Book Review: Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship by Scott Aniol

Book Review: Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship by Scott Aniol
 

Worship in Song, by Scott Aniol, is the best book I’ve read on music and worship.  I have read many volumes regarding music and worship, because I have been perplexed for many years regarding what kind of music is appropriate for worshiping God.  I have transitioned from the perspective of enjoying anything to being very restrictive in the kinds and styles of music.  I have also tried to develop a system of rhythms of music for what is appropriate.  I know I will continue to refine my perspective as I understand our infinite God and how to connect with people to worship God.  Unfortunately, the music debate has caused too many problems in churches and created too many walls between Christians.

Scott Aniol insightfully developed a balance in explaining music in biblical worship.  He puts the emphasis where it belongs: on God. His bottom line seems to be that God is most pleased with the process of people dependent on God to determine what honors Him, rather than merely choosing a particular style.

He begins by examining worship in its foundation.  Worship is about God, not man. Therefore, “A Christian’s number one concern in life should not be his rights or his preferences. It should be the glory of God,” writes Aniol (p. 40).  Offense is not whether my feelings are hurt or not, but whether my actions lead another into sin (p. 41).  Additionally, he writes,

If you are not actively pursuing sanctification; if you are not daily in God’s Word, striving to know His mind and think His thoughts; if you not willing to give up what might be legitimately your right, then you cannot expect to discern what music styles are pleasing to the Lord. (p. 42)

Aniol continues by describing “affections” as a missing link (p. 45f). Love for God is not a duty, but something we choose to do. He writes, “Love in the portrayal of pop media is something we “fall into,” something involuntary, even accidental. But biblical affection is not that way. Biblical affection intricately involves the mind, the will, and the emotions.” (p. 54) Affections are a choice to focus on God and worship Him, not a response of emotions that we don’t control.

Aniol records an excellent synopsis on history of music, culture and the church.  It was in the 18th century when the church was dethroned and secular culture and the Industrial Revolution became more influential to replace folk culture.  This pop culture began to govern church music (p. 77).

He makes an excellent analogy regarding  “beauty.”  Most people would say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  However, beauty is not subjective according to what man likes.  Some are so perverted, they think pornography is beautiful.  True beauty rests with God, not man (cf. Pro. 2:3-6).  The same is true with music.  Aniol writes,

If certain forms of music draw a listener into a sensuous experience of physical pleasure only without deflecting its finite representation of beauty to the divine, they are not worthy of Christian use.  In other words, music that merely stimulates the passions instead of uplifting the affections is dangerous. (p. 116)

There is clear distinction between what is beautiful and what is wicked.  The middle ground of acceptability is large.  So, where is the line?  The issue can be made for music also. Aniol writes,

Recognizing clearly immoral music is fairly easy—any Christian can do it.  Trying to determine where the line between good and bad music, is, however, remains difficult, if not impossible for finite man.  Therefore staying away from the middle may be prudent for the Christian. (p. 140, author’s emphasis).

            After an exceptional analysis of music and worship, Aniol summarizes with four statements:

  • God created all things.
  • God created all things for His own pleasure.
  • God is worthy of our worship because He created all things for His own pleasure.
  • God is worthy enough for us to consider carefully how we worship. (pp. 238-244)

This is a must read for every pastor, especially those leading with music.  Scott Aniol provides a fresh, solid approach to music and worship.  Aniol is a tremendous communicator and pastor, always thinking of how to bring glory and honor to the Lord.
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Q & A: How do you Evaluate Music?

This Question and Answer serves as suggested answers regarding the Message Based Discussion Questions from the message presented on April 28, 2013. These are only suggestions and there is room for many more in discussion groups. The manuscript for the message was posted on April 29, 2013.

How do you Evaluate Music?
Ephesians 4:29

 

What music is appropriate to worship God?
1)      Music communicates meaning Ex. 32:17-19
  • Music communicates war Ex. 32:17-19 
  • Music communicates refreshment 1 Sam. 16:14, 17-18, 23
  • Music communicates emotionally
    • Laments Job 30:31; Love song Is. 5:1
2)      Music communicates by association like a symbol
  • A symbol communicates something
  • Conventional Association
  • Natural Association
 3)  Evaluate music by Scripture Eph. 4:29

  • There is both edifying and corrupt communication Eph. 4:29
  • Bad association can corrupt 1 Cor. 15:33
  • Associate with what edifies 1 Cor. 10:23 
  • Application:
  • 1 Cor. 8:4, 9-13   

Corrupt
Edifying
 
Avoid at all times
Fitting
Unfitting
Negative Association
Positive Association
 
Avoid for this occasion
Avoid for this occasion
Room for preferences

Evaluate your music by Scripture to what is fitting for the King!
Philippians 4:8-9
 

Message Based Discussion Questions
1)      What kinds of music do you like?
Digging Deeper:
2)      According to Ephesians 5:18-20, how is the Christian to be filled?  __________________  What will be the result if a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit?  What will that look like in Church?
3)      What idea is found in both Eph. 5:20 and Rom. 1:21? ________________________  What is the contrast between the two verses?  What will be true of the believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit compared to the unbeliever who is not filled?  So, if a believer is not giving thanks, what does that say about his life?
4)      As a reference to Satan, what does Ezek. 28:12-15 say Satan was good at (cf. 28:13c)? ______________________________  How do you suppose this might have caused his fall?
Applying the message to life:
5)      If music is like a plate that serves food, why should the plate fit the occasion?
6)      What are several examples of conventional associations in regard to music?  When you hear a particular song, what do you think of without hearing the lyrics?
7)      If there is room for preference, how do I discern what I should not listen to in life? 

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      What kinds of music do you like?

a)      Classical, Country Western, Big Band, Traditional church music, Contemporary, Gregorian chants, Men’s Chorale and Military Marches.

b)      I like most music, depending on the setting, but there are some that seem corruptible.

Digging Deeper:

2)      According to Ephesians 5:18-20, how is the Christian to be filled?  __with the Spirit; dependence upon Him__  What will be the result if a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit?  What will that look like in Church?

a)      The result will be speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs , i.e. singing to one another.  We will be giving thanks to God for the salvation we enjoy, the relationship with God and the opportunity to serve Him in worship.

b)      It will look like a unified chorus of people singing to God, while also singing to and for each other.  There will be joy on their faces as they consider what can happen in life when God the Holy Spirit is filling (controlling)(Gal. 5:22-23).  People will warmly welcome and encourage each other, exhorting to love and good deeds and talking about God’s mighty deeds.
 

3)      What idea is found in both Eph. 5:20 and Rom. 1:21? _giving thanks to God__  What is the contrast between the two verses?  What will be true of the believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit compared to the unbeliever who is not filled?  So, if a believer is not giving thanks, what does that say about his life?

a)      The contrast between the verses is the contrast of the Spirit-filled believer and the rebellious unbeliever.

b)       The Spirit-filled believer will be in the habit of giving thanks in everything (1 Thes. 5:18) and displaying a thankful heart in prayer (Phil. 4:6) rather than grumbling (Phil. 2:14).  The unbeliever who is not filled might give thanks for benefits he gets, but he doesn’t see how God works things together for good and doesn’t thank God in all situations for His watch-care and provision.  The unbeliever certainly doesn’t give thanks in singing to God.  He doesn’t glorify God as God and he exchanges the glory of the Father for the corruptions of the creature.

c)      If a believer is not giving thanks, he is not filled with the Spirit.   He is living a carnal, fleshly life.  He is depending on himself and he is not living by faith.  He is living in sin, even though he is a child of God (1 Cor. 3:1-3).

4)      As a reference to Satan, what does Ezek. 28:12-15 say Satan was good at (cf. 28:13c)? _ The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes –this refers to his musical abilities, both instrumentally and vocally___  How do you suppose this might have caused his fall?

a)      He was leading worship of God among the angels.  He had the voice of a pipe (pipes) organ. With the power of music, he led 1/3 of the angels to rebel against God and thus be condemned. 

b)      Somehow this may have led to his arrogance of ability and leadership to cause the angels to fall.  Note Is. 14:12-14. 

Applying the message to life: 

5)      If music is like a plate that serves food, why should the plate fit the occasion?

a)      The dish is the medium or mechanism that delivers the food.

b)      The dish conveys meaning to the food and to the occasion.

c)      A paper plate is great for picnics; fine china is fitting for a king and special occasions.

d)     Music also says something about the occasion and the truth that it (music) serves.

