I'm searching for phrases
To sing your praises
I need to tell someone
It's soon after midnight
And my day has just begun
1

A gal named Honey
Took my money
She was passing by
It's soon after midnight
And the moon is in my eye
2

My heart is cheerful
It's never fearful
I been down on the killing floors
I'm in no great hurry
I'm not afraid of your fury
I've faced stronger walls than yours
3

Charlotte's a harlot
Dresses in scarlet
Mary dresses in green
It's soon after midnight
And I've got a date with a fairy queen
4

They chirp and they chatter
What does it matter?
They're lying there dying in their blood
Two Timing Slim
Who's ever heard of him?
I'll drag his corpse through the mud
5

It's now or never
More than ever
When I met you I didn't think you would do
It's soon after midnight
And I don't want nobody but you
6


Soon After Midnight

Stacks Image 68
1 The first verse and the last verse are about someone he wants to praise and can't live without. Obviously. When it's someone like that, well of course you've gotta let others know. How to do it though may require unusually careful reflection, especially when you want others to see a part of themselves they don't know is there so there will be redemption there. And the time? That's crucial, too. Understand something imminent will happen next. It's good to know what hour it is. It's reassuring to know you are of the Day.

2 It makes you want to keep looking up when someone brought you down.

3 In spite of the death that surrounds us, in spite of the anger and accusation and scorn of others, we don't have to be anxious and can know the joy and peace we have in our reconciliation with our God. When you're in spiritual conflict because of Jesus in you, even walls erected against you due to your faith can be stronger than any temporary hassle others have to go through.

4 Scarlet and green have prophetic significance. On the way to the cross, Jesus told the daughters of Jerusalem, perhaps Mary with them, that His death was happening during a time when things were green. There will come a time when spiritual harlotry will abound in the guise of false nobility. It will lure the world into a false sense of peace, but then sudden destruction will fall on them because they rejected and did not embrace the One who went to the cross for them and rose from the grave for them.

And that date with a fairy queen soon after midnight? It's likely a date with death, of course, if the Lord tarries. As Robert Louis Stevenson mused:

"But fear not:
ere the curtain fall,
Death in the
transformation scene
Steps forward from
her pedestal,
Apparent, as the
fairy Queen."


5 The critics and the talkers will chat among themselves as they think they own and thus misinterpret this song, as they do Bob generally. But that shouldn't bug us. Against the backdrop of the Truth and His words we know they are living a lie and are about to die even as they watch their blood oh so carefully. Those who think they're hot stuff will fade in all memories and end up where the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched.

6 So, with all this said, and as that Day draws near, we who believe want to get to know Jesus better than ever. Too child-like an interpretation? But then those are the kind who enter the Kingdom. We know the conflict against pride that may have assailed some of us early on in this Life in Christ, but there was no escaping the Truth. I am so glad He sealed me there. Now we regain or gain new and fresh perspective as we remember the time it is, and the price, and the sacrifice, and the power and the glory and eternity and certainty of heaven with its doors having been opened since that first knock never to close. All by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. There could be no one else in first place.

I just need to tell others now, and again.
Stacks Image 69
THE RECORD

1 Praise the Lord,
for it is good to sing praises to our God!
Yes, praise is pleasant and appropriate!

The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem,
and gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
and bandages their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
he names all of them.
Our Lord is great and has awesome power;
there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the oppressed,
but knocks the wicked to the ground.
Offer to the Lord a song of thanks!

Sing praises to our God
to the accompaniment of a harp!

He covers the sky with clouds,
provides the earth with rain,
and causes grass to grow on the hillsides.
He gives food to the animals,
and to the young ravens when they chirp.
He is not enamored with the strength of a horse,
nor is he impressed by the warrior’s strong legs.
The Lord takes delight in his faithful followers,
and in those who wait for his loyal love.

Extol the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!

