch the dawn. He sang as the sun rose and colored the sky orange and pink and yellow. Song, whether sung with our own voices or listened to on a device, can lift a weary soul. At times, we need to get out there and look at God’s creation, singing a song in our hearts in faith, believing that the joy will come. It often does! David became so pumped up as he sang that dawn-song that he promised God he would sing His praises “among the nations!” And guess what? As we read psalms today, written by David and his awakened soul, that promise he made is fulfilled again and again. I can’t imagine he ever dreamed back in his cave days that you and I would be reading and singing his songs centuries later and learning the value of waking up a sluggish soul!
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your servant, David! Help us to choose to move our listless souls toward You even when it’s hard to wake them up. Thank You for the beauty of Your creation just waiting for us to step outside and truly see Your handiwork! Help us to choose to thank and praise even in the hardest of times. Wake up our souls, Lord, to the joy that is our birthright as Your children, fully loved and fully forgiven by You, our good, good Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
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