If like me you are a fan of musical films, then this past Thursday was a special treat. Millions of Americans rounded up their families and watched the NBC live performance of the 1960 classic, The Sound of Music, starring Grammy award-winning country music star, Carrie Underwood. This three-hour musical performance set in the Austrian Alps told the story of a family trying to escape German occupation. At the end of the show, whether viewers loved the NBC live performance or instead longed for the classic Julie Andrews movie, we can all admit that the sound of music has an enduring effect on our lives.
You see, we respond automatically to the sound of music because God created us that way. God loves music. He created it for His praise. Music takes place perpetually at God’s throne (Rev. 5: 8-10). Music heralded Christ’s birth (Lk. 2:13-14) and will announce His Second coming (1 Thes. 4:16). God ordained a priesthood of Levites as musicians to offer praise in His temple (1 Chron. 9:33). God uses music to rejoice over the redeemed (Zeph. 3:17).
We are created as musical creatures. Our bodies produce and respond to a series of sounds. Our hearts beat in rhythm, our stride has a tempo, our pulse throbs in pace, even our breath sounds maintain a soothing meter. Music is essential to life. Music holds such an esteemed place in ancient history that it was cited as a contributor to shaping industry and culture (Gen. 4:19-22). In Psalms 89:15 King David says, “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!” As Christians, we need to know the sound that brings God joy and offers Him genuine praise.
This was not the case for the Israelite congregation camped at the foot of Mount Sinai. After their escape from Egyptian occupation they should have been singing joyful songs of praise. Instead the sound of music that rose from the camp to the mountain’s peak was chaotic (Ex. 32:17-18). Joshua thought it signaled war. However Moses knew it was neither a sign of victory nor defeat, but praise music. The Israelites were in the valley singing praise to an idol. While God was on the mountain, the Israelites were in the valley playing praise (Ex. 32:6).
The songs we sing signify the God we worship. The songs we sing can affect culture and shape our lives. Music is a form of praise. God uses the sound of music as a means to draw us closer to Him. What kind of songs do you think give God praise? Let me know your thoughts and then let’s see what the Bible says in next week’s eNewsletter.