While reading through Deuteronomy again, I was again struck with the importance of the divine revelation that it provides concerning differences between husbands and their wives:

Deu 24:5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

This passages shows us that God instructed His people that husbands had a responsibility to promote the cheerfulness of their wives.

The NT fully corroborates this teaching and goes far beyond it when it plainly reveals a crucial distinction between husbands and wives:

1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Through this statement, God has instructed His people that husbands must live with their wives with a proper recognition of and active consideration for her as being the weaker vessel.

Both Testaments thus are unequivocal in providing us with crucial teaching that makes clear that men and women are not equals in every way. Let us fully and wholeheartedly espouse what God has revealed in these passages and in many other related passages so that we will as Christians fully shine as lights in this dark world in the way that God wants us to.

A person who desires to abide in the presence of God has to be an upright person who lives all his life according to what God has revealed. God revealed to David a challenging aspect of being such a person:

Psa 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

This revelation teaches that when a righteous person makes a promise to someone, he is to keep his word even though it may cost him personally to do so.

Joshua 9 provides an excellent illustration of such uprightness. Because they had failed to ask counsel from God (Josh. 9:14), the Israelites were deceived by the people of Gibeon into making a league with them (Josh. 9:6) and making peace with them so that they would allow them to live (Josh. 9:15).

Although they had been deceived into doing so, the Israelites had to honor the commitment that they swore to them by the Lord:

Jos 9:19 But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 20 This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.

We should learn from this account that we must be very careful what promises we make to people and that we must keep our word when we do so in spite of how it may hurt us to do so.

Joshua 9 thus provides us with a sobering, excellent illustration of the necessity of keeping our word.

 

 

For us as Christians, no matter what our current circumstances may be, it will always be true that the Lord has dealt bountifully with us. Therefore, we should sing unto the Lord as long as we live, just as the Psalmist says that he would do:

Psalm 13:6 I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 104:33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

Psalm 146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Let us sing to the Lord as long as we live!

I praise God for the grace that He imparted me to minister His truth about music to the brethren of Foundation Baptist Church on March 26, 2017. At my request, Pastor Gillis has written a recommendation letter for my ministry.

He also shared the following “blurb” with me about my ministry:

Most Christians agree that music is an important factor in our worship of God. However, there is much debate about the style of music to be used. Most agree that what the words say is very important, but there is disagreement about the morality of the music itself. What do I think? That’s not important. What God says in His Word is, however, critical. Dr. Rajesh Gandhi recently spoke at our church on Acceptable Music for Corporate Worship. The four messages focused on what the Bible says about the subject. Foundational to the series was an effective refutation of the popular meme that music is neither right nor wrong (amoral). This was interwoven with a Biblical theology of music throughout the Bible and the history of man. For those who want to please God with all they do, including their music, this series of messages is essential. May God open the doors for this message to be taught.

If you know of any brethren who would be interested in having me minister to their people on this subject, please have them contact me. Thanks for any help that any of you as readers of this post is able to provide me with in reaching more brethren with these messages.

Dr. Steve D. Pettit recently preached a helpful chapel message on the subject of music.

Psalm 106 ends by making known something that God desired that all His people would say:

Psalm 106:48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD. {Praise…: Heb. Hallelujah}

Psa 106:48 בָּר֤וּךְ־יְהוָ֙ה אֱלֹהֵ֪י יִשְׂרָאֵ֡ל מִן־הָ֤עוֹלָ֙ם׀ וְעַ֬ד הָעוֹלָ֗ם וְאָמַ֖ר כָּל־הָעָ֥ם אָמֵ֗ן הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ׃

Psalm 150:1 shows us that the same Hebrew expression  that ends Psalm 106:48 (הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ) and is translated as “Praise ye the LORD” in both Psalms is transliterated as αλληλουια in the LXX rendering of Psalm 150:1:

Psa 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Psa 150:1 הַ֥לְלוּ יָ֙הּ׀ הַֽלְלוּ־אֵ֥ל בְּקָדְשׁ֑וֹ הַֽ֜לְל֗וּהוּ בִּרְקִ֥יעַ עֻזּֽוֹ׃

Psa 150:1 αλληλουια αἰνεῖτε τὸν θεὸν ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ αἰνεῖτε αὐτὸν ἐν στερεώματι δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ

Revelation 19 illumines the OT directives from God that are found in both Psalm 106:48 and in Psalm 150:1 by teaching us that heavenly angelic beings say exactly what God directed His people of old to say at the end of Psalm 106:

Rev 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

Rev 19:4 καὶ ἔπεσαν οἱ πρεσβύτεροι οἱ εἴκοσι τέσσαρες καὶ τὰ τέσσαρα ζῷα καὶ προσεκύνησαν τῷ θεῷ τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ λέγοντες· ἀμὴν ἁλληλουϊά,

Notice that Revelation 19:4 ends with a transliteration of אָמֵ֗ן הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ that is found at the end of Psalm 106:48 and teaches us that saying “Amen; Alleluia” is what heavenly beings say when they worship God!

