Children of Jubal

He’s not all that impressive a man in the history books.  You’d have to look a long way to find any reference to him.

Once—just once, he is mentioned in the Pentateuch, and to my knowledge, never again is his name mentioned in the Scriptures.

JubalJubal, they called him.  The father of all who play the harp and pipes. (Genesis 4:21)

Did I say he was never again mentioned in the Bible?  That is not, strictly speaking, truthful.  The name actually means trumpet in the Hebrew language.  It is the root for the word jubilee, a word used again and again in the history of God’s people.

It is, almost certainly, where we get the word jubilation in the English language.

I needed a little of that today—jubilation, I mean.  It has been a series of long, hard days stretching back for months now.  Things are not as I would have them; my ducks refuse to get into the rows I have planned for them.

And once again, in the news today, we heard news of atrocities, of people dead and others injured, lying in hospital beds.  The physical wounds are not all the damage which has been done; many still walking are wounded to the depths of their spirits.

Indeed, jubilation has been a commodity in short supply for too many in this damaged world.

Exhaustion and a lack of ready capital in the emotional bank are pushing multitudes to the raw edge of despair.  I have approached that precipice myself a time or two recently.

Tonight, as I closed my business, I suggested that I might call the worship leader to let her know that I couldn’t be at our scheduled practice later in the evening.

I’m tired.  I’ve got nothing left to give.

I didn’t make the call, instead determining I would fulfill my responsibilities.  A fifteen minute nap would have to suffice to recharge the batteries.  I could only hope to last the hour at my practice.

Again and again, I am surprised by it.  I shouldn’t be.

Still, it takes me unawares, nearly every time.

I walked into that worship center dragging and forlorn.  I wasn’t the only one.

We didn’t walk out in the same condition.  Logic tells me we should have been even more tired after our efforts.  The reality is that we were recharged and ready to face a sad and flawed world once more.

What happened?

We spent time with the children of Jubal is what happened.  Music happened.  The blending of individual’s gifts and talents into a single purpose and direction.

I have always believed that music is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind.  Oh, there are some better.  I imagine a list could be compiled.  But, there are not many more helpful in keeping us centered and headed toward the completion of our calling.

Music comes directly—directly—from our Creator.  His very creation sings and gives testimony to His genius. It did so long before humans walked this earth.

Even before the earth was shaped, the stars and angelic beings formed one great celestial choir in praise of their Creator.  (Job 38:4-7)  We only continue in the steps of those who came before us.

I know some will say it’s a waste of time, even a slap in the face to those who still are in pain.

Surely, it’s simply a way to mask the pain, to escape reality?

I wonder; When a man has a cut on his arm, would you deny him the opportunity to put salve on it?  The purpose of salve, or ointment, is not only to ease the pain, but to begin the healing process.

I can attest to the reality that music is the application of ointment to the whole spirit of a man or woman.  It salves the pain of sadness, of loss, of despair.  It heals the broken spirit and give courage to face the world once more, whole and strong.

Are you sick of pain?  Wounded by death?  Scarred by terror?

The prescription I recommend is to come away and spend some time immersed in the original salve.  Better than Burt’s Bees or Gold Bond, this ointment leaves no unpleasant greasiness behind.

The poet tells us that musick hath charms to soothe the savage beast.  I don’t doubt it a bit.

The children of Jubal still populate the world today.  It’s a good thing.  May their tribe increase.

Jubilate Deo!

Rejoice in God!




Even before we call on thy name
To ask thee, O Lord,
When we seek for the words to glorify thee,
Thou hearest our prayer;
Unceasing love, O unceasing love,
Surpassing all we know.
Glory to the father,
and to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit.

Even with darkness sealing us in,
We breathe thy name,
And through all the days that follow so fast,
We trust in thee;
Endless thy grace, O endless thy grace,
Beyond all mortal dream.
Both now and forever,
And unto ages and ages,
(Pilgrim’s Hymn ~ Stephen Paulus ~ American composer ~ 1949-2014)


Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
(Psalm 23:5 ~ KJV)




© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2015. All Rights Reserved.


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