The Hope of ACDC

Michael Dean-Smith

A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer:

I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me. (Ps 142, NIV)

Something I love to do, when I have the time, is go for a bit of a book browse around the second hand dealers in Fremantle. And just this last week, while partaking in one of my favourite past times, I just so happened to stumble upon a little black book full of lyrics from one of Australia’s most famous bands; ACDC. Now the interesting thing about reading ACDC’s epics (without the Young brothers distorted guitars throbbing in the back of your skull) is that you get right to the heart of the matter - and let me just say - Bon and the boys were moody, depressing and hopeless and the work that they have left behind is testament to men who looked to booze, flings and ciggies for their escape from their prison.

There is another such work in which lyricists left epic poems (unfortunately we don’t have the music to go with them), and very much like the little black book that I thumbed through just this past week, they too deal with moodiness, depression and feelings of hopelessness, but unlike ACDC’s flesh focused hope, they take their readers from the depths of despair, to the heights of heaven - and the Psalm that we have before us this morning is one such poem.

Now the interesting thing about many of the Psalms is that they usually have a context that is attached to them. And in the context of this poem, our author David is in a cave. Now we’re not 100% sure about this cave, but we know there was a number of times when David had to go one the run from his enemies (Saul and his son to name a couple) and that seems to be the case here. David is hiding out in a cave, most likely on the run with his life in danger - so thats the context.

Now notice what David does with his situation - He doesn’t start writing about how he’s going to shine his sword and then sleigh his oppresses, no, the first thing he does is he takes his very real and present danger before the throne of grace and he gets real with God (vs 1-2). This is David’s way of putting his life in the hands of his God. It’s like a child being bullied at school going to their dad because they know their dad is going to do something about when they can’t. David then confesses the problem - he is in real danger and no one is there to rescue him (vs 3-4). In other words he is totally alone, and there’s nothing that he can do to change the situation, he only has one hope in this world, and that is in God (vs 5). He then lays his petition out before the Lord to be rescued from his enemies (vs 6), and then asks to be put in such a position that he will be able to testify to the Lord’s mercy (vs 7).

The difference between David and Bon couldn’t be any more stark. One had a real hope to be set free from their prison, the other didn’t. They both ended up in the grave, however one was free, the other wasn’t. And that is the hope that all of us have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Life is hard, we have many and various trappings, but the hope of the resurrection gives us something more than a flesh filled existence…no the gospel of Christ gives us a

real hope to look upwards. And as David went to the throne of grace and was not just heard but answered as well (he got his prayer answered about being a testimony), well that is the invited for us too. So go friends, go to our Father in heaven and pour out your hearts because there is one who have given us hope in this world (Heb 4:14-16).

Published: November 11, 2023

Updated: November 11, 2023