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Singing to the Firing Squad

I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” Psalm 116:10

Two men convicted of drug trafficking had been on death row for a decade. While in prison, they learned of God’s love for them in Jesus, and their lives were transformed. When it came time for them to face the firing squad, they faced their executioners reciting the Lord’s Prayer and singing “Amazing Grace.” Because of their faith in God, through the power of the Spirit they were able to face death with incredible courage.

They followed the example of faith set by their Savior, Jesus. When Jesus knew that His death was imminent, He spent part of the evening singing with friends. It’s remarkable that He could sing under such circumstances, but what’s even more remarkable is what He sang. On that night, Jesus and His friends had a Passover meal, which always ends with a series of Psalms known as the Hallel, Psalms 113–118. Facing death, that night Jesus sang about the “cords of death” entangling Him (Psalm 116:3). Yet He praised God’s faithful love (117:2) and thanked Him for salvation (118:14). Surely these Psalms comforted Jesus on the night before His crucifixion.

Jesus’s trust in God was so great that even as He approached His own death—a death He had done nothing to deserve!—He chose to sing of God’s love. Because of Jesus, we too can have confidence that whatever we face, God is with us.

God, strengthen our faith in You so that when we face trials, or even approach death, we can sing with confidence about Your love.

How sweet is the sound of God’s amazing grace!


It has been said that our songs are essentially our sung prayers. After having been severely beaten and unjustly arrested, Paul and Silas “were praying and singing hymns to God” in prison! (Acts 16:25). In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church he exhorts them to “[sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and [make] music to the Lord in your hearts” (Ephesians 5:19 nlt).

Are you going through a difficult time? Ask God to encourage you as you sing your favorite hymn or song.

K. T. Sim

By |2018-10-05T12:04:36-04:00October 10th, 2018|
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