For he makes the bars of your gates strong.
He blesses your children within you.
He brings peace to your territory.
He abundantly provides for you the best grain.
He sends his command through the earth;
swiftly his order reaches its destination.
He sends the snow that is white like wool;
he spreads the frost that is white like ashes.
He throws his hailstones like crumbs.
Who can withstand the cold wind he sends?
He then orders it all to melt;
he breathes on it, and the water flows.
He proclaims his word to Jacob,
his statutes and regulations to Israel.
He has not done so with any other nation;
they are not aware of his regulations.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 147


1 Do not be afraid of them, for nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops.

Matthew 10:26-27


Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

I Corinthians 15:1-6


1 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.

Romans 13:10-14


2 For the commandments are like a lamp, instruction is like a light,
and rebukes of discipline are like the road leading to life,
by keeping you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the loose woman
.
Do not lust in your heart for her beauty,
and do not let her captivate you with her alluring eyes;
for on account of a prostitute
one is brought down to a loaf of bread,
but the wife of another man preys on your precious life.


Proverbs 6


3 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15


3 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28


3 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love. We love because he loved us first.

I John 4:18-19


3 My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.

James 1:2-5


4 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke to me. “Come,” he said, “I will show you the condemnation and punishment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality and the earth’s inhabitants got drunk with the wine of her immorality.” So he carried me away in the Spirit to a wilderness, and there I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. Now the woman was dressed in purple and scarlet clothing, and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls. She held in her hand a golden cup filled with detestable things and unclean things from her sexual immorality. On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the Great, the Mother of prostitutes and of the detestable things of the earth.” I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of those who testified to Jesus. I was greatly astounded when I saw her. But the angel said to me, “Why are you astounded? I will interpret for you the mystery of the woman and of the beast with the seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast you saw was, and is not, but is about to come up from the abyss and then go to destruction. The inhabitants of the earth – all those whose names have not been written in the book of life since the foundation of the world – will be astounded when they see that the beast was, and is not, but is to come. (This requires a mind that has wisdom.) The seven heads are seven mountains the woman sits on. They are also seven kings: five have fallen; one is, and the other has not yet come, but whenever he does come, he must remain for only a brief time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself an eighth king and yet is one of the seven, and is going to destruction. The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but will receive ruling authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These kings have a single intent, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those accompanying the Lamb are the called, chosen, and faithful.”

Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw (where the prostitute is seated) are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. The ten horns that you saw, and the beast – these will hate the prostitute and make her desolate and naked. They will consume her flesh and burn her up with fire. For God has put into their minds to carry out his purpose by making a decision to give their royal power to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. As for the woman you saw, she is the great city that has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.”

Revelation 17


After these things I saw another angel, who possessed great authority, coming down out of heaven, and the earth was lit up by his radiance. He shouted with a powerful voice:

“Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great!
She has become a lair for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detested beast.
For all the nations have fallen from
the wine of her immoral passion,

and the kings of the earth
have committed sexual immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth have gotten rich
from the power of her sensual behavior.”


Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, so you will not take part in her sins and so you will not receive her plagues, because her sins have piled up all the way to heaven and God has remembered her crimes. Repay her the same way she repaid others; pay her back double corresponding to her deeds. In the cup she mixed, mix double the amount for her. As much as she exalted herself and lived in sensual luxury, to this extent give her torment and grief because she said to herself, ‘I rule as queen and am no widow; I will never experience grief!’ For this reason, she will experience her plagues in a single day: disease, mourning, and famine, and she will be burned down with fire, because the Lord God who judges her is powerful!”

Then the kings of the earth who committed immoral acts with her and lived in sensual luxury with her will weep and wail for her when they see the smoke from the fire that burns her up. They will stand a long way off because they are afraid of her torment, and will say,

“Woe, woe, O great city,
Babylon the powerful city!
For in a single hour your doom has come!”

Then the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for her because no one buys their cargo any longer – cargo such as gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk,
scarlet cloth, all sorts of things made of citron wood, all sorts of objects made of ivory, all sorts of things made of expensive wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, perfumed ointment, frankincense, wine, olive oil and costly flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and four-wheeled carriages, slaves and human lives.

(The ripe fruit you greatly desired

has gone from you,
and all your luxury and splendor
have gone from you –
they will never ever be found again!)

