2 Kings 3:14-15 (NLT)
Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I wouldn’t even bother with you except for my respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah. 15 Now bring me someone who can play the harp.” While the harp was being played, the power of the Lord came upon Elisha,
Yesterday in our Sr. High Sunday School class we took a closer look at the life and ministry of Elisha the Prophet of God (you can find out more about him by reading the biblical book of 2 Kings). While reading and studying the passage with the teens we read about Elisha asking for a harp player to come and play music for him while he consulted with God about what he should say to the 3 kings that were going to war against the Moabites. It was very interesting to me that Elisha made this requests and what’s more, that the “power of the Lord” came upon him while the harp was being played.
All this made me think and go a little deeper in my understanding of the power/influence of music on a person’s life. Here is another passage about the use of music and the power of God that comes on a person during the playing of music; it’s of Samuel giving directions to King Saul:
1 Samuel 10:5-6 (NLT)
“When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person.
So is there anything to to be made of this connection between music and it’s influence on a person’s life? Oliver Sacks, a Clinical Professor of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine New York, USA, thinks there is a lot to be said about the power of music. You can read his full article here. Also, the bible has many other accounts for the use of music in a person’s life and in the life of the church body. The Biblical book of Ephesians tells us to:
Ephesians 5:17-19 (NLT)
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.
I believe that it is the the Holy Spirit’s power that is behind the resurrection of Jesus Christ; and when I read passages of the Bible that talk about music and the power of the Lord coming upon someone there must be something to it. Music is powerful. For centuries, the church uses music as part of it’s service. Before the preaching of the Word of God, many churches will have congregational songs and “special music” in a hope to “prepare the heart” of the congregation members for the preaching of the Word of God. I too, when preparing to preach would prefer to have the music before the message be both engaging and upbeat! I want a feeling of energy and anticipation before the preaching of the Word of God. I believe that the music not only prepares the mind of the church member but their hearts also. Many times I have come to tears while listening to a song or singing with the worship leaders at a church.
Here’s what I hope to take away for this study.
- Music is a powerful medium that prepares a person for worship
- God, through the Bible, has demonstrated that music is to be used to communicate a message
- The worship leader has an important job in LEADING the church family in worship; therefore, they should take their role seriously.
I hope this article has got you thinking a little bit about the power and influence of music on a person’s life. What’s more, I hope you will approach music differently the next time you are in a church service – that you will sing and listen to the music with an anticipation to hear God speak to your heart.