Archives For Music

The Psalmists address God with the vocative form “O” in at least 100 of the Psalms (>66%):

Ps. 3:3, 7; 4:1; 5:1, 3, 8, 10; 6:1ff; 7:1, 3, 6, 8; 8:1, 9; 9:1f, 13, 19f; [7]

10:1, 12; 12:7; 13:1, 3; 16:1; 17:1, 6f, 13f; 18:1, 15, 49; 19:14; [7]

21:1; 22:3, 19; 25:1, 4, 6f, 11, 22; 26:1f, 6; 27:7, 9, 11; 28:1; [6]

30:1ff, 8, 10, 12; 31:1, 5, 9, 14, 17; 33:22; 35:1, 22, 24; 36:5ff; 38:1, 15, 21f; 39:12; [7]

40:5, 9, 11, 13; 41:10; 42:1; 43:1, 4; 44:1, 4, 23; 45:6; 48:9f; [7]

51:1, 10, 14f, 17; 54:1f, 6; 55:1, 9, 23; 56:1f, 7, 12; 57:1, 5, 7, 9, 11; 58:6; 59:3, 5, 8, 11; [7]

60:1, 10; 61:1, 5; 62:12; 63:1; 64:1; 65:1f, 5; 66:10; 67:3, 5; 68:7, 9f, 24, 28, 35; 69:1, 5f, 13, 16, 29; [10]

70:1, 5; 71:1, 5, 12, 17ff, 22; 72:1; 73:20; 74:1, 10, 18, 22; 75:1; 76:6; 77:13, 16; 79:1, 9, 12; [9]

80:3f, 7, 14, 19; 82:8; 83:1, 16; 84:1, 3, 8f, 12; 85:4, 7; 86:1ff, 6, 8f, 11f, 14f; 88:1, 13; 89:5, 8, 15, 51; [8]

90:13; 92:5, 9; 93:3, 5; 94:1, 5, 12, 18; 97:8; 99:8; [6]

101:1; 102:1, 12; 104:1, 24; 106:4, 47; 108:1, 3, 5, 11; 109:1, 21, 26; [6]

115:1; 116:4, 16; 118:25; 119:12, 31, 33, 41, 52, 55, 57, 64f, 75, 89, 107f, 137, 145, 149, 151, 156, 159, 169, 174; [4]

120:2; 123:1, 3; 125:4; 126:4; [4]

130:1, 3; 132:8; 135:13; 137:7; 138:4, 8; 139:1, 4, 17, 19, 21, 23; [6]

140:1, 4, 6ff; 141:3, 8; 142:5; 143:1, 7, 9, 11; 144:5, 9; 145:10 [6]

These Psalms have 277 verses in which the Psalmist addresses God by saying, “O . . .” These vocatives for deity occur at least 295 times in the Psalms.

This data instructs us that Christian music used to worship God should regularly use the vocative form “O” to address God.

Lord willing, I will begin teaching a 15-week Bible college class Acceptable Music for Corporate Worship this Thursday! Through this class, I hope to disciple several Spanish students to know, understand, and do what the Bible teaches about this vital subject.

The students in this class will read the book of Psalms and La Batalla por La Música Cristiana, the Spanish translation of The Battle for Christian Music by Tim Fisher. They will memorize select passages about music, They will also write a paper on what the book of Psalms teaches about acceptable instrumental music for corporate worship.

I praise God for the opportunity to teach a college-level class on this subject!

Praise Glorious is a new hymnal supplement that my church Mount Calvary Baptist produced this year! I am very grateful that it includes my first published hymn O Sinner, Hear!, a song that I wrote more than 10 years ago.

This hymn has been sung in several churches, including as a special at my church. The hymn highlights how God wants all mankind to hear His urgent message to repent and turn to Him because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through the Man whom He raised from the dead and has appointed to be the Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 17:30-31).

Adult Beginning Guitar Class!

December 16, 2017

Lord willing, I will be teaching an adult beginning guitar class for Majesty Music Academy in Spring 2018. If you know of anyone in the Greenville, SC area who might be interested in learning guitar by enrolling in a guitar class, please let them know about this opportunity.

Balaam professed that the Lord was his God (Num. 22:18). Yet, both Testaments record that he was a wicked man who harmed God’s people greatly (Num. 31:16; Rev. 2:14).

God gave profound authentic revelation about the Messiah through him (Num. 24:15-19). God has even inscripturated that revelation for all time in the Bible.

Theologians have rightly used the authentic revelation given by God through Balaam in spite of his wickedness. We can and should learn doctrine and edify one another through the recorded oracles of Balaam that God has given to us in Scripture.

Similarly, God’s people have used songs or musical pieces that accurately convey truth about God even though they have been written by otherwise perverse people.

Given that the former practice (using divine revelation given through Balaam) is indisputably proper, are there any valid reasons to hold that it is improper for us to use good music that has been produced by ungodly sources? Should Christians use good music from ungodly sources?

“Always the Same” is a beautiful hymn by Ron Hamilton that extols how Jesus is unchanging. Recently, four of us from my church ministered this hymn as an oboe, cello, viola, and guitar quartet.

“Old MacDonald” is a favorite kids’ song that many children learn at an early age. “David Learned to Play the Harp” is sung to the same tune, but it teaches some biblical truth.