The merchants who sold these things, who got rich from her, will stand a long way off because they are afraid of her torment. They will weep and mourn, saying,

“Woe, woe, O great city –
dressed in fine linen, purple and
scarlet clothing,
and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls –
because in a single hour
such great wealth has been destroyed!”

And every ship’s captain, and all who sail along the coast – seamen, and all who make their living from the sea, stood a long way off and began to shout when they saw the smoke from the fire that burned her up, “Who is like the great city?” And they threw dust on their heads and were shouting with weeping and mourning,

“Woe, Woe, O great city –
in which all those who had ships on the sea
got rich from her wealth –
because in a single hour
she has been destroyed!”
(Rejoice over her, O heaven,
and you saints and apostles and prophets,
for God has pronounced judgment against her
on your behalf!)

Then one powerful angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone, threw it into the sea, and said,

“With this kind of sudden violent force
Babylon the great city will be thrown down
and it will never be found again!
And the sound of the harpists, musicians,
flute players, and trumpeters
will never be heard in you again.
No craftsman who practices any trade
will ever be found in you again;
the noise of a mill
will never be heard in you again.
Even the light from a lamp
will never shine in you again!
The voices of the bridegroom and his bride
will never be heard in you again.
For your merchants were the tycoons of the world,
because all the nations were deceived
by your magic spells!
The blood of the saints and prophets
was found in her,
along with the blood of all those
who had been killed on the earth.”


Revelation 18


As they led him away, they seized Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country. They placed the cross on his back and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, among them women who were mourning and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For this is certain: The days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore children, and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us! and to the hills, Cover us!’ For if such things are done when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Luke 23:26-31


5 Certainly God is good to Israel,
and to those whose motives are pure!
But as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my feet almost slid out from under me.

For I envied those who are proud,
as I observed the prosperity of the wicked.
For they suffer no pain;
their bodies are strong and well-fed.
They are immune to the trouble common to men;
they do not suffer as other men do.
Arrogance is their necklace,
and violence their clothing.
Their prosperity causes them to do wrong;
their thoughts are sinful.
They mock and say evil things;
they proudly threaten violence.
They speak as if they rule in heaven,
and lay claim to the earth.
Therefore they have more than enough food to eat,
and even suck up the water of the sea.
They say, “How does God know what we do?
Is the sovereign one aware of what goes on?”

Take a good look! This is what the wicked are like,
those who always have it so easy and get richer and richer.
I concluded, “Surely in vain I have kept my motives pure
and maintained a pure lifestyle.
I suffer all day long,
and am punished every morning.”
If I had publicized these thoughts,
I would have betrayed your loyal followers.

When I tried to make sense of this,
it was troubling to me.
Then I entered the precincts of God’s temple,
and understood the destiny of the wicked.
Surely you put them in slippery places;
you bring them down to ruin.
How desolate they become in a mere moment!
Terrifying judgments make their demise complete!
They are like a dream after one wakes up.
O Lord, when you awake you will despise them.

Yes, my spirit was bitter,
and my insides felt sharp pain.
I was ignorant and lacked insight;
I was as senseless as an animal before you.
But I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me by your wise advice,
and then you will lead me to a position of honor.
Whom do I have in heaven but you?
I desire no one but you on earth.
My flesh and my heart may grow weak,
but God always protects my heart and gives me stability.
Yes, look! Those far from you die;
you destroy everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But as for me, God’s presence is all I need.
I have made the sovereign Lord my shelter,
as I declare all the things you have done.

Psalm 73


6 For he says, “I heard you at the acceptable time, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation!

II Corinthians 6:2


Wake up then, and strengthen what remains that was about to die, because I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Therefore, remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come against you.

Revelation 3:2-3


“This is the solemn pronouncement of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot! So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth! Because you say, “I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing,” but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, take my advice and buy gold from me refined by fire so you can become rich! Buy from me white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness will not be exposed, and buy eye salve to put on your eyes so you can see! All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent! Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me. I will grant the one who conquers permission to sit with me on my throne, just as I too conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Revelation 3:14-22


Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.

Romans 13:10-14