Our real songs begin with our sacrifices.
– Corrie Ten Boom
King Hezekiah’s father greatly angered God during his reign in Judah.
Before his death, he raided the house of God, closed its doors, and worshiped the gods of the land. God’s house remained closed and desecrated until his death.
Hezekiah became king after him. In the first year of his reign, Hezekiah opened the doors of the temple, gathered its ministers together, and decreed that the temple be restored. When the temple and its priests were purified, Hezekiah ordered temple worship to begin again.
Then Hezekiah gave the order for the burnt offering to be offered on the altar.
When the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD also began…
While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded;
all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.
– 2 Chronicles 29:27
The movement back to God spread throughout the land. Soon Passover was reinstituted, as well. Their sacrifices to God were accompanied with praise and “loud instruments to the LORD.”
So there was great joy in Jerusalem….
– 2 Chronicles 29:26
Thousands of years later, two men sat in the inner bowels of a prison in the city of Philippi.
Their “crime” was the deliverance of a slave girl. Their feet were fastened in stocks to ensure they couldn’t escape.
They spent a miserable, sleepless night. Around midnight, Paul and Silas began to sing and pray. The other prisoners listened to them, a captive audience of sorts. They must have been used to hearing the sounds of cursing in that place, but not the sweet sound of a song.
Paul and Silas had every reason to complain. No one would have faulted them for feeling sorry for themselves, for giving in to their fears. Maybe they felt this way. All we know is that as they offered their lives to God, they praised Him, and they sang.
Suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken;
and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
– Acts 16:26
Are you feeling burned today?
Have the trials of life singed you and imprisoned you and caused you sleepless nights? If you have cleansed your house and offered your life as a sacrifice to Him, He is here. In the night, when the pain is great, He is here. In the deepest, darkest place you dwell, give Him your worship. It will shake your world, unfasten your chains, and fill you with joy. When your life is on the altar, resist the temptation to watch the fire. Instead, raise your eyes to heaven. Believe, trust, and obey.