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Sing - December 13, 2023

Published 3 months ago • 7 min read

December 13, 2023

We pray peace over you this second week of Advent! Thank you for being a part of The Equipped family! We are grateful to be growing alongside you in the grace of viewing the world through the lens of both the True and the beautiful!


The True

Sing Over Me

The God and Creator of the universe sings over you! It is difficult to fathom, but it is true!

In the words of the prophet Zephaniah, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).

I have been letting this concept wash over me for the last week after being introduced to a beautiful song celebrating its truth. The song is “Sing Over Me” by The Porter’s Gate, and I have included a link for you to listen to it at the end of The True. As you listen, I invite you to bask in two truths today.

First, the God of the entire universe is singing, and the cause of His song is . . . YOU! What an astonishing truth! The God who created untold numbers of galaxies with unlimited expanse and beauty has reserved the object of his affection and love song for you! He takes great delight in you! This passage in Zephaniah is hardly an isolated example, as scripture confirms time and time again that you are the recipient of His great affection! Psalm 18:19 says it is because of that great delight in you that he rescued you!

Every week here at The Equipped, we wrestle with difficult stories. Every day, you wrestle with difficulties in your world. It is part of living on this side of eternity. But you can face that difficulty from a place of being delighted in, and with the knowledge that God’s song pours over you as a result of His great love for you!

Some of the stories we consider do not have neat and clean solutions to be discovered here on Earth. But all of them can be considered from this wonderful place of being rescued, loved, and embraced by God’s song.

Next, we get to model this characteristic by singing over others in our life! The Bible repeatedly tells us to sing praise to God (Ps. 96 is an entire chapter about this blessing), but it also tells us to sing over each other (Eph. 5:19 says we should use “psalms, hymns, and songs” to speak to one another).

Let me be very candid with you: I am a terrible singer. Truly! Even my mom—who, as mothers do, regularly overlooks my flaws—will admit this. I actually took several years of voice lessons, after which my voice teacher conceded I was her most improved student, but only because of how dreadful I was when I started! So, if this instruction to sing over each other sounds counter-intuitive to anyone, it is me!

And yet, as we consider how beautiful it is that God sings over us, we should be eager—even with a faltering singing voice like mine—to emulate this characteristic of our God to those in our life. There is a figurative component to this, yes. Speaking truth into another’s life is, in essence, singing over them. However, I firmly believe this is also a very literal invitation to sing!

Sing over and with your spouse.

Sing over and with your kids.

Sing over and with your church.

Sing over and with your community.

Sing.

Or, in the words of Paul, “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19).

The God of the universe sings over you. You, the pinnacle of His creation, are invited to follow His example, and to sing over others.

Listen to Sing Over Me here.


U.S.

Antisemitism

Liz Magill has resigned from her post as President of the University of Pennsylvania, and the presidents of Harvard and MIT—Claudine Gay and Sally Kornbluth, respectively—are under pressure to do the same.

Scrutiny of the three presidents began after Hamas invaded Israel on October 7, and pro-Palestinian (and in some cases, pro-Hamas and pro-genocide) protests broke out on the three college campuses. The scrutiny intensified, however, after the presidents testified before Congress and declined to unequivocally label calls for genocide of the Jewish people as a violation of the schools’ codes of conduct.

Analysis and eternal perspective: We as The Equipped community have been anticipating this development. It is one that has occurred repeatedly over the course of human history, and the cycle goes something like this: The Jewish people are attacked and targeted for extermination, the Jewish people and/or their allies respond in defense of their existence, and public displays of antisemitism rise. It is not a new phenomenon, but the failure to denounce it by three presidents of esteemed U.S. universities marks a particularly low tally on the ledger of this recurring saga.

As a follower of Jesus, it is not incumbent on us to voice an opinion on every detail of every controversy (Pr. 17:28). It is, however, clear that we should use our voices to defend those who are being oppressed (Ps. 82:3, Is. 1:17). When this instruction is taken together with one of our four overarching principles on this topic (The Jewish people have a special covenant with God), it is clear we have a role to play in standing against the tide of antisemitism that rears its ugly head like clockwork. We do so while recognizing there are other people groups who are oppressed, as well, but the proper response is to defend all who are oppressed rather than to justify warring expressions of oppression.


U.S.

Impeachment and Indictment

President Joe Biden is facing impeachment proceedings in the U.S. House of Representatives, and his son Hunter Biden has again been indicted, this time on three felony charges and six misdemeanor charges, all related to tax evasion.

Analysis and eternal perspective: As we always remind ourselves here at The Equipped when the legal challenges pending against either the Trump or Biden families are in the news, it is incumbent on us to both guard our hearts as we consider these stories, and to carefully evaluate both sides of the case before rendering an opinion (Pr. 18:17).

In the case of impeachment, should it proceed, there will be evidence presented by both sides, and we should endeavor to read both with an open mind. Similarly, as the case against Hunter Biden proceeds, both sides will present arguments. If we are going to interact with this story, we would benefit from reading those arguments directly as they are made, rather than simply consuming the commentary that will surround the filings.

Even more important, as we move into 2024, it will be critical for us to establish healthy, biblical habits around navigating the negative stories and attacks that will be increasingly common against both presumptive presidential nominees. If one or both nominees is shown to have violated the law, there should certainly be consequences (nobody should be above the law). However, as we equip ourselves to walk as Jesus did, it would be wise to decide (and limit) in advance the amount of coverage (especially negative coverage) we will consume. There will be an absolute barrage over the course of the campaign, and while vigorous debate is a blessing of liberty, let us not forget that our primary mission is one of offering the hope and redemption of the Gospel to all mankind.


World

Shock to the System

Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, has been inaugurated, and has immediately moved to implement his agenda, including an order reducing the number of government ministries from 18 to nine. In his first official speech as president, Milei warned the country that desperate measures are needed to stave off economic collapse, and that those measures would involve a financial shock.

“There is no money,” said the new president.

Analysis and eternal perspective: Argentina is the latest in a long line of warnings to the rest of the world about the current trend of dramatic overspending. The ensuing inflation, deficits, and debt that are a hallmark of government overspending all eventually come due, and the only recourse is a financially painful one. While it remains to be seen whether Milei’s plan will steady Argentina’s financial course, many other nations—including the United States—are on a similar track and have yet to choose a course correction. There are a wide array of views about the proper size and jurisdiction of the federal government, but it should be readily apparent to those all along this spectrum that the current upside-down spending-to-revenue ratio is unsustainable.

As Jesus followers, we should model biblical stewardship of our personal finances. The Bible is replete with advice about finances, and money was one of Jesus’ most-discussed topics. Proverbs 3:9-10 encapsulates the spirit of much of this biblical instruction when it reminds us to honor the Lord with our wealth and our firstfruits.

In addition to stewarding our personal resources, we should encourage our leaders—of all political persuasions—to set a better course in this regard. Proverbs 9:9 reminds us that wisdom comes from heeding instruction. The pain in Argentina’s financial system should serve as an instruction that is heeded by the U.S. and countries around the world.


The Beautiful

Angels Sing

All creation—even angels—sing of God’s goodness and majesty! Let this remembrance change the way you view your world this week!

“I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Is. 6:1-3).



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