By Hannah Brzozowski
I've been a Taylor Swift fan since I first listened to her debut album at my best friend's house when I was 14. We'd belt out Tim McGraw and Teardrops on my Guitar over and over again.
If you were to look at my Spotify top songs for the year, you'd see that not much has changed. I basically only listen to Taylor's music (we're on a first-name basis - at least on my end).
One thing to know about Swifties (Taylor's fanbase) is that we are constantly looking for Easter eggs in literally everything. There are wild theories after every single video and Instagram caption or Tweet.
I've done many a deep dive into what the different emojis could mean, what her outfits might be hinting at, or Taylor's lucky number 13 shows up on cakes (or 26 for that matter).
With her upcoming album, Midnights, coming out tomorrow, these theories are ramping up like never before. If you're curious, just look up @Swifttokdetective on TikTok and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.
This morning, I randomly looked up the word "midnight" in the Bible and I saw that there were 13 occurrences. I *actually* gasped. Could Taylor have dropped some Easter eggs in the Bible?! Is God a Taylor Swift fan - planning out for this moment in history when this album would come out?! (Now, you're starting to understand just how wild some of the theories get.)
I'm kidding, of course, but I do believe that we can learn things from culture and see what God might be teaching us through songs or movies. So, hey, let's see what we can learn from 13 midnights in the Bible.
Just as a bonus, I've included Taylor Swift songs for each point. FYI, some are most definitely a stretch.
1. Don't go after everyone you fall for.
But Samson stayed in bed only until midnight. Then he got up, took hold of the doors of the town gate, including the two posts, and lifted them up, bar and all. He put them on his shoulders and carried them all the way to the top of the hill across from Hebron.
Right before this verse, it talks about how Samson, a leader of God's people, took a prostitute into his tent. This obviously wasn't in God's plan for his life. Right after this passage, Samson falls for Delilah, a woman from the foreign army. This did not end well for Samson and ultimately, she betrayed him and he ended up dying. Goes to show that sometimes your heart can't be trusted, you need to use your head too.
I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor's Version)
2. Sometimes, you have to do something bold.
Around midnight Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet!
Speaking of love, in the book of Ruth, we see a foreign widow who is very poor. She catches the eye of a wealthy man (who was a relative of her late husband) and decides to do something bold. She goes to his bedside at midnight and requests his help. He decides to take her as his wife and ultimately, she is in the line of Jesus.
Doing something bold can be frightening but necessary to get what you need.
3. This life is fleeting.
“In a moment they die, and at midnight
People are shaken and pass away,
And the mighty are taken away without a hand.
Everyone dies. It's a sad and unfortunate truth. It happens in a moment and we don't always know when it's coming. You live life differently when you appreciate this truth and treasure the time that you have each day.
4. Ask God for what you need.
Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;
Think about the last time you couldn't sleep.
Did you pray and ask God to help you? Or did you go on your phone and try to drown out the anxious thoughts? Can I be honest? I'm typically doing the second one...
But in the book of Luke, we see that God encourages us to ask for what we need. He even encourages us to be persistent like a friend in the middle of the night asking for food.
5. God gives you wisdom.
1 Kings 3:20
So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast.
Have you ever heard the phrase: "splitting the baby"? It comes from this chapter in the Bible. King Solomon had just asked God for wisdom to help him as he rules God's people. Later on, two women come and ask him to make a ruling. Both were claiming that a baby was their own. One said that the other had stolen her baby in the middle of the night. Solomon said, "let's cut the baby in half and give half to each woman." Gruesome, right? Well, the real mother said absolutely not, the other woman can have my baby if that saves my son! It showed Solomon who the real mother was.
Now, we look back and say everyone was crazy in that story - right? Who would steal a baby? Who would recommend that a baby be cut in half? and who would give their baby to the crazy one who stole the baby, to begin with?
I digress. We see here that God gave Solomon the wisdom to know what to do in this specific time and place. We can trust God to give us wisdom too - we just need to ask and study the wisdom he's already given us in places like Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
Fifteen (Taylor's Version)
6. If God called you to it, he'll get you through it.
But when the fourteenth night came, as we were being driven about in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors began to surmise that they were approaching some land.
