Praise Before Victory

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Singing in Bible times comes before victory. Trumpets and voices brought down the wall of Jericho. David and other kings sang psalms before going into battle. Nehemiah arranged for singers and musicians to be along the wall, making music, while the men worked. The wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt in 52 days. Even with today’s equipment and technology, that seems impossible. The salvation of the Philippian jailer and his family came after Paul and Silas sang hymns in the jail cell. The tradition of singing before battle carried over into the Civil War. Trumpeters and drummers led soldiers into war.

The greatest victory in history is the salvation of our souls. The last night Jesus was with the disciples, He washed their feet and shared in the Last Supper. “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Mark 14:26). Jesus’ heart was breaking. He knew His friends would desert Him. He prayed that His time of suffering and crucifixion could pass, but He submitted to the Father’s will.


Before Jesus faced betrayal, denial, beating, crucifixion and separation from the Father, He sang a hymn with His friends. As many times as I have read that verse, I never thought about how important the song was. We go to church and hear sermons, but it’s the songs we sing that ring in our hearts during the week. The victory of our salvation was preluded by the song Jesus and the disciples sang. Praise be to God!


Lord God, help us to catch the impact of every word in Scripture. Let the words penetrate the depths of our souls to your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Don’t Forget

The Bread and Wine

Jesus and His disciples had gathered for the Passover meal, the last supper they would share. The devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus. Jesus knew His time on earth was coming to an end. Deeply moved, He got up, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel. He came to Simon Peter, who said to Him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing but later you will understand.” Peter said, “You shall never wash my feet,” but Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Then Peter said, “Not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus said, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean.” When He had finished washing, He put on His clothes and returned to His place. He said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” He was talking about serving each other. Jesus then predicted Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial (John 13:1-38).

When the hour came, Jesus and His friends reclined at the table. He said, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God. He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” It’s as if He said, “Don’t forget me! Don’t forget why I came! Don’t forget the things we did together! Don’t forget to love each other.” After supper, Jesus took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” (Luke 22:14-23).


Jesus heart was breaking for His friends. Although He tried to warn them about what was going to happen, they didn’t get it. When He was arrested, they grew afraid and began to fall away. Things turned around at the resurrection. Jesus met His friends again and spent fifty days with them–time to explain to them what they must do: “Go into all the world, making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


Thank you, O Lord, for your word. We can read these things over and over again. We learn from you and the disciples how to show love and compassion. Teach us to be more like you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.