Praise the LORD with Music

Not referring to the words, is it possible to have good music? Not simply music that has nothing wrong with it, but music that has something right with it? That is righteous, holy, edifying, Godly music? Can it be? Well let's see. I think it is, praise the Lord! Consider Psalms 49:3-4 "My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding. I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle:." Look at that last line, expound a riddle with a harp? Isn't that amazing. Reminds me of Jesus telling his parables. Only it's different, David doesn't speak them, he plays his harp. Sounds pretty good to me. Let's look at praising God in scripture, is there anything good about such praise? Yes, praise is a WONDERFUL thing. Like Psalm 150 (I love that psalm). Sure we find many references to praising God with words or lyrics in the Bible, but look at some of the things mentioned here... trumpet, harp, lyre, tambourine, dancing, strings, flute, cymbals... do any of those things speak words? No, and I find that very exciting, you can praise God with music! Now let's look at 2 Chro. 25, verse 3b says "using the harp in thanking and praising the LORD." Here we find thanking the Lord with music. Thanking is a lot like praising, but slightly different. So I think we can say that thanking is another righteous thing done with music in the Bible. And now we come to my all time favorite verse on music, and that is 1Chronicles 25:1 "Moreover, David and the commanders of the army set apart for the service some of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun, who were to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals; and the number of those who performed their service was:". What I saw here is the phrase "prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals". Prophesying by using musical instruments is mentioned 3 times in 1Chronicles 25. Isn't that amazing? Prophesying with music! What is prophesying? Isn't it none other than proclaiming messages from God. Wow, I didn't know you could do that with a musical instrument! But now I do. That was a great, great, great encouragement to me when I first saw that verse! Because prophesying is something definitely from God. This is the verse that the Lord initially used to show me that music can actually speak God's words. And that it does not simply facilitate, but it can actually preach the truths of God!!!!! Regrettably, I must mention that the NIV does blow this one, it says "prophesying, accompanied by harps..." oh well, goofy NIV. But all the other translations say prophesying with the actual musical instruments. (KJV/NASB/ASV/Young's) So I say, skip the NIV on this one.

Now, I am going to say something that goes against many Christian's most firmly held beliefs. So I ask that you once again surrender your all to Jesus before reading on. Pray this, "Lord break down my own thoughts, and replace them with Yours. I surrender all my traditions, to You. I am open and accepting of all You want for me. I release every selfish thing I have lived for, and give it over to You 100%."

What the Lord showed me from 1Chronicles 25:1 is... "If music can be righteous, it is not amoral."

That one thought was enormously powerful for me. Why would wicked people be so much into music, if all music was righteousness, and prophesying to people. There must be evil music too. Why would there be music going along with the nakedness, and idol worship found in Ex 32:18 (the golden calf)? There must be two choices, either Godly music, or sinful music.

I think we can learn from the heart of God as shown in Scripture, see His character. For example I see an addiction to anything other than God as sin, the sin of idolatry. Smoking, or worse yet smoking pot, although not mentioned in the Bible, I think we can call sin for that reason. Or anything that is destructive to the body, like the verse about not marking your flesh(Le 19:28), we can find that smoking is wrong by this also. And then there is the fruit of the Spirit of self control. If we are being controlled by something else such as a drug, it gives a false sense that everything is fine, we don't need to repent. We are to be in control of our mind, not controlled by anything other than our self, controlled by the Spirit.

We should not live our life by laws, we live by a higher law and that is the law of love (the book of Hebrews). Not only are we to abstain from adultery, we are to not even lust after a woman. This is a very FREEING revelation. It is easy to follow God in all our ways out of LOVE! It is a bondage to live by rules and regulations. It is so much more fun to be pure, than to live in sin! Oh, praise God for his amazing grace! It brings us victory over all the bondages of Satan! It brings a life full of joy! I could care less if a law is written in the Bible against certain music. I strive to love beyond what is regulated. Frankly, anything less is a weight, and brings pain. So, how do we find out what music glorifies self, or Satan rather than God? I think it takes knowing God intimately. Being fully sold out to Him. Here are some ways I believe He has revealed to me of knowing what music is of God and what is of Satan. We can learn a lot from the world(Luke 16:8b) too. Look up some things in Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead's book Drumming at the Edge of Magic. He's all for Satan's music. Absolutely nothing that I have seen deals with lyrics in the whole book. Just music used as a medium of the Devil. That's what he lives for.

I don't really like talking much about all this filth of the world, or Satan's music. I'd much rather talk about victory in JESUS! Wouldn't you!!! Reminds me of Eph 5:18 "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." I want to be filled with the Spirit, be under His control. That is the true life of joy. Yippee! Thank you Lord! I don't have to live there in Satan's debauchery any more. Jesus is my life!

-Brother Bear

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