Monday Morning Devotion-July 10, 2023
The Music of Our Lives
They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words: "He is so good! His faithful love endures forever! At that moment a cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their work because the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God. 2 Chronicles 5:12-14
As I write this it is the day before our granddaughter Ellee’s 8th birthday. (July 8) When she moved in with us at the age of two, a love of music moved in with her. Now at 8 years old I continue to be amazed at how quickly she can learn lyrics, tunes and dance. She even choreographs her own moves at times. So, we have lots of music in our house. That's a good thing. Music has a special place in life. That reminded me of this devotion I wrote nine years ago. I hope you enjoy it.
With that in mind let’s return to a devotion I re-posted on October 4, 2021.
4,000 musicians booming out praise music! Can you imagine what that would sound like? Pretty loud, huh! Well, it would have to be loud because there were 38,000 Levites in the worship service.
And their purpose was to honor God as they sang; "He is so good! His faithful love endures forever!" Did that please God?
Apparently so because the scripture says, "a cloud filled the Temple of the Lord." In fact, God's presence was so overpowering that the preaching stopped. The priests could not continue their work.
The Quest Study Bible says: "God sometimes appeared to His people as a dazzling white cloud---merely an image of His glory since He was too holy to be seen face to face.... The Cloud appeared in the temple as a sign that God was present there." So even God could not resist good music.
It was a special occasion. Under King Solomon's leadership the temple construction had been completed. Now it was time for a gigantic dedication ceremony. They brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Temple, and the rejoicing began. What better way to get it all started than with music?
We still do that today. I really like the contemporary praise music. Of course I grew up in the church and I'm not discarding the hymns..."Amazing Grace," "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," "How Great Thou Art." Etc.
But nothing gets me fired up like upbeat, uplifting, fast-paced praise music. One of my favorites---"Indescribable"--- would have been a good one for them to have sung on that day of Temple Dedication. They didn't include it on the program because it hadn't been written yet.
Check out these lyrics by Chris Tomlin:
You placed the stars in the sky, and you know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are Amazing God
You are Amazing God
Isn't that basically what those 4,000 musicians were proclaiming? God was indescribable because He was invisible. His glory could only be seen in the form of a cloud. His Glory was beyond the spoken word. It had to be sung.
In one of her devotions Julie Ackerman Link wrote: "One of the best uses for music is praise. When Solomon's temple was completed, the musicians praised and thanked God. As they did "the glory of the Lord filled the house of God."
Link also points out; "Music plays a big part in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, God enlists musicians to work on His behalf. He uses music to call people to worship and to send them to war, to soothe ragged emotions and to ignite spiritual passion, to celebrate victories, and to mourn losses. Music is an all-occasion, all-inclusive art form. There are followers and leaders, simple songs and complex songs, easy instruments and difficult instruments, melodies and harmonies, fast rhythms and slow rhythms, high notes and low notes."
One of the great sadnesses of my life is that I have been cursed with the inability to carry a tune. If I sing (out loud) I can throw everybody around me off key. So, I sing low. It satisfies me and doesn't annoy anyone else.
Recently I started trying to learn to play the piano. That was going slow. Turtle-slow. But it was rewarding. You've never seen anybody as happy to be able to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or "Jingle Bells" as me. Then I took a major step and started playing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and moved up to chords. (I made a lot of progress until my music teacher moved to California doggone it.)
Beethoven said: "Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."
I watched as our other little Granddaughter Quinn, turned two several years ago,. Even at that age when music comes on she just started dancing. She had rhythm already and it brought a smile to her face and mine as well.
My favorite poet Sidney Lanier once wrote: "Music is love in search of a word." Maybe that's why I like music so music. As a writer I am always in search of a word or group of words.
I recall the Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy was sitting on top of his doghouse with his typewriter: In the first frame he is just sitting there staring at the typewriter, nothing is happening. Same thing in the second frame. In the third frame he puts his paws on the typewriter and types: T H E. In the final frame he says: Sometimes a writer will search for hours before he finds the right word.
With music no words are needed. As Edgar Winter explained: "Music is very spiritual, it has the power to bring people together."
That works especially well when the purpose of the music is to worship God.
Monday Prayer: Thank you Lord for music and the way it brightens our lives and provides a special way to praise you. Amen!