What song does hope sing? What sanguine rhythm beats from the heavy heart abound in a last-chance quest of those with nothing left to lose?
In chapter seven of Kings II, we find Samaria in Syria's choke hold. A long-standing siege had placed the city so deep in starvation that women were eating their own children. The city could not overthrow Syria's army, nor could they hold out much longer. Outside the gates sat four lepers, each of which survived on the scraps of those that dwelt in the city. Only the scraps weren't coming any longer. Anything within in the city worth eating was long gone. There they sat, sick and starving, their options dwindling with what strength they had...
"Let's go surrender to Syria," said one leper to the others. I'm certain someone looked shocked at the suggestion. "C'mon, we're going to die if we just sit here, and we know the city can't feed us any longer. Even if the Syrians kill us, at least it'll be a quick death." Anything sounded better than the slow agonizing death of starvation.
So they began their walk, with death at their backs and a likely death before them. Yet they moved forward on the slim chance that they would find mercy at the hand of their captors. They had no idea what awaited them. For as they arrived at the Syrian camp, they found the place deserted - a ghost town. The whole stock of supplies - including food - sat unguarded! What the lepers did not know was that as they walked toward the camp, the great army of Syria heard massive platoons of armies heading their way. A sound of armies so fierce that the Syrian soldiers dropped everything and immediately ran. What sounded like marching armies were merely a few skinny, sickly men stumbling through the leaves. That is the sound of hope in action.
It is so difficult to keep hope in mind when it seems we are trapped by our circumstances. It's hard to hold fast to the promises God has given when hunger pangs come about. So easily are God's words muffled out by the pain life can bring. Perhaps that is part of what makes God's mercy so beautiful, so necessary. The fact that God answers the most hopeless sounding prayers is amazing. And He does. This is how we always have hope in Christ. And we can slowly make our way in the direction of hope, limping through the dead leaves of a forest of troubles. In our view, it seems so pitiful, and perhaps it is. Yet the enemy camp scurries away from our hope like darkness retracts from light.
What song does hope sing? It is a marching ditty, a battle cry. We rarely know the power in a little hope moving toward it's fate. To us it is a whispered, faithless prayer. Yet it resounds off the walls of heaven and rumbles fiercely in the heart of the enemy's camps. When God's children hope, strongholds quake, battalions scatter in fear, for they hear the greatest of armies moving into attack form.
What song does hope sing? Heaven knows, and so does Hell. It is the very sound of God's promises and Christ's victory blazing over the hillside, finally crushing the head of the old serpent himself, pushing back the dark angels into the shadowed world of Hades for good and forever. And it is the war-cry of a wearied, yet victory-bound soldier, clad in his Savior's spotless uniform. It is a song penned in the Blood of Christ, whose rhythm, established by the beat of God's heart for His creation, was toned by the sound of a hammer against nails, a song which death listened, astonished, at the solo of a stone moving from the face of a tomb.
That is the song of hope. Even the slightest hum of it's verses never cease to astonish.