 

6)      What are several examples of conventional associations in regard to music?  When you hear a particular song, what do you think of without hearing the lyrics?

a)      Movie scores, like “Out of Africa” convey the great vastness of the continent of Africa or “Star Wars” the majesty of space or “The Sound of Music” that lifts the heart to the mountains. Other associations might include:

i)        Snare drum with marching

ii)      Salpinx trumpet marked pronouncements and fanfare of something important.

iii)    Flute playing soft, gentle flowing emotional music, but it can also play strong alive Scottish music.

iv)    Star Spangled Banner represents freedom, men and women who fought and died for liberty.

v)      Music of “Jesus Loves Me” is universal.

vi)    Lullaby for putting babies to sleep as gentle quieting music.

vii)  Hard Rock and Roll for rebellion and sex.

viii)            Death Metal for raging angry rebellion.

b)      When I hear the song, I think of the symbol it conveys.  For example:

i)        Soft music – caring, soothing

ii)      Death Metal for raging madness.  Maybe this would be good for soldiers going into battle when hand-to-hand combat is expected.  What do you think?

iii)    Put in different words and the original meaning is still what comes out.  Put different words to music and the message may not change.  How loud or powerful is the music compared to the lyrics.  For example, the lyrics of “Amazing Grace” fit the metrics of “House of the Rising Sun,” but the words are not a good fit for the music, because the music and lyrics of “House of the Rising Sun” carries dark meaning from the drug years of the 60s and 70s.

 

7)      If there is room for preference, how do I discern what I should not listen to in life?

a)      First go to the lyrics. If they are not appropriate, then avoid.

b)      Then consider how secular artists describe their music.  Many Hard Rock artists define their music is about rebellion and sexuality.  What is the meaning behind other music like Death Metal or Hip hop or other forms of music?  Do we want to be named by them?  Just because Christian lyrics can be put to modes or forms of music, is it wise?

c)      Then, and from the beginning, stay in Scripture searching for the holiness of God and ask what is appropriate for carrying the truth of God’s Word and exalting a holy God.  It is not a question of what I (my flesh) like(s).  What honors the Lord? 

MSG: How do you Evaluate Music?

This message was presented on April 28, 2013 as the fourth of four messages on “Music and Worship.”

How do you Evaluate Music?
Ephesians 4:29 

Harold Best, Dean of Music at Wheaton College, wrote, “There is nothing un-Christian or anti-Christian about any kind of music. By the same token, there is no such thing as Christian music. If there were, what would it be?”  This is a very popular position to take among Christians today. Is music completely neutral?   Because Scripture does not define a style of music, can we define what is Christian and what is not? What music is appropriate to worship God?

Let’s begin by noting that music communicates meaning and provide some examples. 

1)      Music communicates meaning Ex. 32:17-19 

a)      Music communicates war Ex. 32:17-19   

Joshua heard some kind of noise and it sounded like “the noise of war.”

And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp. (Ex. 32:17)

He likely went on red alert, putting his hand on his sword ready to defend the people.  Joshua thought it sounded like chaos and the tumult of war, but Moses knew the sound was something else.  

Moses knew, because the Lord told him, that the people had turned to an idol.

18 But he said: “It is not the noise of the shout of victory, Nor the noise of the cry of defeat, But the sound of singing I hear.”
 19 So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. (Ex. 32:18-19)

It was the sound of war, and used in worship.  Joshua associated it with war. This passage says nothing about the kind or style of music, but just that it suggested strong associations in Joshua’s mind.  Music also suggests a contrast of refreshment. 

b)     Music communicates refreshment 1 Sam. 16:1-23 

King Saul disobeyed God’s command to destroy the Amalekites  and Samuel told him the kingdom would be torn from him.  Samuel anointed David as king of Israel and “…the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him.” (1Sa 16:14) This is likely a troubling spirit, just as when a person is angry, the devil gets a foothold and can influence your life. Ephesians 4:26-27 uses anger as the mechanism that opens the door for Satan’s influence, but any sin, like rebellion or worry can likely open that door.

Saul was astute enough to understand the power of music and requested someone to help him when he was struggling with life.

17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.”
 18 Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him.” ( 1 Sam. 16:17-18)

The music addressed Saul’s emotions and provided a temporary calm.

And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him. (1 Sam. 16:23) 

This passage implies that music calmed Saul with peace and serenity to bring about a change of emotions, however, it did not cause a change of heart or bring about repentance.  Saul reveals no sign of repentance.  In fact, his heart becomes hardened as he reacts to God blessing David’s leadership as a soldier.  There are other ways music communicates.  

c)      Music communicates emotionally  

Some music is used for laments or mourning.  For example, Job writes, “My harp is turned to mourning, And my flute to the voice of those who weep.” (Job 30:31)  There is also particular music that is used for love songs as Isaiah wrote the music for God’s love for Israel, “Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill.” (Is. 5:1)

The Bible uses many musical instruments to describe certain emotional states.  For example, the harp is used for mourning and the flute for weeping and wailing.  These are universal emotions that all peoples share. 

Scripture implies that music communicates meaning, but not how it does. How does music communicate as a medium (or mechanism) of communication? 

2)      Music communicates by association like a symbol 

a)      A symbol communicates something 

We use symbols everywhere.  For example, what does a USA flag communicate?


What does a rose communicate? 

Symbols have associations according the culture in which it is used. Scott Aniol wrote, “Music is not emotion; it is merely symbols of emotion.  Music communicates certain moods and emotions to us because we associate its symbols with various emotional states” (Worship in Song, 62) 

There are two ways symbols communicate meaning.  One is by “Conventional Association” and another is by “Natural Association.” 

b)     Conventional Association 

Conventional Association is when a symbol is used by a particular group of people for connecting to another idea.  For example, some symbolism is man-made like “red, white and blue.”  When I asked my three-year-old granddaughter what that stood for, she said, “The American flag!”  I said, “Yes, you are right!”  Then I asked her, “What if we were in Paris, France.  What would “red, white and blue” stand for?”  She said, “The American flag!”  I responded, “Yes, it would mean that to us, but in France, the French flag is red, white and blue and the French people would think of their flag.  Then I asked her one more question, “If we were in Russia, and I said, “What does “red, white and blue” stand for?  She said, “The American flag!”  I answered, “Yes, it would mean that to us, but to the Russian people it would stand for their Russian flag.”  I added, “All three flags are made of red, white and blue, but there are different arrangements of the colors.” 

What about raising your right arm at a straight 45o angle in front of your body.  Is that associated with anything?  Remember the German Nazi salute? 

 

The salute is associated with terrible times.  In fact, just this Spring, one Greek soccer player has been banned from his country’s national team for life after making a Nazi salute during a game.

What about Rossini’s overture to the opera William Tell?

What picture is often associated with that music? 

 

How about a picture of the Lone Ranger? 

 

What does this song remind you of? 

 

 

http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh731.sht  Yes, “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken.”  Shortly after World War II, an American missionary used that song in a church service in England.  Unfortunately, a British man who was visiting the missionary’s church,  stood up and stomped out. Why did he leave so abruptly? There was nothing wrong with the music in itself, because it is a great hymn of faith, but to that British man, he knew it as the German National Anthem and it was clearly associated with wickedness. 

c)      Natural Association 

There are also natural associations that we make.  For example, dark looming clouds are associated with a coming storm,

Or the symbol of a curve in the road is associated with curves in the road,

 

Or even a frown is associated with sadness,

 

They are universal symbols that convey a meaning without a word spoken.

There are some kinds of natural associations from the dynamics, tone colors, rhythms and tempos of music to help us feel a certain way.  Natural associations must fit with the context, or that kind or style of music is not used.  For example, Mendelssohn’s wedding march is not played at a football game; it is played in a church.  You will hear different kinds of music  at a tavern and the songs played in an nursery where babies are will be much different.  Again, they are universal around the world, in most cases. 

Consider the kinds of musical scores used for movies.  The scores are written to enhance the moods and emotions with a given scene regardless of the age, demographic, culture or gender of the audience.  For example,

 

 

 

 

What does this evoke?

 

 

 This is the “Star Wars” theme song.  The language used changes from country to country, but the music stays the same.  Or what about,

 

Sound of music.

So what does this mean?  Music by its nature is a form of communication, Music possesses some natural meanings and also conventional meanings by association.  At the heart of music is communication.  Some times the conventional association corresponds to the natural meaning like Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

 

The point is music communicates through symbolic associations and such association can be either conventional or natural, depending upon whether or not they correspond to something that occurs naturally in all human experience.

