Archives For Theology

I have been studying Psalm 1:1 intensively for many days now:

Ps. 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.

Tonight, I compiled 57 verses that help illumine our understanding of what God wants us to understand about “the counsel of the ungodly” that is spoken about in Psalm 1:1.

 

Num. 31:16  Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

 

2 Sam. 15:34  But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father’s servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

 

2 Sam. 17:21  And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.

 

1 Ki. 12:14  And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

 

1 Ki. 12:28  Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

 

2 Ki. 6:8  Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.

 

1 Chr. 10:13  So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;

 

2 Chr. 22:3  He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.

 

2 Chr. 22:4  Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.

 

2 Chr. 22:5  He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram.

 

Ezr. 4:5  And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

 

Neh. 4:15  And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

 

Neh. 6:7  And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.

 

Job 5:13  He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.

 

Job 10:3  Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?

 

Job 18:7  The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down.

 

Job 21:16  Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

 

Job 22:18  Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

 

Job 38:2  Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

 

Job 42:3  Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

 

Ps. 2:2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

 

Ps. 5:10  Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

 

Ps. 31:13  For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

 

Ps. 33:10  The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.

 

Ps. 64:2  Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:

 

Ps. 71:10  For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,

 

Ps. 81:12  So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

 

Ps. 83:3  They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.

 

Ps. 106:43  Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.

 

Prov. 12:5  The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

 

Isa. 7:5  Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,

 

Isa. 8:10  Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.

 

Isa. 19:3  And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.

 

Isa. 29:15  Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

 

Isa. 30:1  Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

 

Isa. 47:13  Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.

 

Jer. 7:24  But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

 

Jer. 18:23  Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.

 

Jer. 19:7  And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

 

Jer. 49:30  Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you.

 

Ezek. 11:2  Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city:

 

Dan. 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

 

Hos. 4:12  My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

 

Hos. 10:6  It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.

 

Hos. 11:6  And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.

 

Mic. 6:16  For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.

 

Nah. 1:11  There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor.

 

Matt. 22:15  Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

 

Matt. 27:1  When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

 

Matt. 28:12  And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

 

Mk. 3:6  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

 

Lk. 23:51  (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

 

Jn. 11:53  Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

 

Acts 5:33  When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.

 

Acts 5:38  And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

 

Acts 9:23  And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

 

1 Cor. 4:5  Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

 

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Recently, I learned of a believer who holds that Christians should not support the death penalty but rather should support the showing of mercy to those who deserve death for the crimes that they have done. He bases his belief on what he says is a “command” in 1 Timothy 1:15-16 for Christians to follow the example of Christ’s showing mercy to Paul:

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

I do not believe that there is any such “command” in this passage. This passage is not teaching anything about Christians following Christ’s example in showing mercy on those who deserve the death penalty.

It does not say that the example was given for other believers to follow what Jesus did. The passage is saying rather that Paul is a pattern of how Jesus will bestow similar mercy unto salvation for all who will believe, just as Paul did.

Consider also what the apostle Paul said concerning himself:

Acts 25:11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

Paul affirmed that he would not have refused to die had he actually been guilty of having “committed any thing worthy of death.” If the right interpretation of 1 Tim. 1:15-16 were what this believer said it is, Paul would not have said what he said in Acts 25:11.

Instead, he would have said that regardless of whether I have or have not done something worthy of death, I do not deserve to die because no one deserves the death penalty, etc. But that is not what Paul said because Paul believed that the death penalty was a righteous punishment for those who deserve it.

Furthermore, Christians who resist or seek to undermine the government’s divinely ordained righteous exaction of the death penalty oppose God and will reap the consequences.

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

The sword is an instrument of inflicting death on people; government authorities bear the sword as the ministers of God and must use the sword righteously when it is warranted to execute God’s wrath on those who do evil.

Of all people, Christians should be the foremost to uphold and support their government when they righteously do what God has appointed them to do when they execute His wrath on those who do evil.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

By the time the Spirit inspired the apostle John to write the book of Revelation, Balaam had likely been dead for somewhere around 1500 years, and Jezebel, for more than 900 years. In spite of the vast spans of time involved, the glorified Christ confronted Christian churches late in the first century AD about their allowing Balaam and Jezebel to corrupt their churches!

Because the Spirit ended His letters to two churches with commands to all churches of all time to hear these warnings, we know that we too must beware allowing Balaam and Jezebel to corrupt our churches!

Allowing Balaam to Corrupt the Church at Pergamos

The glorified Christ confronted the church at Pergamos by saying to them,

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

More than 1000 years earlier, the Spirit had revealed just how corrupt and dangerous an occultist Balaam was:

Numbers 24:1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

Numbers 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

These passages show that Balaam was an occultist who wickedly taught people to corrupt others through the eating of things sacrificed unto idols and through immorality.

