But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn. Psalms 92:10
I grew up listening to a lot of rhumba and country 🎻🎤🎸🥁🎧 from a very tender age. Coming from a family of rhythm lovers, we as children were exposed to a diversity of genres of melodies. Some of the very vivid memories I have of my childhood are a music turntable and an authentic collection of LP records that gave birth to an afro-library of legends as Franco Lwambo Luanzo Mikiadi, TP Ok Jazz, Super Mazembe, Mbilia Bel, Sam Mangwana, Tabu Ley Rochereau; all mixed with a Western cowboy collection that majorly informed rhythms by the great legend Jim Reeves – carols as well as an endless playlist of poetic love rhythms. I also remember my dad hum some of these tunes along as they played and he is the silent, cool, laid-back guy; very gentle, warm demeanor, kind hearted and with a very soft spot for his off springs. The kind that avoids confrontations by all means. I love my dad, not the kind you will find on a dance floor (I don’t think it’s ‘cos he got no moves), but one who truly treasures his ever green collection plus his uninterrupted peaceful time listening to this endless collection and replaying them back and forth as though they don’t inject monotony in his soul. No! they didn’t. The evergreen, or so, they were called. I bet I am a true daughter of my father. Oh! and the man loved and still does loves speakers, speakers of different sizes and varying potent.
And so I grew up idolizing Jim. His very unparalleled velvet vocals sent ripples of awe deep down my childhood spine. Ever heard older folks say there’s no music today? It’s ‘cos they acknowledge the authenticity and richness of what once was, both in lyrical content as well as vocal quality. Old is gold, they so say. Well, if you’ve listened to or read Jim Reeves’ lyrics, some, I actually think most, composed by Cindy Walker, unless you are deliberately blind, you wouldn’t miss the richness in depth, the poetic eloquence and harmony in its uttermost simplicity, the flowing and relatable story line in the ballads and the creativity that helplessly overrides the mood even without trying too hard.
Well, whereas I have retained some things, some have changed along the way. For instance. I do still love speakers. But just any speaker is no sensible speaker. It gotta be something that can clearly articulate some major chords, like produce reeeaal sound – no, not loud, but quality👌👌 sound. Yes, I gotta be able to feel the bass as well as the treble. And well, when I listen through it, I should be able to differentiate the melody from the harmonies. Not all speakers do this, unfortunately. Take the TV from me all you want but please never meddle with my music player and library – either music collection or books. And what has changed? Well, my playlist of course has evolved over time, not as much conformed, but rather transformed, resulting from the renewal of my mind.
Been meaning to write on this topic from last year. And so it was as I was studying Psalms 92 two days ago that I couldn’t once again help getting awestruck with the poetic candor of one of its writers – David. We come first hand to the recognition and experiencing the lyrical and poetic wit and authority of the writer in its most simplistic form, yet not any detached from what we can relate to, which gives the reader the compelling urge to dig deeper. We can’t by any means shove aside his relationship and intimacy with the Father. Throughout the Psalms written by him, we see different moods from celebratory and victorious to moments when he shares with his most intimate Friend of how he had been surrounded by enemies, yet of how assured he was that God would uphold him – Exalt his Horn, of how he had become a stranger to his own mother’s children. In Psalms 69:8-9, he writes, “I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children; for zeal for your house consumes me;”…this man was legit. I so love David. On his canvas, he authentically paints a story of what not only was in the ancient days, but what a contemporary Christian as close to God can relate with. He once was the king of Israel, a close friend and confidant of God, a man after his own very heart. He knew rejection and he knew applause in equal measure. He deeply understood insignificance (as in when prophet Samuel came to anoint the sons of Jesse). He had tasted it all! Yet in all these, he recognized that his horn would be exalted by the Lord. He practically understood approval (I’m thinking of the songs that those ladies were singing in praise of David after he had killed Goliath, in comparison with king Saul) yet in equal breath had tasted opposition, having as king, while ruling, endured an attempted coup d’état by his very own son Absalom in close collaboration with Ahithophel. I remember when I was reading this episode in Samuel like 2 years ago, I could figure out David walking up the cliff while crying and saying, “Oh Lord, turn the wisdom of my adversaries into foolishness,” and I equally found myself crying as I read on. P.S: I rarely do this, and I am not a cry baby, but I really empathized with him then. Well, David deeply understood the goodness and faithfulness of God as we see through his poetic escapades, as well as what it purely means to be in love with God and to constantly seek and consult only Him. He was a shepherd, a king, a poet, a writer, a musician – a harp player, a dancer, a worshipper, a warrior, all these intertwined in one.