Now, add lyrics to a musical selection, and we have two additional layers of meaning: the obvious content of the text and the poetic “mood.” We must remember that symbolic meaning (in this case, the meaning music conveys), if it is natural, always trumps the text. This is extremely important. For instance, if I were to approach my wife with a frown, furrowed brow, and loud tone of voice (natural symbols of anger) and say to her, “I love you,” my negative tone of voice and body language would certainly overpower the positive meaning of the statement. The medium trumps the words, no matter what the words are. The same is true for music. So we must take Scripture, apply what we know to music. 

3)      Evaluate music by Scripture Eph. 4:29 

a)      There is both edifying and corrupt communication Eph. 4:29

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Eph. 4:29)

This is a great verse on communication.  The word “corrupt” means “rotten,” “causing to become foul,” or “putrid.”   Consequently, we should have lyrics that edify, not that corrupt.  Would we even want to have music that has lyrics that promote sexual immorality, impurity sensuality,…etc.?

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery1, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
 21envy, murders1, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21) 

Lyrics that would promote sin are obviously something we wouldn’t want.  In fact, Paul becomes clear that we should be very careful to not let that be named among us.

3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
 4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Eph. 5:3-4)

God doesn’t want  things like foolish talk and crude joking. It is not even to be named among them. But are the lyrics the only thing we should judge as Christians?  Since music is a medium of communication through emotional metaphors, music can communicate the kinds of emotions that naturally represent sinful deeds.

b)     Bad association can corrupt 1 Cor. 15:33

Scripture is clear that we should avoid bad company.  Paul writes, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’“(1 Cor 15:33)  If evil company corrupts, can music not corrupt? If music promotes certain kinds of emotions, is it any different than hanging around with the wrong kinds of friends?

As Christians, we are to avoid any kind of corrupt communication, this would include music that promotes a cacophony of sounds, whether by sinful lyrics or emotions of music associated with sin. Instead a Christian’s communication must be edifying. As Paul writes, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Eph. 4:29)  Christians are called to use edifying music. 

Note Paul’s desire to run to the righteous standard of God, rather than be satisfied with what is “not sinful.”  He writes, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”(1 Cor. 10:23)  Paul makes a distinction between what is “lawful” and what is “edifying.”  He is saying that we shouldn’t be content with what is lawful.  We shouldn’t fill our lives with what is “neutral.”  As Paul says, “…but not all things edify.”  Rather than asking the question, “What’s wrong with it?”  we should really be asking, “What’s right with it?”  What does this music communicate?

Listen to music that expresses noble affections as a way of approving what is good and “good music promotes good morals.”  So how do we make application to music from these principles?

This should cause us to realize there are two kinds of music.  There is one kind that is edifying and one that is corrupt.  This does not mean that music is black and white as we might like it to be.  Where music has liberty, there will be great choices for preference. 

 Corrupt
Edifying
Avoid at all times
Room for preference

 

This does not mean, as stated, music is black and white, but there is communication, and therefore music, that communicates corruption and some that edifies.  For example, a child wouldn’t eat rotten, smelling food.  They know better by their senses.  But if left to himself, what would a child eat?  He would eat what tastes good, not necessarily what IS good.  If you put a plate of mixed vegetables and a box of Long’s donuts, what would the child eat?  He’d eat the donuts far quicker than the vegetables!  They taste better to me too! The same is true for music.   

c)      Associate with what edifies 1 Cor. 10:23 

The next question is, “Is this song or style fitting for this circumstance? When I was three years old, struggling with God’s plan for my life, trying to figure out who I was going to marry in life and what I was going to do, I couldn’t sleep.  My mom would take me on her lap and sing a lullaby. I still remember her sweet, comforting voice.  I had a tough time going to sleep and her singing helped me to relax.  But how fitting is that lullaby at a basketball game?  A John Philip Sousa March is great for the military, marching or a pep band, but would it be fitting to put my granddaughter to sleep?

So when it comes to sacred music, we have to ask, “What is fitting for this occasion?”  For example, if we were to express joy, like the joy Paul talks about in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again, I say rejoice!”  Would that be done in a flippant, care-free frivolity or would it be done with a majestic, sober, stand-tall praise?  What kind of music captures David dancing before the ark as it was entering Jerusalem?  Or what kind of music would you use for a court jester doing a little ditty?  They certainly wouldn’t be the same.  Why do we say that music is neutral?  Is it because we like certain kinds of music in the same way my taste buds would prefer to eat Long’s donuts rather than asparagus?  What music expresses or communicates what is appropriate for expressing God’s truth?

This requires that we expand the chart.  There is corrupt music that we should avoid at all times in worshipping God.  I would  say music like “Death Metal.”  Under the category of Edifying, there is music that would be “Unfitting” for worshiping God, but may be okay on another occasion. That should be avoided for that occasion of worshiping God.  Under the “Fitting” category, there is great room for preferences. 

Corrupt
Edifying
Avoid at all times
Fitting
Unfitting
Room for preferences
Avoid for this occasion

 

Evaluating musical style carries great importance, because it is what you are using to express biblical truth!  You are using a medium to communicate God’s Word!  We should pay particular attention to the kind of music we use to sing God’s Word.  Let me illustrate.  I treat my Bible carefully. I don’t knowingly put anything upon my Bible.  I won’t put another book on it, or even my notes on it.  I will store notes in my Bible, but not on it.  I don’t want anything to be “above” my Bible in any way.  I also never put my Bible on the floor.  My Bible is holy and precious.  I try to treat it like it is the most valuable thing I have.  I would not give a Bible to a child and let him treat it anyway he wants.  I would give a Bible to a child, even a picture Bible, but I would put parameters on how it is treated and stored so the child would learn to treat God’s word as holy. 

Let me illustrate the importance of music in another way. Let us say you are serving baked chicken.  You are having a picnic at a park and have chicken, potato salad, beans and carrots.  What would you serve it on?  You would likely use a paper plate.  That is fitting for the occasion. That is appropriate. But if you were to have Governor Pence to your home for baked chicken, would it be fitting to use paper plates at the dining table if you had dishes in the cabinet? Regardless of what you think of Governor Pence, and I have a great deal of respect, his position as governor deserves your best.

Music is like the dish for delivering the truth. We consider the music style, because we are concerned about the truth and those who hear the truth.  Therefore, we want to make sure the music is edifying and fitting.  We have to decide what is fitting for those who hear.  Ultimately we must make it fitting for our holy, sovereign and merciful God. What musical style is fitting for a time of corporate worship?

There is one more area that must be considered.  We need to consider conventional and natural associations.  Paul addressed love in 1 Corinthians 8.  Some of the Corinthian believers were bothered about eating meat, because they had come out of a cult, whereby the meat at certain meat markets had been used for worshiping idols.  Some of the excess meat, which wasn’t consumed in the idolatrous worship, was sold to the public and it happened to be good meat. This is what Paul said about that.

4 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. (1 Cor. 8:4)

For Paul, where the meat came from didn’t matter, because there is nothing to idols, so he wouldn’t make any association to idolatry and the meat. However, because some in Corinth associated the meat with idols, the association reminder would cause them to think, “Maybe there is nothing wrong with the idols,” and they would slip back into thinking about the idols and even worship them. They are what Paul described as the “weaker brother.” 

Yet by the end of the chapter, Paul says, “I’ll not eat meat if it causes my brother to stumble.”  Why  did Paul conclude that?  The meat carried a conventional association to pagan worship and the immoral activities that occurred there.  If Paul ate the meat, that would indicate to a weaker brother that Paul was endorsing the practices of pagan worship.  Paul and most believers knew better, but the weaker brother did not think the way Paul and you do.  The meat is not the problem. The problem is the conventional association.

9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.
 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?
 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
 13Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (1 Cor. 8:9-13)

 The same is true with musical choices. That is what happened when the British chap stomped out of a missionary’s church service over the song, “Glorious things of Thee are spoken.”  If a kind of song is strongly associated with a particular sinful lifestyle then don’t use it.  Especially consider children.  What kind of music are we feeding to children?  If you give them what they like all the time, what happens if you give them healthy, wholesome music?  Will they reject it?  We need to be discerning.