Incredibly, many, many centuries later, somehow there were people in the church at Pergamos who held the wicked doctrine of Balaam and thereby corrupted that church. Even the passage of more than 1000 years did not make the occult and immoral doctrine and practices of Balaam any less of a problem for God’s people!

Allowing Jezebel to Corrupt the Church at Thyatira

After confronting the church in Pergamos, the glorified Christ confronted God’s people in another church about their having very similarly allowed an occultist to corrupt their church:

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

As He had done with Balaam, so the Spirit had also revealed many centuries earlier to God’s people that Jezebel was a wicked and immoral occultist:

2 Kings 9:22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

Horrifically, similar to what was true in the church at Pergamos through the lasting influences of the ancient occultist Balaam, somehow there was in the church at Thyatira great corruption through the lasting influences of another ancient occultist, Jezebel, that defiled the church through the wickedness of another woman with the same name. This modern-day Jezebel had so corrupted some people in the church that there was fornication, the eating of things offered to idols, and the knowledge of the depths of Satan among the people of the church!

Commonalities between Balaam and Jezebel and Their Ongoing Corrupting Influences

Both Balaam and Jezebel corrupted God’s people with fornication and eating things offered to idols. Both were wicked practitioners of the occult.

Shockingly, their occult and immoral wickedness manifested its horrific corrupting affects in Christian churches many centuries later in spite of vast amounts of time having elapsed since these two prominent occultists had died.

Application

Christian churches must not have anything to do with wicked people or things having to do with immorality, idolatry, or the occult. Christian churches must purge themselves of all such corruption due to any influences of Balaam, Jezebel, or any other occultists in their churches!

Especially in our day, we must not be deceived into thinking that things that were corrupt and immoral things of the occult in the past, such as rock music, are no longer a problem for God’s people today because of the passage of considerable time. The passage of many decades has not at all changed the necessity of God’s people rejecting from their churches rock music as corrupt occult and immoral music in our day.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

For various reasons, some people believe that the singing in church must only be a cappella. This position is not biblical for several reasons.

1. The singing in heavenly worship is not only a cappella singing (Rev. 5:8-10; 14:2-3; 15:2-5). Heaven’s worship is the pattern for ours (Matt. 6:10).

Our singing in worship is not to be only a cappella.

2. It is not true that only the Israelites were to use musical instruments to accompany their singing in temple worship and to do so only as long as the burnt offerings were being made.

Rather, God has commanded all the world to worship Him with singing accompanied by musical instruments (Ps. 98:4-6). NT Christians are among all the people of the world that God has commanded to worship Him with singing accompanied by musical instruments.

Our singing in worship is not to be only a cappella.

3. The NT does not show that all singing in Christian churches was only a cappella. In the corporate worship in the church at Corinth, Paul revealed that when they came together, every one of them had a psalm (1 Cor. 14:26). There is no legitimate lexical, grammatical, or contextual basis to insist that what Paul meant was only either the speaking of the words of a psalm or the singing of it a cappella. There is no basis to hold that this statement excludes the singing of the psalm with musical accompaniment.

Our singing in worship is not to be only a cappella.

Clarification

By making these statements, however, I am not saying that we can never sing a cappella in our churches when we worship. What I am saying is that it is not biblical to insist that all our singing in corporate worship must only be a cappella.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

1. God saves us by turning us from darkness to light, and from the power of the devil to Himself:

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

2. He does so by delivering us from the power of darkness and translating us into His Son’s kingdom:

Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

3. Even after He has saved us, we wrestle against the demonic rulers of the darkness of this world and their spiritual wickedness:

Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

4. To do God’s will as believers, we must not have anything to do with the powers of darkness and their evil works:

Rom. 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Eph. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

5. In order for us to obey these directives to cast off the works of darkness and not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, we must take heed to testimonies from former occultists because they are able to provide us with valid, first-hand information about the evil works of darkness that Scripture does not specify for us.

We err greatly if we reject their testimonies by arguing that any valid information about the evil things of the occult must come explicitly and directly by name from Scripture itself.

We must take heed to the testimonies of former occultists!

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Five points to consider about the excellence of Solomon’s temple, its musicians, and their music

1. In all of Scripture, there is no revelation about any more glorious physical structure over which God had more direct involvement in its design, construction, and operation than He did for Solomon’s temple.

2. In all of Scripture, there is no revelation about a historical physical structure that is extolled in any greater terms than Solomon’s temple is. In fact, there is no such physical structure spoken of in Scripture concerning its excellence that even remotely compares to Solomon’s temple concerning its explicitly-stated-in-Scripture worldwide excellence.

