Music can be powerful. Studies show that music can…
- Affect your mood
- Alter buying habits
- Make you work more efficiently
- Relieve pain
- Reduce stress
- Increase stress
- Affect your eating habits
- Increase athletic performance
The list goes on and on. Music also helps teach. When we sing something we remember the words. One of the first songs we teach children ends with, “Now I’ve sung my A-B-Cs, next time won’t you sing with me?” Stroke patients who have lost their speech can be taught to speak again by singing. Those who stutter have been helped through singing.
When my dad had Alzheimer’s he could not remember people’s names or who they were. However he could listen to a CD of gospel songs and sing every one of them without missing a beat or lyric. Then he would look at me and say, “You know what that song says is true. God is great!”
God created music and it can be a powerful tool. The Psalms show us that music was used to praise and worship God. But music was used for other purposes in biblical times as well. Music was used to…
- …soothe the soul as mentioned in 1 Samuel 16:23. “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
- …stir up the gift of prophesy as mentioned in 2 Kings 3:15. Elisha said, “But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.”
- …inspire as mentioned in 2 Chronicles 20:21, 22. When Jehoshaphat was going into battle he appointed singers unto the Lord. As they went out before the army, they sang, “Praise the Lord; for his mercy endures forever.” And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the children of Ammon and Moab which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
- …teach God’s Word as mentioned in Colossians 3:16. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
- …release the power of God as mentioned in Acts 16:25-26. Paul and Silas found this out when they were in jail. “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, and the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s shackles were loosed.”
- …etch the mighty power of God in our memories. In Exodus 15:1 Moses sang a song of praise to God for deliverance from Pharaoh. “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord: I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously…” It’s quite long so I won’t quote all of it here. Some say this song of Moses is the oldest recorded song in the world.
Songs were used throughout biblical times to express: joy, triumph, grief, relief, celebration, thanks, praise, and so on. Matthew 26:30 tells us that when the last supper had ended Jesus the disciples sang a hymn before leaving. What a powerful image!
It seems so sad that this wonderful creation of God has caused so much division in his church. In our next few blogs we will explore some aspects of music and its impact on God’s people.