2015 Reading List: Song of War

Graham, Cliff. Song of War.

This is the third (of five) in the Lion of War series, and although it’s the shortest volume, it’s no less compelling or powerful than Lion of War and Covenant of War.

Song of War portrays the defeat of the Philistines and the taking of Jebus (or Jerusalem, as we know it). The city falls by invasion through the water tunnels, and the action is gripping as always. I wish I had a more expansive vocabulary to describe the books; I keep falling back to the same terms–none of which do any of these books justice.

As the title suggests, there’s a decided emphasis in this book on singing. I really appreciate how singing is shown in this book: it’s shown as a powerful expression of faith and worship–as a weapon, even.

I can’t remember where I read it, but I’m fairly certain that it was either Doug Wilson or Toby Sumpter from Moscow, Idaho, who described the singing of the Church as the battle songs of the Lord’s army. The Bride singing her Groom’s praises is the war cadence of the Army of the Lamb on the march, and it’s a terror-inducing sound to the forces of evil arrayed against her. I love that description, because it matches the intensity and ferocity of the Psalms and gives voice to deep-seated cries from the heart. We sing as a church–not simply because it’s what we do or because it’s an emotional release–we sing because the Warrior on the white horse is the Commander of the Armies of Yahweh, and we are dressed in white with Him. We have done no fighting, yet we march with Him, victorious. Righteous. Loved. Forgiven.

David teaches his men to sing, and I can only imagine what it must have sounded like to hear battle-hardened men sing with everything they had. I defy anyone to not have chills who got to hear it.

But we are not the only ones who sing, and this comes through in the story as well. The angelic hosts who fight unseen sing the Warrior’s song: “Yahweh is a warrior; Yahweh of Hosts is His name!”

This Sunday (and every Sunday possible), as you gather with God’s people, listen to the voices of your fellow warriors. Sing in order to fight for them. Sing to remind yourselves and everyone there of the hope that we have in the Warrior who fights for us; indeed, the One who has fought for us and won eternal victory for us. Sing to terrify the principalities and powers who war against us sight unseen. Sing to practice the marching cadence when we ride with the Lamb of God, whose two-edged sword proceeds from His mouth and strikes His enemies to save His people.

Yahweh is a Warrior; Yahweh of Hosts is His name!


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