3. In all of Scripture, there is no record of God’s supernaturally manifesting His approval and acceptance of the sacred musical ministry of a group of musicians that even remotely matches the record of His response to the musical ministry of the group of musicians who played and sang to the glory of God at the dedication of the temple.

4. In all of Scripture, there is no record of any group of sacred musicians whose musical activities were more directly and exhaustively specified by God than were those of the sacred musicians in Solomon’s temple.

5. In all of Scripture, there is no record of any group of sacred musicians whose musical activities were more influenced by the role of supernaturally empowered and gifted leading servants of God than were the Solomonic temple musicians. Six prophets of God were directly involved in determining their musical activities: David, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, Nathan, and Gad. At least four of these prophets were leading musicians themselves (David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun; we do not know if Nathan and Gad were musicians or not).

Moreover, Solomon, the wisest man ever (other than Christ), exercised vital leadership over the temple musicians. Solomon was himself a supernaturally gifted songwriter extraordinaire who wrote the only song that inspired Scripture speaks of as “The Song of Songs.”

In total, there were at least 7 supernaturally empowered and gifted leading servants of God who were directly involved in determining and directing the musical activities of the Solomonic temple musicians.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Daniel 3 records a worship setting in which idolatrous worship was compelled from a vast, noteworthy group of people by their hearing the statements revealed in these verses:

Daniel 3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, 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:

6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Based on the information that was given to them to elicit their idolatrous worship, we learn the following points about the nature of the worship and the instrumental music that was used to elicit it:

1. This was idolatrous worship that was compelled from people who were under the threat of dying a horrific death for any who would refuse to comply.

2. Such an idolatrous worship setting was anything but a setting of acceptable worship that was characterized by love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

3. Such compelled idolatrous worship was not acceptable worship from the heart and in spirit and in truth.

4. The instrumental music used to elicit this idolatrous worship would reflect all these realities. Ominous, intimidating, and overpowering music that aggressively and assertively communicated the urgency and necessity of complying with the demand and also communicated the danger of failure to comply was the most fitting music to use for the use of music to elicit such compelled idolatrous worship.

These considerations definitively support the conclusion that the instrumental music used to elicit the idolatrous worship that is recorded in Daniel 3 was not good music that would ever be acceptable to God for use in worship.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In a NT epistle, the Spirit confronts us as Christians with an authoritative prohibition that we must not be idolaters.

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Notice that in this verse, He specifies that such unholy worship includes playing that is idolatrous.

Knowing correctly, therefore, what that idolatrous playing in worship is and rejecting it completely is mandatory for all believers–it is not something that is optional for any of us.

In a recent online conversation, someone commented that the meaning of “play” in 1 Corinthians 10:7 should be understood to refer to immorality because of what the next verse says:

1 Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Because, however, 1 Corinthians 10:7 cites Exodus 32:6 but 10:8 refers to Numbers 25, we know that the Spirit has directed us to two different accounts to understand what He wants us to know about those directives. Because He has done so, we need to compare Exodus 32 and Numbers 25 to understand properly what God wants us to know about the two negative directives that He has given us in 1 Corinthians 10:7 and 8.

A Comparison of Exodus 32 and Numbers 25

The following table presents an analysis of Exodus 32 compared with Numbers 25 concerning key aspects of both accounts of idolatry:

Exodus 32 Numbers 25
Idol(s) Explicit Implicit
Altar Explicit Implicit
Bowing down Implicit Explicit
Sacrifices Explicit Explicit
Eating Explicit Explicit
Drinking Explicit Implicit
Singing Explicit Not mentioned
Dancing Explicit Not mentioned
Instrumental music Implicit Not mentioned
Immorality Not mentioned Explicit
Divine judgment Explicit Explicit

Looking closely at the differences between the two accounts, we see clearly that the Spirit has focused His attention on differing activities in the two accounts. In Exodus 32, He explicitly speaks about the people’s singing and dancing, but He does not say anything about such activities in Numbers 25.

By contrast, He speaks explicitly about fornication in Numbers 25 but not in Exodus 32.

This comparison instructs that we should not take the word “play” in 1 Corinthians 10:7 to mean that the people were fornicating. Rather, the word “play” refers to the people’s singing and dancing in their idolatrous worship.

Additional Biblical Support for This Interpretation

In a previous post, I have provided some additional biblical considerations that support this interpretation:

Undeniably, Exodus 32:17-18 is divine revelation that has been given by inspiration of the Spirit:

Exodus 32:17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 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.

Because verse 18 mentions singing explicitly, these verses are undeniably divine revelation about music. The only question that remains is whether these verses are divine revelation about worship music.

