Archives For Music

Any song that God has inspired to be in Scripture is a perfect song. Scripture reveals that God has provided us with a song that is a perfect love song!

“A Song of Loves”

The Spirit inspired Psalm 45 to begin with an explicit statement that it is a love song:

Psalm 45:1 <To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.> My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

From this divine love song, we learn many striking lessons that God intends us to profit from greatly. This post will only treat a few selected truths from the song. The post is by no mean an exhaustive treatment of the valuable lessons that this song provides.

The Subject of This Perfect Love Song

From the beginning of the song, we learn that the subject of this perfect love song is a king (Ps. 45:1). New Testament use of Psalm 45:6-7 teaches us that the ultimate Subject of this perfect love song is God’s own anointed King, the divine Messiah:

Psalm 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. 7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Fearful Activity Revealed in This Perfect Love Song

Second, the Spirit teaches us that this divine King is a mighty Warrior (Ps. 45:3-4) who will engage in fearful activity:

Psalm 45:5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.

Strikingly, this perfect love song speaks explicitly of the King’s destroying His enemies in battle! We thus learn that far from being inappropriate content in a love song, fearful activity by the divine King as the Messianic Judge who judges evil people is fitting content to include in such a song!

The Glorious Character of the Subject of This Perfect Love Song

Third, this perfect love song highlights two key aspects of the glorious character of its Subject (Ps. 45:7). The first key aspect of the glorious character of the King is that He loves righteousness. The Spirit thus teaches us that extolling someone who loves what is right and loves doing right is fitting content for a perfect love song.

The second key aspect of the glorious character of the King is that He hates wickedness. Saying this, the Spirit teaches us that extolling someone who hates what is wicked and hates evildoing is also fitting content for a perfect love song.

Application

Psalm 45 is a perfect love song because God inspired it to be in Scripture. The lessons treated above teach us that speaking about the Messianic Judge as the divine King who renders divine judgment on wicked people is fitting content for a perfect love song!

Moreover, extolling the glorious character of the One who loves righteousness and hates wickedness is fitting content for a perfect love song!

We must sing songs of love that include this glorious content.

Sing to God the King!

January 25, 2020

At least six passages in Scripture highlight singing to God because He is the King.

Psalm 22

Psalm 22:21 Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Psalm 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Psalm 22:23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

Psalm 22:24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

Psalm 22:25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

Psalm 22:26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

Psalm 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

Psalm 22:28 For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.

Psalm 47

Psalm 47:1 <To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.> O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Psalm 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

Psalm 47:3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

Psalm 47:4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

Psalm 47:5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

Psalm 47:6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

Psalm 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

Psalm 47:8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

Psalm 68

Psalm 68:24 They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.

Psalm 68:25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.

Psalm 68:26 Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.

Psalm 95

Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Psalm 95:3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 98

Psalm 98:1 <A Psalm.> O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

Psalm 98:2 The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.

Psalm 98:3 He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Psalm 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Psalm 98:5 Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.

Psalm 98:6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

Revelation 15

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Revelation 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.

Revelation 15:3 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.

Revelation 15:4 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.

Application

Only by meditating much on these passages will we as Christians fully have the right mindset about singing in worship of our God who is the great King!

“Silent Night! Holy Night!” is a beautiful Christmas carol! This PDF provides a chord-melody solo of the carol that includes the notes, chords, chord diagrams, and lyrics for the first line.

Comparing Scripture with Scripture is essential for interpreting the Bible properly. An examination of the following passages about music point to an important comparison about instrumental music:

1 Samuel 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.

2 Kings 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.

To compare these passages properly, we must note that neither passage says anything about singing. Whatever we may conclude about the effects or the results of the playing of instrumental music on both of these occasions, we must attribute those effects or results to the playing of instrumental music alone and not to any lyrics being sung on either occasion.

By comparing these two passages properly in that manner, what do we learn about instrumental music?

Deuteronomy 32:1-43 records a song that is of profound musical importance for many reasons:

1. The song is one of the longest songs in the Bible: 43 verses

2. God appeared to Moses and gave him all the words of the song directly—none of it is at all of human composition

Deuteronomy 31:15 And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle. 16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? 18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. 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.

3. The song instructs us of the stress that God has placed on warning His people about idolatry

Deuteronomy 31:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? 18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. 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. 20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.

Deuteronomy 32:16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.

4. The song witnesses for God against the sinfulness of His own people

Deuteronomy 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.

5. The song begins with a call for all the universe to hear the words of this song

Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

6. The song warns of human beings sacrificing to demons

Deuteronomy 32:16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

7. NT use of the song reveals that bringing about musical worship of God was and is a premier goal of the mission of Christ as the Servant

Deuteronomy 32:43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 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. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.

8. NT use of the song reveals that the song ends with a command to the nations that concerns how the Gentiles are to glorify God for His mercy

Deuteronomy 32:43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 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. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.

Because of the profound musical importance of this song, God’s people must give special attention to profiting fully from it.

 

Guitar Scales for Beginners

October 14, 2019

Learning to play guitar scales in first position. Image copyright 2019 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Beginning guitarists should learn several guitar scales well. Learning the chromatic, natural, and major scales provides beginners with a solid foundation for playing their instrument proficiently.

Chromatic Scales

I teach all my students to play an E chromatic scale on the first string in their first lesson. To play the scale, play the string open, then play all the notes in order from the first fret to the twelfth fret.

The student does not learn the names of the notes at this time; he focuses on proper technique of fingering and sounding each note.

In one of their early lessons, I then teach them to play an E chromatic scale across the strings in first position. I encourage them to use this scale regularly as a warm-up exercise for their playing.

Learning the chromatic scales is a foundational skill that I stress with all my students. Playing these scales with good technique teaches the student many important skills and also helps train their ears.