Consider where spiritual maturity enters the picture. Paul, who is spiritually mature makes a clear case that he is willing to deny what he should be willing to enjoy for the sake of the gospel.  Paul notes that he has several rights in 1 Corinthians 9.  He gave up the right to financial support from most churches in 1 Corinthians 9:4.  He gave up the right to marriage in 1 Corinthians 9:5.  And, as a spiritual leader, he was supposed to make his living from leading, teaching and giving the Word to churches and pastors, so he was exempt from manual labor, but he gave up that right in 1 Corinthians 9:6.  He makes no use of any of these rights.  For some reason, receiving money from churches, taking a wife and refraining from manual labor had conventional associations that would have hindered evangelism. He was willing to give up freedoms to win some to Christ for the sake of the gospel.  He said, “…to the weak I became as1 weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Cor.  9:22) 

The principle would apply to musical choices when an otherwise good song or musical style would hinder evangelistic endeavors because of some kind of conventional association.  A mark of spiritual maturity is the choice to give up a legitimate right for the sake of others.  So now the chart looks like this:

Corrupt
Edifying
 
Avoid at all times
Fitting
Unfitting
Negative Association
Positive Association
 
Avoid for this occasion
Avoid for this occasion
Room for preferences

 Evaluating music is important because truth is important and we are using music to convey God’s truth!  Just like the plate we use to serve a delicious meal is important for the occasion, so music selection is important for the occasion. It is up to us to discern and to determine the meaning, appropriateness, associations of songs and style and then make wise decisions about what music is chosen. This is key: God is more interested in the process of discernment than the style, because it shows we are dependent on Him.

However, someone might say, “I can’t help what I like.” “I eat junk food, but my wife fixes healthy food.  What do I do?”  My taste buds may like a certain kind of food, but I must ask , “What is best for me?”  I, and you, can learn to eat what is healthy. 

We like what we know.  We can learn something new and that becomes what we know.  If what we know is healthy, then we will change what we are eating and begin to eat more healthily. We can change what we like, by changing what we know.  Spend time with what is wholesome and your tastes can change.  In fact, we are obligated to love what God loves,

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy– meditate on these things.
 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Phil. 4:8-9)

Here’s the conclusion: 

Evaluate your music by Scripture to what is fitting for the King!

 

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      What kinds of music do you like?

Digging Deeper:

2)      According to Ephesians 5:18-20, how is the Christian to be filled?  __________________  What will be the result if a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit?  What will that look like in Church?

3)      What idea is found in both Eph. 5:20 and Rom. 1:21? ________________________  What is the contrast between the two verses?  What will be true of the believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit compared to the unbeliever who is not filled?  So, if a believer is not giving thanks, what does that say about his life?

4)      As a reference to Satan, what does Ezek. 28:12-15 say Satan was good at (cf. 28:13c)? ______________________________  How do you suppose this might have caused his fall?

Applying the message to life:

5)      If there is room for preference, how do I discern what I should not listen to in life?

6)      What are several examples of conventional associations in regard to music?  When you hear a particular song, what do you think of without hearing the lyrics?

7)      If music is like a plate that serves food, why should the plate fit the occasion?

 

*I am indebted to Scott Aniol for his excellent instruction a the Chafer Theological Seminary Pastor’s Conference March 4-6, 2013 in Houston, Texas at the West Houston Bible Church.  Much of the thinking and content was derived from Scott’s presentation at that conference.  His book, “Worship in Song” is an excellent resource for thinking through the issues.  I’ll have a book review on his book shortly.

Q & A: Drawing Near to God in Music

This Q & A is for the message presented on April 21, 2013 and posted April 22, 2013.  The insert is provided first, then considerations for suggestions to the questions for the “Message Based Discussion Questions.”  The purpose of this is to help with the thinking process as there is far more than could be stated and the application questions answers could be doubled in size easily.

Drawing Near to God in Music
Hebrews 10:19-25
(April 21, 2013)
 

Exodus 3:13-14; 1 Peter 1:15-16

How then should you worship?

1)      Enter boldly to worship God Heb. 10:19-21

·         2 Sam. 6:3-8
·         Heb. 7:25

2)      Draw near with full assurance of faith Heb. 10:22

·         Draw near (cf. Heb. 4:16; 7:25; 10:1, 22; 11:6; 12:22)
·         Ps. 100:2;  Heb. 12:18-22, 25-29
·         Hab. 1:13; Is. 6:5
·         Phil. 3:19
·         Heb. 11:1; 12:18-19

3)      Let Us draw near to God Heb. 10:22-25

·         Let us (cf. Heb. 4:1,11,14, 16; 6:1; 10:22,23,24; 12:1, 28; 13:13,15)

Draw Near to Jesus and you’ll worship God in music!
 

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      What kind of music did your church (home) have when you were growing up?
Digging Deeper:
2)      Read Isaiah 6:1-8. What does Isaiah see? ___________________ How does his response teach us to respond to God in worship?  How do you relate Hebrews 10:19-25 to Isaiah 6:1-8?
3)      What are six attributes of God? ________________; ______________; ________________; __________________; _________________; ________________  How do those relate to how we worship Jesus according to Phil. 2:9-11?
4)      Who is the main subject of Romans 11:33-36?  ___________________ How does your understanding of this passage affect how you should worship God?
Making application of the message to life:
5)      What can you do to prepare during the week to draw near to God on the weekend service?
6)      How can you help others draw near to God and experience His presence?
7)      What kind of assurance should people have when they leave a worship service at Grace?

 

Message Based Discussion Questions 

1)      What kind of music did your church (home) have when you were growing up?

a)      Traditional hymns with a big pipe organ.  The youth used a guitar for some of the songs, especially while camping.

b)      The music in the home was very traditional, conservative, Big Band and some pop music.
 

Digging Deeper:
 

2)      Read Isaiah 6:1-8. What does Isaiah see? _The linen train of glory of Jesus Christ filling heaven___ How does his response teach us to respond to God in worship?  How do you relate Hebrews 10:19-25 to Isaiah 6:1-8?

a)      We should be in such awe of God, that we are humbled and recognize our sinful self. We should also accept that we have been purchased, so we can be considered as messengers of the Most High.  Therefore, we should be humble messengers desiring to tell others how great and awesome our God is.

b)      Isaiah expresses the holiness of God and how unworthy we are to be in His presence, while Hebrews tells us to draw near to God with full assurance of faith.  The tension needs to be there so our flesh does not become prideful, but also that I’ll enter into His presence to honor all that He has done for me.
 

3)      What are six attributes of God? _Love_; __Holiness__; _Justice_; _Truth_; ___Unchangeable__; __All-powerful__  How do those relate to how we worship Jesus according to Phil. 2:9-11?

a)      Love – I can’t help but bow my knee and confess His as Lord because of His love.

b)      Holiness – There is no one else with whom I would bow my knee or confess with my tongue, because He alone is holy.

c)      Justice – all that He does is just, therefore I would bow my knee and confess that He is Lord.  No matter what happens to me, I know He will right all things and I can praise Him.  He is Just.

d)     Truth – Everything I need to know about Him is found in His Word and therefore I would bow my knee and confess with my tongue that He is Lord.

e)      Unchangeable – He never changes, even though I do and I can trust that He will do what is right and can bow my knee and confess with my tongue at any moment and every moment.

f)       All-powerful – I will bow my knee in the fear of the Lord, for He is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that I can ask or think.
 

4)      Who is the main subject of Romans 11:33-36?  __God, who knows all things and is able_ How does your understanding of this passage affect how you should worship God?

a)      His understanding is beyond my understanding, and I will worship Him.

b)      I can be so amazed at His glory and infinite wisdom, that I can passionately express my love and adoration of who and what He is and does!

c)      Peter calls it joy inexpressible (1 Pet. 1:8).
 

Making application of the message to life: 

5)      What can you do to prepare during the week to draw near to God on the weekend service?

a)      Begin on Monday to consider how to approach Him corporately with the rest of the Body at church.

b)      Find out what subject will be preached on so you can read the passage and meditate on it.

c)      Read the passage as a family to prepare the family to hear the message.

d)     Get a good night sleep on Saturday, so you will be alert and refreshed to gather and worship Him.

e)      Put out your clothes so you don’t have to spend much time making decisions on Sunday morning.

f)       Go into church early and join the prayer meeting.

g)      Join the Welcome Team and welcome people to church. 

h)      Get into the service five minutes early, so you can quiet your heart and be ready to express worship and receiving God’s Word.
 

6)      How can you help others draw near to God and experience His presence?

a)      Do the things from above.

b)      Welcome people to church.

c)      Invite neighbors to come to service.

d)     Ask the upper room people or pastoral staff if there is anything that can be done to help in support of the morning.

e)      Be in service five minutes early as an example to others.

f)       Be dressed and have body language that you’re excited to be at church waiting for God to receive your worship.

g)      Encourage young parents with help to get their children in the door and to their classes.

h)      Teach in the children’s ministry, so young parents can be refreshed in the service.

i)        Talk to others about what God made you think about regarding the message.

j)        Help others see how you are drawing near to God and the intimacy you enjoy with God.
 