Exodus 32:5 shows that what took place in the Golden Calf Incident (GCI) took place on an occasion that was supposed to have been a feast to the Lord, which would have been a divinely ordained occasion of corporate worship (cf. John 12:20). In addition, apostolic citation of Exodus 32:6 in 1 Corinthians 10:7 decisively shows that the GCI was an occasion of worship because it says that they were idolaters on that occasion:

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

1 Corinthians 10:7 μηδὲ εἰδωλολάτραι γίνεσθε, καθώς τινες αὐτῶν· ὡς γέγραπται, Ἐκάθισεν ὁ λαὸς φαγεῖν καὶ πιεῖν, καὶ ἀνέστησαν παίζειν.

Furthermore, Paul specifies that their idolatrous worship extended to their eating and drinking what had been offered to the idol and to their subsequent playing. The Greek verb παίζειν that is rendered “to play” in this statement is used in the LXX to signify singing and playing of musical instruments:

1 Chr. 13:8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

1 Chr. 13:8 καὶ Δαυιδ καὶ πᾶς Ισραηλ παίζοντες ἐναντίον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει καὶ ἐν ψαλτῳδοῖς καὶ ἐν κινύραις καὶ ἐν νάβλαις ἐν τυμπάνοις καὶ ἐν κυμβάλοις καὶ ἐν σάλπιγξιν

This biblical data justifies holding that the idolatrous worship in the GCI included their singing.

Conclusion

A careful comparison of the accounts of idolatry in Exodus 32 and Numbers 25 teaches us that the Spirit intends for us to understand the verb “play” in 1 Corinthians 10:7 as referring to the people’s idolatrous singing and dancing in the Golden Calf Incident. We must accept that God has forbidden us from engaging in any such idolatrous playing!

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Various forms of the word howl occur in 34 verses in Scripture:

Deut. 32:10  He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

Isa. 13:6  Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Isa. 14:31  Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times.

Isa. 15:2  He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off.

Isa. 15:3  In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly.

Isa. 15:8  For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beerelim.

Isa. 16:7  Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kirhareseth shall ye mourn; surely they are stricken.

Isa. 23:1  The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.

Isa. 23:6  Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle.

Isa. 23:14  Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste.

Isa. 52:5  Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.

Isa. 65:14  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.

Jer. 4:8  For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.

Jer. 25:34  Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.

Jer. 25:36  A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard: for the LORD hath spoiled their pasture.

Jer. 47:2  Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.

Jer. 48:20  Moab is confounded; for it is broken down: howl and cry; tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is spoiled,

Jer. 48:31  Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kirheres.

Jer. 48:39  They shall howl, saying, How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him.

Jer. 49:3  Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, and his priests and his princes together.

Jer. 51:8  Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

Ezek. 21:12  Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon thy thigh.

Ezek. 30:2  Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day!

Hos. 7:14  And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.

Joel 1:5  Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.

Joel 1:11  Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

Joel 1:13  Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.

Amos 8:3  And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

Mic. 1:8  Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.

Zeph. 1:10  And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.

Zeph. 1:11  Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.

Zech. 11:2  Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.

Zech. 11:3  There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

Jas. 5:1  Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

It is plain that the Spirit never uses the word to communicate any kind of positive emotional state; the word certainly never denotes in Scripture gladness or joyfulness.

Based on how the Spirit has used the word in Scripture, I conclude that any sort of howling in corporate worship would never be acceptable to God.

 

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 19 is striking in what it teaches about the effects of idolatry, occult practices, and divine judgment with a perverse spirit:

Isaiah 19:3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.

Isaiah 19:14 The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

This revelation provides us with several important points of instruction.

First, because of God’s judgment on the counsel of the idolatrous Egyptians (cf. Is. 19:1), they resort to idols and to various occult practices (Is. 19:3).

Second, God judges them by mingling a perverse spirit among them (Is. 19:14a). It is unclear whether this means that He employs an actual demon to judge them or that He judges them in some other unstated manner so that they become perverse in their spirits.

Because of their extensive seeking of occult practitioners and their occult practices, understanding “the perverse spirit” that God mingles in their midst as a demon is entirely legitimate. We, however, cannot be completely certain that the verse speaks of the work of an actual demon.

Third, God’s judgment on them through that perverse spirit causes the Egyptians to err in everything that they do (Is. 19:14b). He thus judges them that they become so debilitated and incapacitated that they are not able to do any work properly.

Fourth, the judgment with a perverse spirit causes them to become like a drunken man who staggers in his vomit (Is. 19:14c). Such a person is obviously incapable of doing any work properly and certainly cannot do anything that pleases God.

Application

Clearly, this passage teaches us of the fearful realities of the judgment that God inflicts on some people who are idolatrous and participate in various occult practices. Undoubtedly, God intends that this revelation would serve as a stern warning to us not to have anything to do with idolatry and the occult.

 

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.