(We have covered a lot of ground in our discussion about God Music. It’s getting to the point where it’s kind of impractical to list all of our previous observations at the beginning of each new post, so, I invite you to go back and check out the previous articles entitled “Talk About…God Music”). We all know that music can move you. There is something within the chords and rhythms that can actually produce an affect upon people. Many within the church insist that such “musical manipulation” has no place within the worship experience as it is worldly and/or demonic. Again, as we have in our previous discussions, we want to know what the Bible says about this. I can’t think of a better place to go than II Kings 3: 14-16.
“And Elisha said, ‘As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you. But now bring me a musician.’ And when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said…”
First, let’s provide a little context. Jehoram, king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, had gone to Elisha the prophet to inquire of the Lord. They were preparing for battle and needed God’s word concerning the situation. Elisha had no use for Jehoram because of his idolatrous ways, but he had respect for Jehoshaphat, and agreed to meet with them.
We are told that Elisha asked for a musician to be brought in. It is obvious that Elisha sought to use the music as a tool through which he would more readily receive from the Lord. Elisha purposefully employed music to “manipulate” his own disposition. His apparent motive was more than a desire for an emotional release; he wanted to hear from God. (Interestingly enough, if you remember, we learned that when David instituted the Levitical ministry of music, it was looked upon as a form of prophecy.) There is so much that could be inferred from Elisha’s actions, but I want to stick with what the Bible makes plain. Elisha used music to purposefully create an environment which would assist him in receiving from the Lord.
The musician is unnamed. Obviously he was skilled and anointed of God; however, we don’t know who he is, and we never hear from him again. He apparently didn’t start a traveling “Prophecy Mantle Impartation Tour” throughout the kingdom. He was used of God, and then disappears into the pages of antiquity. One thing to note is that it was Elisha that purposefully utilized the musician and his gifts, not the other way around. So often, within our contexts, the musician is asked/required to get the people “in the mood” to encounter God. Elisha’s heart was already going after the Lord; the ministry of music only aided him in his pursuit. I think we need to really consider this point. God Music doesn’t seem to be intended to manipulate people into encountering God. It is for people who already desire Him.
Next, we find that the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha when the musician played. Elisha’s heart and the God Music were both factors in this God encounter. The Lord gave Elisha the words to speak to the kings, and His name was glorified.
In II Kings 3, the Bible gives us a wonderful example of the relationship between music and worship. Our hearts must be inclined towards the Lord with a desire to encounter the living God. Only then can God Music be a means by which His name is glorified as the hand of the Lord comes upon us.