We Will Out-Sing the Enemy

One of my favorite scenes in my all-time favorite movie occurs in the classic Casablanca, when Nazi soldiers mingle uncomfortably with the French occupants in Rick’s Moroccan café. The soldiers begin singing the patriotic German anthem “Die Wacht am Rhein,” which sounds about as terse as the German title implies! The French, however, begin singing “La Marsellaise.” If you haven’t seen the movie, it may be difficult to hear in your mind, so I encourage you to look it up online. The scene is readily available on sites like YouTube.

The two groups begin to sing against each other, dueling as it were. The song of freedom bubbling up within and eventually over the song of the oppressors. It is a stirring moment that gives me goosebumps every time as “La Marsellaise” eventually overcomes the soundtrack, and the resolute faces of the French singers gives the moment an even more triumphant air.

Psalm 144:7-11 is like that. The sound of our oppression, of our bondage and of our shame, threatens to drown us out. It is overwhelming. The voice of the accuser, our enemy the devil, rings so loudly in our ears as it to shake our very souls. We begin to cry out ourselves to our Savior:

Stretch out your hand from on high;
    rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,
    from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
    and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.  (vv.7-8)

Sometimes we fear the voice of our accuser will win the day. He mixes the truth with his lies, declaring condemnation over us for our sin. So we must sing our own song but louder still. We must shout out the good news over ourselves and each other.

I will sing a new song to you, O God;
    upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
who gives victory to kings,
    who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword.
Rescue me and deliver me
    from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
    and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.  (vv.9-11)

I’m reminded of another song story. In the Lord of the Rings mythopoeia, Eru is the great divine being (God) who created the world through song. Before time began, he instructed the Ainur (angels) to sing a song together that would glorify him. But one of the Ainur named Melkor decided to sing his own tune, discordant to the one glorifying of Eru. Melkor was forbidden by Eru to sing his own song, but he has been trying to ever since. The enlightened beings of Middle Earth, then, look forward to the day when all is set to right once again and all beings sing Eru's song in harmony.

In our world, what is thought the right song is Melkor's prideful number. It is an act of holy subversion, then, to sing the song of Light into the pervasive darkness.

In the end, our enemy’s song will be overcome. Take heart, friends, and let us out-sing the accuser. Our song is truer and better.