Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. Martin Luther
Music is important to God. A quick search on Bible Gateway using the ESV found 29 references to music/musicians/musical and 172 references to singing. That doesn’t include all the other musical terms and instruments mentioned throughout scripture. (As a trumpet player I am compelled to point out that trumpets are mentioned 112 times!)
Music speaks to people in a different way and at a different level than words alone. Here are just a few short examples of both the importance and power of music in the Bible:
- The prophets often used music to accompany their prophetic words (1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Chronicles 25:1).
- David could sooth Saul’s troubled spirit with music (1 Samuel 16:23).
- Over and over in Psalms we are called to make music to God.
- During David’s reign 4,000 Levites were dedicated to the task of praising God with musical instruments (1 Chronicles 23:5).
- Elisha would not (could not?) prophesy until the musician began to play (2 King 3:13-15).
- In one battle, when the people began to praise God in music, then He brought the victory (2 Chronicles 20:21-23).
What is most likely to linger in your mind? A good speech or a good song? Certainly there is the rare speech that grabs us, but we remember many more songs than speeches. Music takes the words and settles them deep in your heart, often touching you in ways words alone never could.
So do not take musical worship lightly. If you are a musician, do not underestimate the power of music to change lives.
If you are in the congregation, sing with all your heart and open yourself to God’s Spirit. Allow Him to touch you. God’s word for you today might be in the songs.
If you are the speaking pastor, realize that God is speaking throughout the service, not just in the sermon. The singers in the Old Testament were considered prophets (1 Chronicles 25:1) and a Spirit filled time of worship will only make people more receptive to the Holy Spirit as you speak.
Question: How have you seen music change lives? Please leave a comment.
by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory
Worship Director at Crosspointe Church