Music and God
Music plays a very important role in the Christian’s life. God gave man the ability to create it and enjoy it. The Bible records that God Himself, sings over His children. “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” If the Creator of the Universe sings over us, then melody and song must be very important to Him.
Melody can be a great power for good; yet we do not make the most of it in worship. No words can properly set forth the deep blessedness of genuine worship. He who has bestowed upon us all the gifts that enable us to be workers together with God, expects His servants to sing and praise. For the ability to sing is the gift of God. Therefore, let it be used to His glory.
The first recorded song is that of Moses and Miriam found in Exodus 15:1-18 after their deliverance from the captivity of Egypt. The Psalmist wrote, “Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery” (Psalm 81:1,2). The Bible tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).
In the New Testament, we read that Jesus Christ sang to God, His Father. Matthew and Mark both speak of Jesus Christ singing a hymn with His disciples after they had partook of the Last Supper and before going to Gethsemane (Matthew 26:30). If Jesus could sing a song for the Lord just before His crucifixion and death, then all believers should praise regardless of the trials they are going through (Acts 16:16-34).
What Is Acceptable to God?
There is a right and a wrong type of music evidenced by the fruits or results it produces in the listeners. So, how do we determine what is acceptable before God? In order to do that, we need to examine if the melody, harmony and lyrics of the piece would produce a godly effect.
Remember that the rhythm appeals to the flesh but the melody appeals to the spirit. If the musical piece is good, then it will be uplifting drawing the person to goodness (Matthew 7:20). It will not produce love to the world. Instead, it will produce a love to God and His Word.
The development of Christian character requires right thinking. Paul outlines a constructive program of mental activity that can be used for choosing what we should listen to. He writes, “brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
The right kind of melody will refine the thinking and produce a Christ like character in the life of its listeners. It will help aid the believers to meditate on God’s Law (Psalm 119:48b); dwell on what is true (Philippians 4:8); and even pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It will have beauty, pathos, and power.
Finally, a simple test for any selection of melody is: Would we be comfortable listening to it if Jesus Christ was with us? If the answer is no, then we need to replace it with something that Jesus would listen to. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you choose the right melody to listen to.
In His service,
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