This PDF provides the melody notes, lyrics, and guitar chords to play this song in the key of C. You can practice playing and singing the song using the audio provided below.

David Learned to Play the Harp

David learned to play the harp;
Little did he know;
That one day God would use him to
Make a demon go.

With a note, note here,
And a chord, chord there,
Ev’rywhere, ev’ry day,
He would play a psalm, psalm.

David learned to play the harp,
pleasing his God so.

Copyright © 2017 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Is the use of musical instruments in worship important? Several biblical lines of reasoning provide an answer to this crucial question.

Jewish Use of Musical Instruments in True Worship

Numerous passages of varying types reveal that the use of musical instruments in true worship of the Jews was divinely ordained (Ps. 33:1-3) and divinely accepted (2 Chron. 5:11-14). Such passages make clear that it was essential for God’s people to use musical instruments in worshiping Him.

Pagan Use of Musical Instruments in False Worship

Daniel 3 records a momentous instance of false worship that featured extensive use of musical instruments. In fact, no other passage of Scripture emphasizes the use of musical instruments in worship in quite the same manner as Daniel 3 does.

King Nebuchadnezzar forced people from all the nations that were under his dominion to respond to music as an impetus to false worship of the image that he had erected. No other passage of Scripture documents such an international occasion of false worship that employed what almost certainly was a vast number of musicians playing a vast number of musical instruments.

For reasons that we cannot know, King Nebuchadnezzar deemed it fitting that musical instruments be extensively used for his image to receive the worship that he desired for it to receive on this occasion. Scripture thus reveals to us that the paramount instance of false worship in human history to date involved the use of musical instruments on an unparalleled level in international affairs in human history.

The Divine Mandate for Worldwide Use of Musical Instruments in True Worship

Scripture reveals that God has commanded all peoples of the earth to worship Him using musical instruments:

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.

Note that these commands were not given only to the Jews nor were these commands an aspect of any of the covenants that God made specifically with them. These commands were not a part of the Law.

All the earth has never obeyed these commands of God. Scripture provides no basis for holding that these commands are no longer the will of God.

Heavenly Use of Musical Instruments in True Worship

Several passages in Revelation teach us that heavenly worship features the use of musical instruments as a prominent aspect of such worship (Rev. 5:8-14; 14:2-3; 15:2-4). We can be certain that such use of musical instruments was not in any way of human origin; the worship of God in heaven has always been and will always be exactly and only what God has ordained.

Because God has given us revelation about the use of musical instruments in heavenly worship, we know that the use of musical instruments in true worship is an essential element of such worship.


God commanded His chosen people, the Jews, to worship Him with the use of musical instruments. He has commanded all the earth to do so.

The paramount instance of idolatrous worship recorded in Scripture included the vast use of instrumental music— how much more must true worship of the living and true God include such use of musical instruments. Revelation about heavenly worship confirms this view about the necessity of using musical instruments in true worship by showing us that musical instruments are central to the worship of God in heaven.

Based on this biblical data, the lack of specific NT mention of or command for such use in worship does not provide any valid basis for holding that we do not need to use musical instruments in our worship today. We must use musical instruments in our corporate worship to give God the glory that is due His name!

This fairly recent article (2012) explains the origins of rock music. It is not written by a “wacko” fundamentalist with an ax to grind—the author is a rock musician.

Reading this article (and many others like it) should make clear to any Christian the ungodly origins and nature of this musical style. God demands that we “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5:11), including any such musical styles.

Note: I did not watch any of the videos that are in this article and would recommend strongly that you do not do so either.

Numbers 10:1-10 reveals that God directed His people to make two silver trumpets and then assigned specific meanings to various uses of those musical instruments. For example, blowing the trumpets signaled that the entire assembly gather at the door of the tabernacle (Num. 10:3) whereas blowing only one trumpet signaled to the princes to gather to Moses (Num. 10:4).

This passage shows that certain humans have been supernaturally directed concerning assigned musical meanings communicated by specific uses of certain musical instruments. Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians concerning an apparently well-understood response to a trumpet being used in a specific way (1 Cor. 14:7-8) may attest to something similar or may in fact refer back ultimately to God’s revelation to Moses that Numbers 10 records.

Scripture also reveals that demonic spirits have influenced human beings to do many things without those human beings having any knowledge about such influence directing them to do so (1 Chron. 21:1; 2 Chron. 18:21; Acts 5:3).

Just as God directed His people to do specific things with musical instruments that would convey specific assigned meanings, it is entirely possible that demonic spirits have influenced human beings to do things with musical instruments that communicate specific assigned meanings in the heavenly realm, meanings which are entirely unknown by humans and unknowable by them apart from supernatural revelation (either divine or demonic) about those meanings.

To hold that demonically assigned musical meanings to human use of musical instruments in specific ways is impossible has no biblical basis and goes against specific divine revelation about supernatural influences on humans that have directed them to do things that the humans had no knowledge were their actually doing what the supernatural beings wanted the humans to do. We must consider also that various rock musicians have testified of demonic influence upon them in their producing and playing their music.

Aside from the corrupting influences of rock music on its human hearers, we must consider the possibility that rock music has a demonically assigned meaning to it such that anyone who plays music in that style communicates anti-God sentiments to supernatural beings, sentiments which are humanly unknowable. Such a possibility provides one more valid reason for Christians not to listen to, play, or use rock music in any other way.