Now therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. – Deuteronomy 31:19
Music was very important to ancient Israel. In fact, music has been an important part of almost every culture on earth. God must think music is important, too. In order for the people of Israel to remember His commandments and their responsibility to keep them, God had Moses write a song that both he and Joshua were to teach to everyone else. This song was to serve as a reminder of God’s sovereignty over their lives and a witness for God against the people.
We love our music in the church today. In fact, we love it so much that we have been known to fight over it. We want our music to make us feel better and when it doesn’t, we sometimes get upset. Yet, I wonder how much of the music in our churches today leads us to greater obedience. How much leads us to greater faithfulness and usefulness in the Sovereign’s service?
Look, there is nothing wrong with feeling “better,” but it seems to me that in all our singing it would be good if that singing led us to greater obedience to Christ. Unfortunately, as with Israel, many of the songs we sing (the lyrics to which we lend our voices) can become simple indictments against the lives we actually lead.
Secular music, do you say, belongs to the devil? Does it? Well, if it did, I would plunder him for it, for he has no right to a single note of the whole seven. Every note, and every strain, and every harmony is divine, and belongs to us. – William Booth
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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