7)      What kind of assurance should people have when they leave a worship service at Grace?

a)      That the service was true to God’s Word.

b)      That the truth was proclaimed.

c)      That they had an opportunity to gather with the rest of the Body to worship God.

d)     That they can leave knowing they can return to rejoin the Body next week.

e)      That they can leave knowing they can put into application what they learned.

f)       That the body gathered to worship God, not have their ears tickled.

g)      That the Spirit is moving to create unity in the body.

h)      That the worship service is the place to be.

 

MSG: Drawing Near to God in Music

This message was presented on April 21, 2013 as the third part of four message on music and worship.

Drawing Near to God in Music
Hebrews 10:19-25 

What is at the heart of music in worship?  There are authors on all ends of the music spectrum.  Some say because Scripture is not clear in regard to music, it doesn’t matter what we do.  Others are far more rigid and say that we must choose from within a small spectrum of music to be holy before God. What is the answer? Worship is, after all, not about us, but all for God. Worship is about God.  Let me give an example.

When God called Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt, God called them to worship on that mountain where Moses was. Moses questioned God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them? God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” (Ex. 3:13-14) Worship is all about God, who was, is and will be.  Then we read in 1 Peter 1:15,16, “He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:15-16)  God is the eternally existent One, the holy One, and we are to be holy, i.e. set aside, for Him.  How then should you worship?

1)      Enter boldly to worship God Heb. 10:19-21 

19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, (Heb. 10:19-21)

We note in Hebrews 10:19 that we have access to God and we are to enter boldly into His presence.  But how do we enter boldly, when we are sinful? That boldness is based on His work on the cross, not anything we can do or become.

In Israel’s time, the outer tent kept people away from the Holy of Holies.  God is holy and people must approach Him in a reverent, holy way.  People were not to approach God casually. There was one access to get into the tabernacle complex and then the Holy place where the Menorah or Golden Lampstand sustained burning oil for light, the Table of Shewbread and the altar of incense.  Through the veil was the Holy of Holies, where the high priest entered only once each year to sprinkle blood on the mercy seat.  When Solomon constructed the temple, the layout was similar, only more permanent. 

No Jew would consider entering into the Holy of Holies, the presence of God, except for the high priest annually. Why?  They remembered what happened to Uzzah. Do you remember Uzzah? David was anointed king and had defeated the Philistines, so he sought to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.  They went to Abinadab’s house where it was kept and they placed it on a new cart. Unfortunately, when the oxen stumbled on the road, the Ark began to fall from the cart and Uzzah reached out to steady the ark.  Note God’s action,

3 So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart.
 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark.
 5 Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the LORD on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals.
 6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.
 7 Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.
 8 And David became angry because of the LORD’S outbreak against Uzzah; and he called the name of the place Perez Uzzah1 to this day. (2 Sam. 6:3-8)

Uzzah did what he thought was right, but Israel had violated God’s directions on moving the Ark (Ex. 25:14).   God directed the Ark to be carried, not riding on an cart.  God’s word must be treated holy and obeyed.  Why? God is holy.  Israel gained a fear of the presence of God.  Too often today, many Christians have little fear of the presence of God.

In Hebrews 10:20, the word “new” is prosphatos, which means “lately slaughtered,” or “freshly killed.”  Christ’s sacrifice was 40 years before, but it was recent in their memories. Christ’s sacrifice was a totally new type of sacrifice that removed the veil between God and man.  We can approach God, because of what Jesus had done.  Before, men trembled before God and kept their distance.  Now God invites believers to enter boldly.  It’s almost incomprehensible how fantastic what Jesus had done!

In Hebrews 10:21, Jesus is that high priest who made the way possible for us all.  In the Old Testament, only the high priest could draw near to God and enter only once each year.  It was an anxious moment, because no one knew if the high priest would come out of the Holy of Holies. The new access is through Jesus.  The writer to the Hebrews wrote, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25)

That leaves us several questions. Are we to pattern our worship services for believers or unbelievers?  Worship is about God.  Worship is not about unbelievers, it’s about God.  We need to have an evangelistic appeal, but is that the priority in worship?  Have we made everything so casual to help unbelievers fit in so that we have lost awareness of the holy?  The worship service is not a show, but a drawing near to God, the holy One. It is not entertainment, but a drawing near to the sovereign One. It is not a pay for view, but our expression to God.

We should not only enter boldly to worship God, but we should also draw near with full assurance of faith.  

2)      Draw near with full assurance of faith Heb. 10:22 

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Heb. 10:22) 

The writer beckons us, “Let us draw near,” not to a physical location, but to a spiritual connection with God through the spiritual presence of Jesus Christ by faith.  The specific verb “draw near” in Hebrews 10:22, is also found in Hebrews 4:16; 7:25; 10:1, 22; 11:6; 12:22, and translated, “let us come” or “draw near.” Will you today?  Will you accept what God has done for you?  What does it mean to draw near?

One of the concepts of “draw near” means we’ll sing, “Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.” (Ps. 100:2). It is not a “casual walk by.”  Note the transition from the tangible form of worship to the spiritual emphasis in Hebrews 12,

18 For you have not come to the mountain that  may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest,
 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned  or shot with an arrow.”
 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, (Heb. 12:18-22)

Note that the emphasis is not on the physical senses of touching or  hearing.  God wants us to relate with Him in Spirit and Truth. And the writer continues in Hebrews 12:25,

25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,
 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake  not only the earth, but also heaven.”
 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
 29 For our God is a consuming fire. (Heb. 12:25-29)

God calls us to draw near, but we don’t go to God on our own initiative or our own way. We must put on a “true” heart.  The word “true” here means “real,” “genuine,” or “sincere.” When I served in the military, the commander determined the uniform.  Even in the field, he determined if it was garrison cap or Kevlar helmet for headgear.  We wore what he directed.  We didn’t have any other options to incorporate our own ideas, like, purple bandanas. God calls us near.  We draw near with a true heart.  Why?

I can’t draw near because of my sin.  I have no right to draw near.  God cannot look upon sin. Habakkuk declared, “You cannot look upon wickedness.”(Hab. 1:13)  Isaiah recognized his unworthiness before holy God when he saw the Lord in heaven. “5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” (Is. 6:5)

How do you draw near to God with a true heart, in Spirit and Truth, when we are physical beings? We want something tangible, something our senses can “sense,” especially something we can feel. Then we can say, “That’s worship.”  And if we don’t feel “worship,” sometimes we begin to question if we have really drawn near in worship?  If I don’t have a certain kind of stimulating music, will I begin to question my experience by means of my physical senses? 

Certainly experience and feelings are good. Certainly I will experience and have some kinds of emotions in worship. The question is, “Are they the measure of worship?”  Paul said to the Philippians that the carnal types, those who relied on the flesh, those who were not filled with the Spirit, worshiped their belly, “whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly” (Phil. 3:19). In the ancient world, they called the belly the seat of emotions.

We can move emotions from the outside in.  For example, it is similar to a tickling stimulation, where laughter results from an outside influence. When I was a boy, my dad could let out a terrific roar when we were in the dark and scared us half to death.  That was an outside stimulus. 

Certain church movements have stretched the limits bycreating music that stimulates the emotions, and people often think that this is “worship.”  They teach that the external, physical signs accompany “true, spiritual” experiences.  So they stimulate through music to create that “physical sense of worship.”  Hence the church often has a longing or temptation to create worship that people can feel, experience and touch.  That is natural for people, who live by their senses.  However, it does not indicate true worship. It may be like what Cain offered and was not accepted by God. God also did not accept the worship of the Samaritans, because they had their own ideas about worship.  If we engage in music that stimulates physical responses, we expect that kind of experience from all music in worship and may get disappointed if we don’t get it.  We begin to depend on the physical experience rather than a spiritual relationship with God.

The writer exhorts that we draw near in “assurance” or certainty of being sprinkled pure by the blood of Jesus by faith.  The writer to Hebrews wrote, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1)  Faith is what you cannot see, feel, taste, touch or hear. There is no material basis for faith. There is no physical evidence, no experience and no feeling that tells you worship is pure.  It is by faith, or dependence upon God’s character of holiness and mercy.

