In antiquity, music was performed to help the workers work. It also gave support and aided their physical strength. Music was performed and cymbals sounded, for instance, to praise and thank God for His presence amongst the Israelites.
In the Bible where we see music and song taking place, it is always full of the love and praise of God. Look at Deborah’s song in Judges. Or the songs sung in the book of Revelation. In 1 Chronicles 16. The New Testament reveals Jesus breaking into songs of praise with His disciples. In modern times we can look at songs like, “I Can Only Imagine,” for inspiration. In fact, I have been deeply touched by the film “I Can Only Imagine” about the life of Mercy Me frontman, Bart Millard, and how he came to pen that piece.
Can we surmise, then, that the biblical purpose for music and singing is always for some spiritual purpose, whether to praise or to lament? Divine songs will always be centered around the providence and sovereignty of Yahweh. This is the measure, where holy songs will be separated from the rest.
A few years ago, strongly influenced by Asaph during my studies on his character, I made a decision that from then on, all of my songs will be centered around Yahweh. That includes the songs of lament or sorrow. Let my mind, heart and voice always be centered around my Creator and Savior.
I sing out a song with words and melody for that moment for God’s ears and the heavenly host alone. I sing it once. I belt it out in that hour. And then never again.
During my own moments of singing praise, I, too, without thinking, have taken on words of knowledge or those prophetic in nature. So, this thought of Asaph prophesying compels me. It seems music and prophecy can go hand in hand.
Since I made this vow, the Lord has showered me with songs and melodies, and the ability to record them on my computer. If you want a sample of these, you can find them at Writeious Music. There isn’t enough time in my day to sit down and attend to each one, so they wait in a queue. My prayer for this coming year, and it will take a miracle, is to be able to have the resources to have no other obligations during my day so I can sit myself down at my keyboard and work out my songs. A couple of Christian musicians to collaborate with would be a giant answer to prayer, too!
All of the psalms that Asaph penned, Psalms 50 and 73-83, in one form or another, deal with the judgment or wrath of God. Perhaps Psalm 83 is the best example as we see the fate for the Ishmaelites, the Moabites, the Ammonites, the Amalekites and so on regarding God’s judgment on the enemies of Israel.
Asaph wrote lines like:
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
Reading through the Psalms of Asaph the seer, music leader, writer and poet, he passed down his skills to many generations, inspiring an immeasurable amount of people. What a talent and a gift he had to share! How he multiplied that treasure God blessed him with. I want to do the same!
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…