By comparing Psalm 106:48 with Revelation 19:4, we learn that the directive at the end of Psalm 106:48 was a directive about how God wanted His people to worship Him—they were to say, “Amen, Praise ye the Lord.” We should learn from this comparison that God wants both angelic beings and humans to worship Him by saying these two expressions!

Scripture provides more than 3000 verses pertaining to the subject of music. Based on an extensive analysis of the biblical revelation about human musical activity, I believe that a very helpful way to understand divine revelation about music is to organize that revelation chronologically into seven periods of human musical activity on earth.

The Seven Periods of Human Musical Activity on Earth

The following listing provides key passages concerning music in each period. As far as I can tell, the references in the first two periods are the only revelation that we have about music in those periods; the listing in the other periods is highly selective and leaves out much other revelation that is in Scripture.

1. Music before the Flood

Gen 4:21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

2. Music from the Flood to the Exodus

Job 21:12 They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.

Job 30:31 My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.

Job 35:10 But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;

Gen 31:27 Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?

3. Music from the Exodus to the Monarchy

Exo 15:1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

Exo 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

Exo 32:18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

Deu 31:19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.

Jdg 5:1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,

4. Music from the Monarchy to the Coming of Christ 

1Sa 16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psa 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,  3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

Psa 2:10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.  11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Psa 33:1 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. 2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.  3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. 4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. 5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

Psa 106:48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

1Ch 25:1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:  3 Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD. . . .  6 All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the king’s order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman.  7 So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight.

2Ki 3:15 But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.

Dan 3:5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

Amo 5:23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

5. Music at the Time of Christ

Mat 9:23 And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,

Mat 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

Luk 7:32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.

Luk 15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

6. Music in the Early Church

Act 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Rom 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

1Co 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

1Co 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Col 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. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Jam 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

7. Music before the Great White Throne Judgment

Psa 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. 5 Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. 6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. 7 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 8 Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together 9 Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

Rev 18:22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

Application

Through a careful analysis of the similarities and differences in human musical activity in these periods, we can learn much about what God wants us to know about music. Such a study is especially important for believers who want to worship God acceptably with corporate music that is fully in accord with all that He has revealed.

  1. Of the books of the Bible, Psalms is the longest book in several ways: it has the most chapters, verses, and words of any book, and it has the longest chapter in Scripture. Because the book of Psalms is entirely divinely inspired texts of songs that God’s people were to sing, the longest book in Scripture is entirely about music in that sense.
  2. Of the 150 Psalms, at least 124 have some explicit reference to something that has to do with music.
  3. Scripture provides us with the texts of at least 160 songs; besides Psalms, Song of Solomon is also a book of the Bible that is entirely inspired revelation about music because it is a song.
  4. There are more than 500 verses in Scripture that speak about music explicitly and more than 3000 verses total on the subject.
  5. At least 243 verses refer to singing, and 171 verses speak of musical instruments in some manner.

The NT highlights the importance of music in many additional ways:

  1. The NT quotes the book of Psalms more than any other book of the OT.
  2. The NT speaks of Christ’s singing when He was on the earth and of His singing someday in the future.
  3. The NT teaches that believers are commanded to be filled with the Spirit, and the first listed result of that filling is believers’ ministering psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another; such believers sing and make melody in their hearts to the Lord.
  4. The NT teaches that believers who have the Word of Christ dwelling richly in them sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to the Lord; such believer teach and admonish one another, including through their singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another.
  5. The NT teaches that believers who are merry are commanded to sing Psalms.
  6. The most important chapter on corporate worship in the Epistles speaks about musical instruments (1 Cor. 14:7-8), singing (1 Cor. 14:15-17), and the eagerness of every believer in the church at Corinth to minister a psalm (1 Cor. 14:26).
  7. The book of Revelation reveals that corporate worship in heaven includes singing accompanied by musical instruments.

The only authentic information that we have about the worship in heaven is what God provides us with in Scripture. Every reference to singing in the worship of heaven is directly connected to the use of musical instruments:

Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Rev 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

We know that the worship of heaven is perfect in every way. We should learn from the music used in heavenly corporate worship that we should use instruments to accompany our singing when we worship God corporately.

Through the prophet Zechariah, God has provided vital revelation about the future of the nation Israel and of the world. Reading the book today, I was struck by a statement that appears to reveal a profound truth about God Himself:

Zechariah 9:14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.

This statement informs us that God Himself will blow the trumpet on this future occasion!

God certainly did not learn to do this from any human beings; this verse, therefore, seems to reveal the stunning truth that God Himself will play this musical instrument! If this is the right understanding of this text, it puts a new light on many related texts:

Exo 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

Isa 18:3 All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.

Isa 27:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Is God the divine Instrumentalist?