Let’s take chapter 2 of Psalms for example. In its most simplistic way, the poet wonders: “why are the nations in tumultuous agitation? And why do the peoples meditate a vain thing? …but He who dwelleth in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision.”
When I read this the first time, it just hit me that God too does laugh 😊. This writer sure, must have been sooo close to God to have either watched him laugh or heard his laughter. Then it reminded me of the Scripture of Him singing over us. Yet, it is with this child like curiosity that I once asked my cousin last year, ‘Does God dance?’ And he couldn’t answer me. He found my question quite amusing and intriguing all at the same time…, like God dance?? Well, my mind can quite at times be so scriptive in thinking while reading, very illustrative and graphic during the pauses through my reads. Not only did I ask him such a question, I started googling scriptures that explicitly mentioned God ever dancing. Why did I ask, you wonder? I mean, let’s take a Sunday for instance, all these people over the earth worshipping me? If I was God I would exhibit all my indefatigable dance moves 💃💃💃, roll on the floor until my energy completely ebbs. I mean, like how can He be seated on the throne while innumerable guys are adoring Him without even being budged to a harmoniously soft dance using just even one of His feet to this overwhelmingly darn good orchestra? Let’s just say that I am not Him. But I was reeeaally curious, still am. I wanna know from you guys. Do you think God dances? And on that note, what are your thoughts on and interpretation of Zephaniah 3:17?
Let’s please get back to Psalms.
Simply put, the content in Psalms is not far-fetched and unrelatable. They, I believe were as a result of the writer’s day to day experiences, encounters and mood of: joy, victory, discouragement, disapproval, assurance, spite, respect, of being disheartened (as in the picture we see when his son died and he refused to eat for three days), a defiant celebration mood (as in what we see when he leaps and dances 🕺with gladness as the Ark of God was brought from the house of Obededom into the city of David.
But my horn Oh Lord, thou shalt exalt like that of an unicorn!
BUT MY HORN SHALT THOU EXALT LIKE THE HORN OF AN UNICORN!
To begin with, this is a statement that can only be made by someone who is not wavering, someone who has been long enough with God to know that He neither changes nor breaks that which has proceeded from His lips.. David doesn’t state, ‘But my horn you might exalt, or you can exalt if you so wish or if I don’t offend you, or as it suits you or as you deem suiting for me.’ No, He says, you #will exalt – showing a solid and unshakeable belief in Him who is to deliver that which we completely have no control over; yet the only control that we can exercise on it is believing and firmly knowing it, then living in that space that isn’t yet as though it already is.
To understand the context of David’s declaration, let’s get to analyze and understand some few words:
-A mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead.
-In another conceptualization, an unicorn is something that is highly desirable but difficult to find or obtain.
-An unicorn may also have been some gigantic ox or buffalo now unknown, perhaps extinct. Among the ancients, it was the favorite symbol of unconquerable power and one which the psalmist adopts as his emblem.
To exalt: (verb – of a person or their rank or status) Place at a high or powerful level; held in high regard.
A hard permanent outgrowth, often curved and pointed, found in pairs in the head of cattle, sheep, goats, giraffes etc.
Horns are also an animal’s weapon; they symbolize strength and power.
But my horn:
This statement points out to David’s kingdom, his royal authority, power and glory signified by his horn. He had subdued nations and kings and was exalted above them, then obtained rest from all his enemies. It also shows how his kingdom just as was promised, will be a forever established dynasty.
Let’s take a look at the scriptures below and see how the Angel Gabriel addressed Joseph, as well as what he had to tell Mary concerning this kingdom.
Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Luke 1:30-33 And the Angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his Kingdom there shall be no end.
Fast forward, let’s have a look at a portion of Scriptures that contain this covenant fulfilled that was spoken to king David through prophet Nathan.
2 Samuel 7:8-16 ‘…I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever… and thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.
Lessons from the different facets of David
David’s story is very ordinary, one that any ordinary person from any walk of life can relate with. He didn’t beforehand experience the high life. We all know how a shepherd’s life differs from that of a king’s. He wasn’t born into a kingship dynasty (His father Jesse was not a king), yet due to his heart and faithfulness, he leaves behind him a royal dynasty that God establishes with him through a covenant.
