Music has been with us from the beginning of time. In Genesis 4, there is given to us the beginnings of the human race and the divisions that developed. In Genesis 4:21, there is a man whose name is Jubal. It is said of him, “…Jubal was the father of all those who play the pipe and lyre”. Thus we have the beginning of organized music. I assume that along with the pipe and lyre, there may have been voices that began to express emotions and reflect on culture. That is what music is and what it does.

Thus, the theme of music begins to show itself through the Bible. Music is not further mentioned until the days of Moses. It is interesting to note that Noah nor his sons used music, and as the nations developed, there is no mention of music, though I believe it was present. Noah did not sing as he exited the ark. The Bible does not express culture but rather man’s relationship with God. Certainly, this is the role of music. It expresses who I am and what I am feeling and experiencing.

Moses sang. He had led Israel for over forty years. It must have been a great feeling of accomplishment as they arrived at their destination. What did Moses sing? I do not have room to write the words to his entire song, but the words are preserved for us in Deuteronomy 32. Listen:

“For the Lord’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the allotment of his inheritance.
He found him in a desert land,
And in the howling waste of wilderness;
He encircled him, he cared for him,
He guarded him as the pupil of His eye;
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest;
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on his pinions”.

You will notice that the focus is on God and what He did. Music has a mystical and powerful force. David was a musician. The Psalms are an expression of his music. When we first meet him, it is mentioned that he is a skilled harpist. The king, Saul, would call on David to play his harp when the king fell into a hole of depression. David’s music would lift the king out of depression. Music has the power to set our moods. Later, when David became king, he organized a choir led by Asaph. The choir would sing at Israel’s festivals. The theme always gave credit to God and all of His wonderful works for Israel.

Nehemiah was a great reformer in Israel. After the King of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem, it was Nehemiah who returned to the ruined city, rebuilt it, and organized a choir. Nehemiah 9:6 records his first attempt at reorganizing the choir. Listen to the song the choir sang;

Oh, may thy glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise.
Thou alone art the Lord
Thou hast made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host.
The earth and all that is on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
Thou dost give life to all of them,
And the heavenly hosts fall down before thee….”

Thus the song continues. In Nehemiah 12: 31, he continues, “Then I had the leaders of Judah come up on the top of the wall, and I appointed two great choirs, the first proceeding to the right…” He had trumpets and cymbals that reinforced the choir.

The greatest of all choirs and expressions came at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The shepherds, guarding their flock alone on the hills, are the only ones who hear as the heavenly choir lit up the darkened sky singing, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

And then the greatest of all choirs is given to us Revelation 5:9-10 “…the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints and they sang a new song saying, “Worthy art thou to take the book and to break the seals for thou wast slain and did purchase for God with thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God and they will reign upon the earth”. Indeed, I think that heaven will be full of music.

G. Campbell Morgan, Anglican pastor of Westminster Chapel in London enlarges on this theme of music. He says, “The final demonstration of the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the joy of the church: I pause to say, alas, alas, and alas, we give so little of that joy to the world. We ought to be a singing people”.

Music has the power to play deeply on my emotions. It can bring tears to my eyes; my heart bursts as I sing, “Holy holy, holy, Lord God almighty…” and with arms lifted and the words flow out of my mouth, “majesty, worship His majesty…”.

Music has brought me to my knees, and music has lifted my spirit. Don’t allow the world to rob you of the gift of music.

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