Note that emphasis in Hebrews 12:18-19 that is no longer on the physical or tangible,

18 For you have not come to the mountain that  may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness2 and tempest,
 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. (Heb. 12:18-19)

Old Testament worship was tangible. They could see the gold, fine linen garments and sacrifices.  They could touch the animal before its throat was slit, hear the silence when the sacrifice was killed and smell the sacrifice as it was offered.  Everything was physical and tangible.

When I was in boot camp, I was away from my wife for seven weeks.  I did have a picture of her, but I couldn’t touch her hand, smell her fragrance, hear her voice, taste her good food, or look at her beauty, but I had full assurance of her faithfulness.  I enjoyed a relationship with her because of all the letters she wrote, steamy as they were!

Finally, the writer insists that the assurance is by “faith.” There is everything right with experience and feelings.  However, to require them in order to describe worship, you cross what God has defined as worship and practice legalism, or as Paul said, “God is their belly.”  We worship by faith, not by sight or senses or feelings.  In fact, true worship is demeaned, or cheapened, when it is moved by manipulative music.  Should you be afraid of moving or clapping?  Not at all.  That may be a godly response of worship, but that does not measure worship.  David danced before the Lord, but that does not measure worship.  We worship by drawing near to Jesus Christ with full assurance by faith.

Let us summarize the tension of worship with two illustrations.  First, this illustration of Noah’s Ark:

[The picture would not transfer. It is a picture of Noah’s Ark for pre-school with two animals of each kind sitting on the Ark.]

 

 

What does this picture communicate?  There was an Ark and there were two of each kind of animal on the Ark.  That explains how God repopulated the earth after the flood.  Everything is nice, clean, fun and it explains an aspect of the Genesis narrative, especially for children. 

However, does it really explain the flood in Genesis?  What is the emphasis with the flood? Consider this picture.

 

[The picture would not transfer.  It is a picture of people clinging to a rock surrounded by a storm and waves crashing against them with the Ark in the distance]

 

This also has the Ark, but no animals.  What it does portray is the destruction of the people, because of the judgment of God.  Which is more realistic?  Should not our worship be true to who God is rather than what we want?  Do we want to have worship focused on us and be like children or focus it on God?

How should we worship?  We should enter with boldness to worship Him and draw near with full assurance by faith.  We should also emphasize the last part of this passage and the emphasis of this passage. 

3)      Let Us draw near to God Heb. 10:22-25 

This last portion of the passage helps us understand that worship is about the body of Christ worshiping together, not as individuals,

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb. 10:22-25)

The writer may have been a a gardener, for twelve times in Hebrews we have “Let us” exhortations (cf. Heb. 4:1,11,14,16; 6:1; 10:22,23,24; 12:1, 28; 13:13,15. The exhortations admonish us to draw together as one body.  Worship is about the corporate body, not the individual.  The writer exhorts us to draw near, hold fast and consider one another.  We’ve looked at the exhortation to draw near. There are two additional exhortations.

We are to hold fast our confession.  Our confession is Jesus Christ is Lord (Rom. 10:9-10).  Jesus will draw us together in unity of purpose in relationship with the Godhead (John 17:20-23). Additionally, we are to consider one another to stir up love and good works.  As the spiritual forces seek to divide, isolate and conquer Christians, we must “consider one another,” which phrase means to “concentrate on one another” to determine how best to “stir up” or provoke to love and good works.  The word “love” refers to thinking more highly of others than self and the word “good” refers to the intrinsic value of the works, which can only be accomplished by the filling of the Holy Spirit.  When the Holy Spirit does the work through the individual, then it has intrinsic value and is “good.” (1 Cor. 3:12)

As the body considers others more important than self, then worship will be about God rather than self.  When worship is about God, then there will be a crescendo of singing!
 

Draw Near to Jesus and you’ll worship God in music!

 

 

 

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      What kind of music did your church (home) have when you were growing up?

Digging Deeper:

2)      Read Isaiah 6:1-8. What does Isaiah see? ___________________  How does his response teach us how we should approach God in worship?  How do you relate Hebrews 10:10-25 to Isaiah 6:1-8?

3)      What are six attributes of God? ________________; ______________; ________________; __________________; _________________; ________________   How does that relate to how we relate to God according to Phil. 2:9-11?

4)      Who is the main subject of Romans 11:33-36?  ___________________  How does your understanding of this passage affect how you should worship God?

Making application of the message to life:

5)      What can you do to prepare during the week to draw near to God on the weekend service?

6)      How can you help others draw near to God and experience His presence?

7)      What kind of assurance should people have when they leave a worship service at Grace?

Q & A: Choose Music Wisely for Holy Worship

This is provided for the Message Based Discussion Questions from the message presented on April 7, 2013.  Below is a copy of the message insert and listing of questions, with considerations for answers given after the entire insert.  This is only a guide and not designed to be a complete set of answers.  The questions are designed to assist in the thought process.  The real work is allowing God the Holy Spirit work in the heart for transformation.

Choose Music Wisely for Holy Worship
John 4:19-24           

What is worship and how does music affect worship?  

1)      Worship is declaring God’s worth  John 4:19-24
          a)      We worship in Truth Rom. 15:13-14
        ·         We worship God alone  Is. 45:18, 22; Phil. 2:9-11
        ·         God has given us elements for worship: Scripture reading (1 Tim. 4:13); preaching
                   (2 Tim. 4:2-4); singing (Eph. 5:19-20; Col.. 3:16); prayer 1 Tim. 2:1, the ordinances of
                   baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-42) and giving (2 Cor. 16:2)    
          b)       We worship in Spirit
          c)       We worship the Lord
2)       Music will rightly or wrongly move you – is it worship? 
          a)       Scripture identifies many kinds of songs:
          ·         Work Num. 21:17-18; War Ex. 15:20; Love Sol 2:12; Entertainment Job 21:12; Lament
                     Job 30:31; Praise Ps. 150
          b)       Music often causes you to respond OR react in certain ways
          c)       Music helps us express right affections toward the Lord

           ·         Music educates and guides our emotions Acts 16:23-25
           ·         Music is a part of worship under pastoral leadership  Heb. 13:17
           ·         Singing is not optional   Eph. 5:18-19
           ·         Use music that expresses appropriate emotions 1 Cor. 14:40  
           ·         Musical choices matter, because music shapes our affections 1 Sam. 16:23

 

 

Worship is declaring God’s worth!
Wisely choose your music, because it affects how you worship!

 

Message Based Discussion Questions
(See below for suggested answers)

1)       What were some of the first religious songs you ever sang?
Digging Deeper:
2)      Read John 8:31-36.  What did Jesus say the truth would do? _____________  Why did the Jews
          not see their slavery?  Can a person be enslaved to a certain kind of music?  What biblical
          principles can you think of to help determine what kind of music is edifying? 
3)      Read Gal. 5:1; 3:1-3. According to Paul, what is the contrast between these two passages?
          ________________________________  What is the purpose of the Law in American?  What is
         the purpose of the Mosaic Law?  How can someone get enslaved to the Mosaic Law?  How can
         someone get enslaved to laws in worship?
4)       According to Gal. 5:13, what was Paul concerned about with liberty?
          ________________________________ How should a Christian use liberty?  What does that
          look like in worship?
Making application of the message to life:
5)      Based on the message, why is music good? How does it help you?
6)      How can you ensure you are worshiping in Spirit and in Truth?
7)      How can you help in corporate worship at Grace?  What specific things can you do?

 

 

 

Component
Discipline
Proper Use
Sinful Use
Chemical Elements
Chemistry
Vaccine
Poison
Colors/light
Art
Michelangelo
Pornography
Spoken letters
Speech
Bible teaching
Lying, slander
Written letters
Composition
Music lyrics
C.S. Lewis, “Messiah”
Moral filth
Gangsta Rap
Sound waves
Music
Refreshing the spirit and body
Stimulating lust Instant gratification

  

Message Based Discussion Questions 

1)      What were some of the first religious songs you ever sang?

           a)      One of the first songs was “This is my Father’s World.”
           b)      I also learned “Jesus loves me, this I know.” 

