If Life Were a Musical

John D. Barry

Judges 4:1–6:10; Philippians 1:19–30; Psalm 65:1–13

Maybe life should be more like a musical or an oratorio—like Les Misérables or Handel’s Messiah. How we feel is often expressed better in song or poetry than anything else. Literary criticism tells us that poets write verse because prose simply can’t capture the emotions they’re feeling. So much of the Bible is poetry, suggesting that maybe, in a way, poems and songs are the language of God.

Deborah and Barak understood this. After Yahweh claimed victory over Israel’s foes through them, they “sang on that day” (Judg 5:1). The Bible records their song. It was epic—the earth trembling (Judg 5:4, 5), the people rejoicing (Judg 5:7), and everyone singing as they recounted “the righteous deeds of Yahweh” and made their way to the city gates (Judg 5:11). This is music, after all; it’s expressive.

Paul breaks out in a type of song in Philippians as well (Phil 2:5–11). His song is a result of his raw excitement from reflecting on the work of the good news of Jesus in himself and others (Phil 1:12–26) and his hope that believers will be filled with “one purpose” (Phil 2:2). To truly worship God, you just have to sing. You have to feel and sound like a poet. God’s too exciting for anything else to suffice.

I know someone who thinks of life as a musical. Life is joy for that person because there’s a soundtrack for everything. If God is at work in everything, then we should want to worship Him constantly. We should sing His praises. We should write about our journeys, speak about them, share them, and experience God’s work among us collectively.

Christianity isn’t meant to be stale or dull—the early church was anything but. It was exciting, like God Himself, because His Spirit was working among believers. And his Spirit is working today. So clap, sing a little louder, and share your story. Find the soundtrack to it all.

How can you praise God more fully?

This article was originally posted in Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan .