God’s Word shines a spotlight on music, the music of believing hearts. We definitely love our music here at Positive Heartbeat, but do you realize that when you respond emotionally and enthusiastically to Christian music, you are obeying one part of the most important commandment?
Jesus said that the greatest commandment of the Law of Moses is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
How do we love God with our hearts and souls? Partly through music. Did you realize that when you react with genuine and powerful emotion to a Christian song, you are worshipping God? You are making God happy! When God’s children are exuberantly enthusiastic and thankful to Him, it gives Him joy.
I have to smile every time I see Heather post Jamie Grace’s exuberant song, “It’s A Beautiful Day”. I can tell that Heather’s spirits are lifted by that song, and that makes me happy too! Every now and then Duckie makes a comment about singing along with Christian music on the radio, and I just laugh! Because that makes me feel her joy, and that gives me joy also! Music awakens the soul to sing and shout for joy, and sharing that joy with other believers spreads the feeling around.
That is what good, spiritually healthy, Biblically sound music does for us at its best: it revs up our emotions and directs them in a holy way, until we “raise our hands to Heaven, shout His praises loud!” Maybe just inside, but God also hears the music of our hearts.
That’s why I’ve said several times, thank God that Christian music escaped the chains of the hymnals! I love many of the old hymns, but if “His mercies are new every morning”, our songs ought to at least be new frequently, because we have new joys to sing about!
After all the commendations King Jesus had for the church at Ephesus, He said, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” He warned the Ephesian Christians that it was a serious matter. And “holy music”, if it is successful in provoking us to praise God and love God, is helping us avoid that trap of cold, dead, ritualistic, mechanical faith. Powerful music can make us come alive inside again.
In ancient Israel, there were many occasions of rejoicing and praising God and showing love to God in music.
King David, before he was king:
“And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said, ‘The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies!‘ ” (2nd Samuel 22)
Israelite musicians, appointed by King David, kept a continual song ministry going while Solomon built the Temple, encouraging and inspiring their fellow Israelites:
“These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the Lord after the ark rested there. They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting until Solomon built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they performed their service according to their order.” (1st Chronicles 6)
When the Ark of the Covenant was finally returned from Israel’s enemies and put in its place in the Tabernacle, “Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord by Asaph and his brothers“, with this song:
“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (1st Chronicles 16)
Sometimes when they sang, miracles happened:
When Solomon’s Temple was finished, at the ceremony of dedication … “and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord, ‘For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,’ the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.” (2nd Chronicles 5)
When Israel was about to be attacked by an army of Moabites, Ammonites, and men from Mt. Seir who were numerous enough to destroy Israel, after asking God’s guidance, Jehoshaphat and Israel went to watch the Lord fight for them:
“After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, singing, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.’ … As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.” (2nd Chronicles 20)
When some of the Israelites, returned from captivity in Babylon under Nehemiah, finished building the wall around Jerusalem, the singers were an important part of the celebration:
“And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres.” (Nehemiah 12)
When the foundation of the second Temple was laid, “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord, ‘He is good! His mercy endures forever!’ And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.” (Ezra 3)
Psalm 95:1-3: “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods!”