Digging Deeper: 

2)      Read John 8:31-36.  What did Jesus say the truth would do? __set me free_  Why did the Jews
          not see their slavery?  Can a person be enslaved to a certain kind of music?  What biblical
          principles can you think of to help determine what kind of music is edifying? 

a)      They were focused on their rituals as a list of things to do and by doing them, they thought God
         would be pleased.  They were more interested in the act, rather than the relationship.

          i)        They saw physical slavery in the Roman Empire and didn’t see their spiritual slavery to
                     sin.
          ii)      As long as they could not do temporal or physical things, they focused on those rather
                    than on the spiritual bondage to the Mosaic Law or their traditions.

b)      A person can be enslaved to a certain kind of music in several ways:

          i)       They may have their list of acceptable forms of music.
          ii)      They may restrict themselves from forms they consider unacceptable.
          iii)    They say music must be done in a certain way (often what they grew up with or were
                   used to hearing)

c)      Scripture is not clear on the kind of music God considers edifying, however, it does say that
         communication must be edifying and not corruptible.  Does the music corrupt or edify?  Does it
         enslave a person, or does it set them free?  What are  the results or what is produced from the
         “form” of music?

3)      Read Gal. 5:1; 3:1-3. According to Paul, what is the contrast between these two passages? __Be
          set free ( do not be enslaved) vs. why do you think that you can do it on your own__  What is
          the purpose of the Law in American?  What is the purpose of the Mosaic Law?  How can
          someone get enslaved to the Mosaic Law?  How can someone get enslaved to laws in worship?

          a)      The purpose of the law in America is to provide stability for the country, protect the
                   people from within and without and ensure people have equal opportunities to pursue life.

          b)      The Mosaic Law was to provide stability in Israel, protect the people from within and
                    provide a way for the people to worship God.  The Law also demonstrated that people
                    could not keep the Law and would need a Savior to deliver them.

          c)      People were enslaved to the Mosaic Law by thinking overt obedience to the Law put a
                   person in good standing with God.  They thought by keeping the Law, God would give
                   them eternal life.

          d)      People can get enslaved to laws in worship by legalism or saying music must be done a
                   particular way.  They do not leave room for flexibility or preference. They also become
                   enslaved by restricting themselves to one form of worship.

 

4)      According to Gal. 5:13, what was Paul concerned about with liberty? _not using liberty in
         Christ for personal use______ How should a Christian use liberty?  What does that look like in
         worship?

         a)      A Christian should use liberty to worship God

                   i)        Use liberty to serve others.
                   ii)      Use liberty to reach others with the gospel.
                   iii)    Use liberty to worship together in different cultures.

          b)      Liberty in worship looks like a variety of different worship forms, but all expressing
                   dependence and enjoyment in the presence of God.

                    i)       Liberty is freedom from legalism or oppression.
                    ii)      Liberty is willingness to worship with people who are different than you or
                             worship in a different way. 

Making application of the message to life: 

5)      Based on the message, why is music good? How does it help you?

          a)      Music is good because it is a mechanism to speak the truth.  It allows the Spirit to work
                   through us. 
          b)      It helps because it touches the emotions of life and assists in expressing passion toward
                   God in the same way that romance expresses passion in marriage.
           c)      Music is something many people can enjoy doing together. It is something people can do
                    repetitively. 

6)      How can you ensure you are worshiping in Spirit and in Truth?

             a)      I must have confessed my sins to God and be dependent on the Holy Spirit.(1 John 1:9)
             b)      I must have a repentant heart. (2 Cor. 7:9-11)
             c)      I must not have any idols of the heart, but be filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 5:18)
             d)      I can support the lyrics and practices by the guidelines of the Scripture (1 Pet. 1:15-16).
             e)      I am humbly dependent on God loving Him with all my heart, soul and mind (John
                       5:19, 30).

 

7)      How can you help in corporate worship at Grace?  What specific things can you do?

            a)      Participate in instrumental or singing teams.
            b)      Offer to help in the upper room.
            c)      Offer to help with stage help or music assistants.
            d)      Make a joyful noise with the congregation.
            e)      Tell the music team they did a great job, if they did.
            f)       Encourage people to participate with their musical abilities.
            g)      Be early and prepare your heart to worship the Lord.

 

MSG: Choose Music Wisely for Our Lord

This message was presented on April 14, 2013 as the second of four messages on Music and Worship as we celebrate our new Pastor of Worship and Arts to the team at Grace.

Choose Music Wisely for Our Lord
John 4:19-24 

            Let us consider five comments. People often come to our church and like the messages, but leave because the music was not just what they wanted. There are people who stay out of the beginning of the service and come in when they think the singing is about done. For some, music is either irrelevant or just something we do because it is what “I as an individual like.”  Some churches have seven musical venues, so people can hear the kind of music they like and still get the same sermon. Some people might see the purpose of music as, “expressing truth with what I enjoy so that it will be memorable and it stimulates me.”   What is the common thread of these comments? The common thread is “the individual.” Is the individual the reason for having music in worship?

            Does music matter? It matters to God.  Do we only need to be concerned about lyrics and the actual music or the poetic form of the lyrics doesn’t matter?  IF the words are all that matters, then we can use whatever musical form we desire.  Music becomes purely personal preference, because the only concern is the content of the words.

Let’s first step back and look at what worship is and then consider how music affects worship.  What is worship and how does music affect worship? Let’s start out with this underlying motivation, And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. (Col. 3:23)  What is worship?  

1)      Worship is declaring God’s worth  John 4:19-24 

In John 4:19-24 in His discussion with the woman at the well, Jesus describes worship for us. Jesus says two things. First, God seeks those who will worship Him and secondly, those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth. How we worship declares how we view God, our value of God, or His “worthship.”  How do I worship?

Jesus meets a woman of the city who draws her water at noon, because that is when no one else is at the well.  Everyone else goes in the morning or the evening when it is cool. She has been living a lifestyle whereby she wants to avoid people. Jesus asks her for water and in the discussion He offers her living water.  Living water?  She wants the living water, so she doesn’t have to go to the well. When Jesus discusses her life of being married five times and the sixth man she is connected to is outside of marriage, she gets uncomfortable and changes the discussion.

                   19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
              20 “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place
             where one ought to worship.”
              21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this
              mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.
             22 “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the
             Jews.
             23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in
             spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
 24“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:19-24)

The Samaritans said worship was to be done on Mt. Gerizim and the Jews said worship was to be done on Mt. Zion. In both cases, the emphasis was: what is the right way? What is the right form? Both the Jews and Samaritans were preoccupied with the overt form of worship.   God did, after all, in Exodus and Leviticus, establish a precisely prescribed procedure of how to worship. Later, He directed it to be done in Jerusalem.  But Jesus draws her to the heart of the issue – worship is done by Spirit and Truth.

            Many argue whether this refers to the human spirit or the Holy Spirit.  People have no trouble defining truth as the truth of God’s Word. But what does “spirit” refer to, since it is not capitalized in most translations?

            It is helpful to understand the three ingredients for spiritual growth. The ingredients are listed in Romans 15:13-14, where Paul writes, “13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 14Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.   
 
            Our God of hope wants us to abound in hope.  How will that happen? We will abound when we put three ingredients into our spiritual life practice. The first ingredient for spiritual growth is our responsibility of faith as the text says  “in believing.” Notice, the second ingredient for spiritual growth is what God provides as it says, “by the power of the Holy Spirit.” And the third ingredient for growth is God’s Word, or as the text says, “filled with all knowledge, able to admonish…” referring back to Romans 15:4, “4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.  So, we have first, believing or faith; secondly, the Spirit and thirdly, God’s Word or Truth.  These are the three ingredients for spiritual growth.  They also are the three ingredients for worship. Let me explain.

             First, we worship in Truth.  I cannot worship God in whatever way I please.  Do you remember what happened to Cain when he offered a sacrifice to God?  He brought what he thought was a good offering of the ground, but God did not respect or accept it. Additionally, Jesus said it well in John 4:22, “”You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. Jesus was not hesitant to distinguish that the God of the Jews was the true God.  He was not hesitant to say the Jews were worshiping correctly, because they worshiped the true God. After all, the Samaritans had taken some ideas from the Jews and incorporated their ownideas for their god. They decided who their God was and how they would worship Him.  That is exactly what Cain did.

            So what should be included in worship according to Truth? Truth teaches we worship God alone.  The first commandment states, “I am the Lord your God…you shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex. 20:2-3)  God spoke through Isaiah the prophet, “I am the Lord, there is no other.” (Is. 45:18)   Jesus Christ is the One to whom every knee will bow (Phil. 2:9-11). 

            Truth also teaches God has given us examples of the elements in our corporate worship. These include Scripture reading (1 Tim. 4:13); preaching (2 Tim. 4:2-4); singing (Eph. 5:19-20; Col.. 3:16); prayer 1 Tim. 2:1, the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-42) and giving (2 Cor. 16:2).  So we worship God according to His Word, that is, by means of truth from God.  In fact, Paul tells Timothy, “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (1 Tim. 4:13)  The elements of worship are important, because they are based on Truth.  Truth declares God’s worth, His value.  

