(Jake King, former preacher for the 26th and Connecticut congregation,
is currently the preaching minister in Seneca, Missouri. This is a recent article he wrote.)
The whippoorwill is a bird that is known for its singing. In fact, according to the website Wikipedia, the bird was even named for its song. Apparently, at some point somebody said something like, “It sounds like that bird is saying 'whippoorwill,' so let’s just call the bird that.”
Another thing I learned from Wikipedia is that the whippoorwill is mentioned in several notable songs. In fact, Wikipedia has a list of 56 such songs. For example, there is the song written and sung by Hank Williams that goes, “Hear the lonesome whippoorwill. He sounds too blue to fly. The midnight train is whining low. I’m so lonesome I could cry.” (Incidentally, this song was also sung by Johnny Cash.) Then there’s also the Alan Jackson song that says, “It’s midnight in Montgomery. Just hear that whippoorwill.” And there’s the Dierks Bentley song called, “Up on the Ridge,” that says, “Let's blow out these city lights. Let's just leave it all behind. Get up where the air is still. You can hear the whippoorwill.”
“The Whippoorwill Song”
But when I think of a whippoorwill song, I think of a church song that I learned when I was a kid—a song that is actually called, “The Whippoorwill Song.” Do you know this song? Let me share some of the lyrics with you. As you read these lyrics, keep in mind that God is the speaker in the song.
“I set the boundaries of the ocean vast”
“The Whippoorwill Song” echoes several ideas from the Bible. For example, the song begins by saying that God “set the boundaries for the ocean vast” and this echoes something that God said to Job: “Who enclosed the sea behind doors when it burst from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its blanket, when I determined its boundaries and put its bars and doors in place, when I declared: ‘You may come this far, but no farther; your proud waves stop here’?” (Job 38:8-11 HCSB).
“I own the cattle on a thousand hills”
Likewise, the song mentions that God owns “the cattle on a thousand hills” and this echoes something that God said to the nation of Israel in the book of Psalms: “I do not scold you for your sacrifices. You always bring me your burnt offerings. But I do not need bulls from your stalls or goats from your pens, because every animal of the forest is already mine. The cattle on a thousand hills are mine” (Psalm 50:8-10 NCV).
“My own sons come to Me by choice”
“The Whippoorwill Song” also says that God gives human beings the freedom to use their own will, and that His sons come to Him by choice. These statements also echo something that the Bible teaches—that God has given human beings the freedom to choose. For example, Joshua said to the Israelites: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15 NIV). I hope you’ll make the same choice that Joshua did.
We are a pre-denominational, congregation of
New Testament Christians who strive to accomplish God's will in God's way.
You are personally invited
or study with us.
We're live on the radio - AM1450 - every Sunday morning at 10:30.