This comes to remind us that it doesn’t matter where we come from; God can transform the story of anyone.
And what is the implication of this to a Christian?
-The mere fact that you have accepted Christ qualifies you as a daughter or son of the King – you therefore are royal! A royal who has wholly evolved doesn’t get frightened by things like recession. Whichever season you find yourself in, you learn to adjust your lenses, adorn a heart of gratitude and contentment in all situations. You wake up in the morning with ecstatic joy, eager to face the day ahead and declare it’s gonna be a fruitful one ‘cos you acknowledge who holds your life together and that it doesn’t lie at the mercy of anyone. Yours is already a designed destiny and all you need is to tap into and receive the resources that come with Godly purpose and that only Him has the power and infinite ways to provide for, and which, yes as sure as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, have already been provided for. You become content as a shepherd much as as a king. Yes, you come to a point of realization that your worship can only be for one person and that before you make the slightest move, the greatest honor rests with Him who must always be consulted. I love the way David always consulted God, let’s take a look.
2 Samuel 5:19-20 (KJV)
And David inquired of the Lord saying, shall I go up to the Philistines? Wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto David, ‘Go up for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand. And David came to Baal Perazim, and David smote them there, and said, The Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.
But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn!
Of what implication is this to a Christian?
-It means that the journey to purpose is an evolution, of self-discovery, of not reaching a destination, but of becoming… of not striving, but resting in the know that all we ever need to fulfill purpose with is already fully provided for.
Psalms 139:16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
All the days of our lives were already ordained for us and were written in God’s Book before anyone of them began. In other words, there’s a book that God has written about each of us that was finished before we were born. None of us is a mistake!
Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Has shows an action that is already complete. God has already supplied everything you need for the fulfillment of your purpose, but it is locked up in the heavenlies. It is on earth but it is activated in the spiritual. Whatever you were born to do, all the resources are already available; however these resources do not move towards you, ‘till you begin doing what you were born to do, ‘till you start activating your purpose.
Ephesians 2: 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The works that we were created to perform were already prepared long before we were conceived.
So what is the implication of this to a Christian?
-You have to acknowledge your royalty and act royal – be royal! Being born in a royal family and having the name doesn’t automatically make you think and act royal, just as being around the blood of Jesus doesn’t automatically make you be born again.
I love the way Reinhard Bonnke put it in one of his books that I repetitively loved reading and preach-acting back then when I was only 10 years old.
“An atheist challenges me on a Television program. He says, ‘I don’t believe there’s power in the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus has been around for almost 2000 years and if there was any power in it, the world wouldn’t be in such a sorry state.’ “ I replied him, “Sir, there’s also plenty of soap around, yet people are still dirty. Soap doesn’t make you clean by just being around it, not even if you should work in a soap factory. You have to take it and apply it personally. That’s how it is with the blood of Jesus.”
And I am coming to believe today that that this equally applies with royalty.
We have to, with utter humility, recognize our position. We just don’t take any treatment brought our way; we are royal! And royal undoubtedly, indisputably and affirmatively we become when we stop thinking and acting like slaves. It means that as long as we are walking in His will, He positions us. We will always be where we need to be, with whom we need to be with, learning the lessons that will thrust us forth into the next step of destiny. And sometimes, the longer we take to master the lesson, the more a repeat of the class beckons and the slower we’re most likely to tap into the succeeding step.
-It also means that the journey of evolution into whole royalty carries with it innumerable lessons: of humility, of wisdom, of brokenness, of patience, of gratitude, of a warrior mindset, of alertness, of selflessness, of death to self, of intentional love, of contentment, of being deliberately particular on who speaks into our lives… for if you are to be the next Godly: statesman/ stateswoman, ambassador, pastor, evangelist, teacher, prophet, apostle, entrepreneur, employer, husband/ wife, father/ mother, author, show presenter, scientific researcher, inventor, influencer…, then you gotta learn and act your royalty while still in that wilderness, while in the prep room. They say, great warriors don’t wait for the time of war in order to practice or prepare for the war; they practice long before hand.
And so we gotta be solidly in acknowledgement of this truth regarding our royalty as well as be in firm practice of the same long before the crowns hit our heads.
But my horn Oh Lord, shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn!
“The Best Kept Secret” (YouTube) – Dr. Myles Munroe (1995)