            Secondly, we worship in Spirit.  John 4:24 records that we worship in Spirit and truth.  There is one preposition for both nouns.  The words are united as one thought.  Both go together for true worship. So, is it the human spirit or the Holy Spirit? 

           The woman was seeking a form of worship.  Jesus wanted her to get to the relationship of worship.  Jesus says, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37)  That is our entire being, in fact, our spirit.  

           We should recognize, however, Jesus did nothing on earth apart from the Holy Spirit. He was led into testing by the Spirit and led out of it by the Spirit  (Luke 4:1, 14). He verified his public ministry was anointed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18).  His miracles were done by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 5:17; 6:19; 8:46; Acts 10:38).  And He was sustained on the cross by the Holy Spirit (Heb. 9:14).  If that were true of Jesus, how could we worship God apart from the Holy Spirit? In 1 John 5:6, we read about  the connection of the Holy Spirit to Truth, “The Spirit is truth.”

            Now, if you choose not to interpret pneumahere as Holy Spirit, that’s okay, because you still have to be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit to worship God. And when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will worship through singing as Paul writes,

            …be filled with the Spirit,
            19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making
             melody in your heart to the Lord,
            20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
             (Eph. 5:18-20)

So, when Jesus says to worship in Spirit and Truth, He is referring to worship from the inner being of the human spirit by means of the Holy Spirit.  Finally, the third ingredient of worship.

          Thirdly, we worship the Lord.  Our act of worship is the third ingredient of worship.  Worship is a form of dependence on God.  It expresses upon whom we are dependent.   Just as faith and prayer are both dependence on the Lord, worship says I trust only in the Lord.

          Worship is declaring God’s worth.  So, how does music affect worship? 

2)      Music will rightly or wrongly move me – is it worship?  

          Let us understand again the three ingredients related to worship. How do you worship the Lord?  “In truth” is easy, because you measure worship by the Word. The second ingredient “worship” is your dependence on God.  How do you worship “in Spirit”?  Is it your feelings? Is it your affections? Is it your passion?  Is the affection expressed in worshiping God the same as the emotional response of a team winning a championship?  Is the affection I have for God the same as the affection I have for Papa Murphy’s pizza?  How do I distinguish the affections a young girl has for a rock star singer and affections I have for Jesus Christ?  

          We have to be careful not to equate the human spirit with physical feelings.  Physical feelings can be stimulated without any thought or spiritual affection.  Let’s say that you tickle your granddaughter and she laughs till she almost wets her pants.  OR, if you tell her a joke, she may also laugh.  Are they the same? When tickling her, she’s stimulated without any kind of thought, but in the joke, she laughs because she intellectually understood the punch line and the laughter, the emotional expression, came because she understood the joke.  By tickling her, the tickling is driving her to laugh and is not a thought process. By telling her a joke, she laughs because she thought about it. One is an emotional response driven from something outside and the other is an emotional response because of something inside.

           Is music driving my feelings and I call it worship in the Spirit or is music a mechanism the Spirit uses to help me worship?   When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, music is a mechanism the Holy Spirit uses to enhance your worship. 

          Music provides a means to express your affections to the Lord.  Music is designed to help you.  We believe in a mighty God, and we put that truth to music in “A Mighty Fortress is our God.”  We believe in the shed blood of Jesus and it’s put into many hymns like “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” or “Before the Throne.”  Now, we’re not seeking emotions or feelings, yet they may be a strong response in worship. 

          Are there some emotions that would be inappropriate in worshiping God?  For example the emotion associated with uncontrollable rage? Or out of control frightful screaming? Or emotions associated with dreadful depression? Would you think it appropriate to worship a holy God with those emotions?

          We need to teach our spirits in the Word by means of the Holy Spirit.  Paul writes, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col. 3:16).  David used music to lift Saul (1 Sam. 16:23).  Paul and Silas sang hymns to lift their spirits while in prison (Acts 16:25).  

          Scripture identifies at least five kinds of songs: a work song  (Num. 21:17-18);  a war song  (Ex. 15:20);  a love song  (Sol. 2:12); an entertainment song  (Job 21:12); a lament song (Job 30:31); and praise songs (Ps. 150).

          Music often causes you to respond OR react in certain ways:  Consider the following examples:

          First, what happens when we fill your heart with music that rages? 

[Link removed, because of the inappropriateness of the music and content]

How would that music affect your thinking in worship? 

          Secondly, what happens when you watch a steamy scene in a movie?  Besides being embarrassed if you’re watching with someone else from church, what emotions rise up? 

          If that music was always played, what would be your view of God? How would that affect how you think? Is it any different than some of the sensual ways Christian singers express themselves today?

          Thirdly, if I play sentimental, light and fluffy music, how does that affect your view of God?

          This kind can be okay for kids and fun, but if that’s all you had how would that affect your view of God?  How would that affect how you think about God? Let us summarize how music affects worship.

          Music helps us express the right affections toward the Lord.  Music helps us respond with our affections when we don’t have the right words.  Consider these principles:

          First, music educates and guides our emotions and feelings.  When we have troubling or wrong emotions, good music can draw us to right ways of thinking. Paul and Silas were imprisoned and when they sang hymns, their hearts were lifted as well as the other prisoners (Acts 16:23-25).

          Secondly, music is a part of worship under pastoral leadership. The buck stops with the elders and the pastoral leadership.  Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Heb. 13:17)

          Thirdly, singing is not optional.  Singing is not if or what I enjoy, but part of worship.  Singing is a God-ordained means for expressing right affections in worship (Eph. 5:18-19).

          Fourthly, use music that expresses appropriate emotions. Music should be done decently and in order to provide stability for emotional health (1 Cor. 14:40).  For example, raging music should not be used in worship.  Another example is using great lyrics in questionable tunes.  Amazing Grace is a great song.  However, I once was at a worship service, where it was sung to the tune of “House of the Rising Sun.”  It worked because it was metrically correct, but inappropriate for the meaning of Amazing Grace.  It was “interesting,” but we are not commanded to be interesting. We are commanded to worship God in Spirit and Truth.
 
          And fifthly, musical choices matter, because music shapes our affections 1 Sam. 16:23

 

Worship is declaring God’s worth!
Wisely choose your music, because it affects how you worship God! 

Ensure your music declares God’s worth, because it will affect how you worship.
 

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      What were some of the first religious songs you ever sang?

Digging Deeper:

2)      Read John 8:31-36.  What did Jesus say the truth would do? _____________  Why did the Jews not see their slavery?  Can a person be enslaved to a certain kind of music?  What biblical principles can you think of to help determine what kind of music is edifying? 

3)      Read Gal. 5:1; 3:1-3. According to Paul, what is the contrast between these two passages? _____________________________  What is the purpose of the Law in American?  What is the purpose of the Mosaic Law?  How can someone get enslaved to the Mosaic Law?  How can someone get enslaved to laws in worship?

4)      According to Gal. 5:13, what was Paul concerned about with liberty? ________________________________ How should a Christian use liberty?  What does that look like in worship?

Making application of the message to life:

5)      Based on the message, why is music good? How does it help you?

6)      How can you ensure you are worshiping in Spirit and in Truth?

7)      How can you help in corporate worship at Grace?  What specific things can you do?

 

Component
Resulting Discipline
Proper Dominion
Evidence of Man’s Sin
Chemical Elements
Chemistry
Vaccine
Poison
Colors/light
Art
Michelangelo
Pornography
Spoken letters
Speech
Bible teaching
Lying, slander
Written letters
Composition
Music lyrics
C.S. Lewis, “Messiah”
Moral filth
Gangsta Rap
Sound waves
Music
Refreshing the spirit and body
Stimulating lust Instant ratification

 
1)      Work song  17Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well! All of you sing to it– 18 The well the leaders sank, Dug by the nation’s nobles, By the lawgiver, with their staves.” And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah, (Num. 21:17-18)
2)      War song 20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. (Ex. 15:20)
3)      Love song 12 The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. (Sol. 2:12)
4)      Entertainment song 12 They sing to the tambourine and harp, And rejoice to the sound of the flute. (Job 21:12)
5)      Lament song 31 My harp is turned to mourning, And my flute to the voice of those who weep. (Job 30:31)
6)      Praise song (Ps. 150)