Paul felt called to preach the message of the Gospel to Cesar. He was confident in this calling so much so that he appealed his case to the main man in Rome. This shipwreck happened on the way to Rome.
We see throughout Acts 27, Paul, a prisoner, praying for the crew and encouraging them that no one will be lost in the shipwreck. Paul is so confident in what God has called him to that not even a terrible storm that lasts for 14 days will make his faith waiver.
Remember, if God has called you to it. He will be the one that will get you through it even in the midst of the storm.
Jump Then Fall (Taylor's Version)
7. God can use dreams to tell us things.
Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Have you ever heard of Daniel and the Lion's Den - this is THAT Daniel. He's the one who had so much faith that he went into a literal lion's den and was confident that God would take care of him.
In this chapter, King Nebuchadnezzar is being tormented by these dreams that he's having. He goes to the smartest and most religious people in the kingdom but they can't figure it out. Finally, Daniel steps in and is able to interpret the king's dream.
I feel like these days, it's less likely to believe that God can speak through dreams but we see right here that he does.
So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night from a weird dream, don't just write it off right away. Ask God what he might be saying to you through it.
Starlight (Taylor's Version
8. God shows mercy.
Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt.
This verse falls right at the climax of the story. We enter and see that there have been nine plagues in an effort to get Pharaoh to allow the Hebrew slaves to go free. For four hundred years, they had kept hundreds of thousands of people enslaved and God had had enough.
In an effort to warn them of the great heartache ahead, God sent Moses to Pharaoh to let him know that the tenth and final plague would be terrible - the killing of the firstborn. Once again and for one final time, the Pharaoh, didn't let this phase him. He still refused to free 1,000,000 people from slavery.
State of Grace (Taylor's Version)
9. God fights for the oppressed.
And that night at midnight, the Lord struck down all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn son of the prisoner in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed.
In this verse, we see God completing what he promised to do in Exodus 11 in the middle of the night. I'll be honest, this passage is hard to swallow. This is the marshmallowy God that I like to think of. Instead, this is the almighty God who is standing up against oppression.
As Christians today, we should take note and see how much God cares for the oppressed in this passage and in others throughout the Word of God.
10. We should be ready for Jesus to return.
But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
Jesus spoke often of the times that he would return and he told his followers to be ready for it. I've often wondered what that means - to be ready for Jesus to return to this earth. Does it mean living each day as if it were your last? That seems impractical. Does it mean thinking about it constantly? Maybe. Does it mean we shouldn't ever sleep? That's terrible for us.
So what does it mean? Let's look at the next midnight we find in Mark 13.
Change (Taylor's Version)
11. Do what God has called you.
Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—
Jesus relates the end times to a manager leaving his servants to keep watch over his home. So, I think we can conclude that this is how we should live - realizing that what we have on this earth isn't really ours. It was given to us to make God's Kingdom great. It was given to us to help others know Him. This includes our talent. Think about your calling. Are you in it right now? Do you believe that if Jesus were to come back right now, you'd be proud of what you're doing?
12. Even in your darkest times, still praise God.
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
At this point in time, Paul and Silas were literally in prison. They had no idea what was about to happen - Would they be killed for their faith? Would they rot in prison for the rest of their lives? Whatever they thought, I bet they didn't have an earthquake that opens up all the doors of the prison on their bingo card.
In the darkness of the night, they sang songs and prayed to God. They didn't let their dark circumstance bring them down or at least if they were feeling down, they brought it to God.
The next time you're facing hard times, take a moment and ask God for help and praise him even though it's hard.
13. Nothing is impossible for God.
On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!”
Think for a moment. What's impossible for you right now? In this passage, God literally used Paul to raise someone from the dead after he had preached for too long. If he can raise someone from the dead, God can certainly help you too. Be bold and ask God today and then trust him with the results.
Are you looking for a church? We'd love for you to check out Anchor! Go to www.anchorchurchil.com/getinvovled to find out more.