Natural Scales

Having taught them to play the two E chromatic scales, I teach them to play an A natural scale. Learning a natural scale helps the student learn the names of the notes and which notes have sharps/flats between them and which ones do not.

My students also learn to play an E natural scale across the strings in first position. By learning this scale, the student learns to name all the natural notes in first position.

Learning to play natural scales in multiple positions and on all the strings helps in learning the guitar fretboard well. Knowing the fretboard well is vital for becoming a skilled guitarist who can play at advanced levels.

Major Scales

In addition to teaching them to play chromatic and natural scales, I teach them to play an E major scale on the first string.

I also teach them to play a movable major scale in 4th position. Learning this scales serves many important purposes in the training of skilled guitarists.

Learn These Guitar Scales Well!

Anyone who wants to be a skilled guitarist should learn these guitar scales well. Good teachers should stress the importance of doing so with all their students.

Guitar music for Jesus Loves MeJesus Loves Me is a favorite hymn of believers, especially of children. This PDF provides the guitar chords and lyrics to play the first stanza of the song.

In addition, you can practice playing the chords to this song to the melody by using the audio of the melody:


See the full lyrics here.

Scripture reveals in many ways that feasts to the Lord were an important part of Israel’s worship and service to the Lord. Moreover, it also teaches that their importance will extend far beyond just Israel in the future.

This article presents some biblical aspects of the importance of feasts to the Lord.

An Explicitly Stated Purpose for the Exodus

Prior to the Exodus, God directed Moses and Aaron repeatedly to confront Pharaoh with His demand that he let His people go to hold a feast to Him in the wilderness:

Exodus 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

Exodus 10:9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.

The First Occasion of Idolatrous Corruption of Corporate Worship in a Feast

Exodus 32 records at length that the people engaged in idolatrous corporate worship on the first occasion that purportedly was supposed to have been corporate worship in a feast to the Lord. A careful treatment of the dark record of this corruption of what should have been a feast to the Lord points to the importance of the proper observance of feasts that were to the Lord.

Commanded Occasions of National Worship with Music

God commanded Israel to observe three yearly feasts to Him as special occasions of worshiping Him corporately as a nation:

Exodus 23:14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.

Numbers 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.

Nahum 1:15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

Divinely Inspired Songs for Ascending to Jerusalem for the Feasts

God gave Israel a special collection of Psalms that they were to use when they ascended to Jerusalem to celebrate their feasts to the Lord: Psalms 120-134. His doing so testifies to the special importance of these feasts to the Lord.

An Element of Continuity in Israel’s Worship Throughout Much of Its History

By recording that the Israelites will come to the Millennial Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate solemn feasts to the Lord, Scripture reveals that feasts to the Lord will in that day have been one element of continuity in Israel’s worship of Him throughout much of its history:

Ezekiel 46:9 But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.

Worldwide Obligation to Observe Feasts in the Millennium

In the Millennium, God will require all the nations of the world to come up to Jerusalem yearly to worship Him by celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles:

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Should the music used in missions be in the “heart language” of the people being evangelized? This parable presents an important test case for assessing this notion about music used in missions.

Discovery of a New Tribe

Researchers discover a new tribe of people in a remote island that they had thought was uninhabited. They find out that these people are cannibals. The cannibals are also idolaters who sacrifice people as part of their worship of their idols.

Moreover, as part of one of their yearly feasts, the entire tribe gathers to eat people that they have sacrificed to an idol. After having sacrificed those people to an idol, the worshipers sit down to eat the people that they had sacrificed to the idol and to do so as part of their worship.

Following their meal, the cannibalistic idolaters rise up to play. In their playing, they fornicate ritually, sing, and dance wildly. They do so to music played by musicians who also participated in the eating of the sacrifices.

The researchers secretly document all that takes place in this feast with top-notch drones that produce high quality audio and video recordings of all that took place in the feast. They release the recordings in an international news documentary. Some Christians see the horrific documentary and decide that they have to reach these people for Christ.

Music Used in Missions

Some missionaries decide to take a missions trip to reach these people. God works marvelously and some of the cannibalistic idolaters become believers!

The newly converted people have a burden to reach the rest of their own people. They plant a church and invite some of their own people to their services.

The missionaries teach the people that they should use music in their own “heart language” to reach people in their services. Because of what the missionaries teach them, the former idolaters decide to use in their services the same styles of instrumental music that they know the idolatrous musicians played in those idolatrous feasts. Of course, they use that music to accompany godly lyrics.

Based on what Scripture reveals, what should we think of what these converted idolaters did musically in their church? Was their use of that music to evangelize something that is legitimate? Did the missionaries correctly teach these people about using music to evangelize people?

In First Corinthians, Paul emphasized that the Corinthians must not be idolaters by playing idolatrously as the Israelites did in the Golden Calf Incident (1 Cor. 10:7), which including their producing demonically influenced music on that occasion (1 Cor. 10:18-20 applied to Exod. 32:17-18). In addition, the Pauline emphasis in this passage included a command to flee idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14).

Moreover, we find this emphasis reiterated in Second Corinthians when he again instructed them that they must not have anything in common with the unrighteousness and darkness of idolatrous unbelievers:

A Reiterated Pauline Emphasis

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Because Paul reiterated this vital emphasis, we must heed what he emphasized to the Corinthians by properly applying it to our music!

Application to Our Music

Like the Corinthians, we must reject all the unclean things (2 Cor. 6:17) that reprobate idolaters as inventors of evil things (Rom. 1:30) have made, including musical forms sourced in demonic influence upon them in their idolatrous worship (Exod. 32:17-18; cf. 1 Cor. 10:7). We must not have any fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11).