Sunday, March 15, 2009

Old Testament Informal Worship...Music and Singing?!

Music and Singing- The voice of worship

Music and singing played an important part of the life and worship of Israel. The people celebrated the might acts of God through music and singing. As we will see in a minute that Miriam and Moses led the people in songs and music to God. Music featured prominently in the worship of David, prophecy sometimes accompanied by music (1 Sam 10:5; 2Kgs 3:15). There were also negatives to the singing of song and making of music, we see in Amos (5:23) and in Exodus with the golden calf (32:18-19)

David introduced music into the sanctuary worship. His son and successor Solomon later retained it after the Temple was built (2 Samuel 6:5; 1 Kings 10:12). Music must have been considered an important part of the service, since Hezekiah and Josiah, the two reform kings, saw to it that music was included in the reformation (2 Chronicles 29:25; 35:15).

The music of Israel was glorifying to God as He commanded through David and His prophets. The law of Moses was given totally to Moses. That which was given to David was not given at Mt. Sinai, and is not repealed. Psalms 92:1-3, "It is a good thing," says the Psalmist, "to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High, to show forth Thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, 3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery, upon the harp with a solemn sound."

Main Passage: Exodus 15:1-21

What does this say about worship?

Here we see Moses and Miriam singing or reciting poems of praise to God. These songs consist of thanksgiving and praise, and give us an example of the response of Israel to the victories that God has gifted them. Music and song are a key way to respond in celebration in the ANE and these two hymns show us the place of songs and music in worship to God. This song also in the words of Ashby ‘The song of the sea’ or ‘song of Moses’ is not just a piece of primitive poetry inserted into the narrative out of respect for it antiquity…It may well be very old, but its functions in the narrative to show on of he main reasons the Hebrews were delivered from Egypt so that Yahweh would revealed as a cosmic king.’ The use of songs and worship in the Old Testament are used for much more than just to celebrate what God has done for them, they were also used to proclaim God and speak theological truth.

We see here that music and singing are legitimate forms of worship in the Old Testament.

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