Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Songs of Victory

"And Mary said: “My soul praises the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46–47).

We come now to the song that Mary sang when the Holy Spirit came upon her in Elizabeth’s presence. This song is one of the most important hymns in the history of the Christian faith. From the earliest days of the church, people have come together to sing this song of Mary, which is called the “Magnificat.”

One of the great things Luke does in his gospel, which we don’t find in any of the other gospels, is that he gives us several songs. These songs are written in poetry and inspired by God the Holy Spirit Himself. Why do these songs appear here?

If you know biblical history, you know that there are certain times when the Holy Spirit moves people to sing. Think for instance of the Song of Miriam (Exodus 15), sung when the children of Israel had been delivered from Pharaoh. Consider also the Song of Deborah, sung after the victory of God over the Canaanite oppressors of her day (Judges 5). There is the Song of Hannah, sung by her when God opened her barren womb and gave her Samuel as her son (1 Samuel 2). Then there are the psalms of David, which come in a context of deliverance from Saul and from the Philistines. We can see that God gives new songs when He does a great work of delivering His people from oppression and gives them victory.

And now comes the greatest deliverance and victory of all of human history, so again we find several songs sung at the time of Jesus’ birth. It is interesting that in the last book of the New Testament, celebrating the ascended Christ’s triumph over all His foes, we find many more songs. Mary’s song does not come just from her lips, but from her innermost being. Her soul praises the Lord, and her spirit rejoices in God her Savior. And what comes through in her song is that from the depths of her being she wanted God to be praised and exalted.

Based on the models of Mary and others, begin today to write out your own song of victory. Thank God for His goodness and unfailing faithfulness in your life.