We are continuing our look into music/singing & worship, i.e. God Music. We are attempting to honestly set aside our presuppositions, and see what the Bible has to say about this topic. We have observed the following:
1) Worship (including singing, music, and dancing) is a natural response to salvation.
2) Worship (signing) is a natural response to God’s provision.
3) Worship is not a spectator sport.
4) Worship (and the music that accompanies it) is to be 100% God centered.
5) Musical style is not the defining element of authentic worship. The same style of music can be used in both the true, spiritual worship of God, and idolatrous abandon. It is the Object of worship and the disposition of the heart that makes God music.
6) Worship can include singing about the very thing God has provided.
7) Worship (singing) can be an encouragement to God’s people along with being a song to God himself.
8) God himself wrote a song, and commanded Israel to learn it.
I suppose the next place to look is at the song of Deborah and Barak found in Judges 5. The period of the Judges, as you recall, was a time in which the people of God were all doing their own thing- whatever seemed right in their own eyes. However, there were times of great deliverance and revival. Singing/music continued to be a part of the worship experience.
In Judges 4, God had wrought a great deliverance through Deborah and Barak (as well as Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite). Then, in Judges 5:1, the Bible says, “On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song…” Here is an overt mention of what we would call today a “duet.” All of the other passages we have studied have more or less shown that worship was corporate, involving everyone, or at least the majority of the people. Now, we find Deborah and Barak apparently singing while the others listened.
“Listen, you kings!
Pay attention, you mighty rulers!
For I will sing to the Lord. I will make music (ESV says, “I will make melody…”) to the Lord, the God of Israel.” (Judges 5:3 NLT)
We find that Deborah and Barak sang a song of praise to God, employing music that would have obviously been indigenous to their culture. The song they sang was about the way God had saved them, the people through whom he had worked, and even contains what may be taken as rebuke to those who had not participated in the battle. In this song, the people were also encouraged to tell of the things God had done.
Obviously there is much that could be gleaned from this passage of scripture, but what can we learn from this incident that speaks directly to the subject at hand? How about the following:
1) Singing/Music, in the context of God’s people, may sometimes involve instances where some sing and others listen.
2) In such cases, the song is still 100% God centered.
3) God Music can include mention of the people he uses to accomplish his mighty deeds.
4) There can be elements of rebuke in God Music.
To be continued…