The Ministry of Music
Dr. Randy White
" 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…" (1 Chronicles 25:1, NASB95)
Music has been a contentious aspect of worship for many years. For decades preachers have joked that when Satan was cast out of heaven, he landed in the choir loft!
While battles rage (and, I predict, will rage until Jesus comes) over the style of music, one thing is certain: music is and will be an important part of worship.
As King David was organizing the Levites for ministry, he created a music ministry that would use the tool of music to help people both worship and apply the Word of God to their lives. The phrase in today’s verse that says the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun were “to prophesy with lyres, harps, and cymbals” is not to be misunderstood. The lyres, harps and cymbals were accompaniment to the prophetic work, not the means of the work. A better translation of the Hebrew would be “the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, who were prophets using lyres, harps, and cymbals.”
A prophet is, in its simplest form, one who speaks the Word of God to the world around them. Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun were gifted to speak the Word using music. Others would do so with preaching and teaching. Some would do so with dramatic visualization (such as Zechariah).
Music has a place in proclaiming God’s Word. All of our music should, then, be as true to God’s Word as our preaching and teaching. At times we say of a preacher “He is all heat and no light”. Music can be all warm-fuzzies and no doctrinal content, or all milk and no meat. Music must fill the prophetic role of proclaiming God’s Word. In Deuteronomy 32 Moses gave his final instruction to Israel in the form of a song, today called, “The Song of Moses.” This song was teaching, application, and proclamation of God’s Word.
The next time you hear a song of the church, ask yourself if it teaches or applies God’s Word, admonishes Holy living, or proclaims the Gospel. Determine the value of the song based on its fidelity to the Bible.
In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White
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