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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | 1 Chronicles 25:1 | Who should Prophesy with harps

1 Chronicles 25:1

1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:

Before David died he set in order many things, today's chapter is the order he set for the musicians who would serve in the temple. The phrase that caught my eye was that their musical service in the temple was considered prophesying, "who should prophesy with harps." This, along with other verses lets us know that music is permitted in worship and that it is to be spiritual. The spiritual standing of the musicians in our churches is more important than the talent they possess. It isn't a talent show we host every week but spiritual sacrifices, "let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." 

There is nothing wrong with talent in singing and on the instruments, later in this chapter, we read that these musicians were cunning on their instruments. Yet the ones who were the best were not allowed to outshine the rest, they cast lots to see who would serve at what time, "And they cast lots, ward against ward, as well the small as the great, the teacher as the scholar."[vs.8] This was a wise decision on the behalf of David. One, he could show no favoritism among those because of their talents because this was not about showcasing the talent of the players and singers, this was spiritual service to the Lord, and a student can worship as well as a teacher, even if he is not as skillful as his teacher. Second, this would allow those younger ones to exercise their skill and have the opportunity to worship in this capacity, instead of being a spectator all the time.

Colossians teaches us that our music service is similar to what we read here, "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." Notice that in the NT there are no persons separated to this work but Paul addresses the whole church, that is because NT believers are priests, every one of us. That is why congregational singing is such a blessing, because when we do so, it allows every priest [believer] to lift their voice and blend with the others in worship, the less talented voices blend with the very talented, and one voice is heard. No one man or woman receives any glory but all the people magnify the Lord. That is not to say there shouldn't be special singers and musicians. Those special singers/musicians need to be spiritual men or women. Talent is a plus but I'd take a Spirit-filled man who couldn't sing a lick over a carnal professional any day of the week. 

Lastly and most importantly, we must remember that we must rely upon God's power and wisdom for our church song services. As a pastor prays and studies and makes sure his heart is right and he has studied for Sunday's service so should our musicians prepare their hearts to "prophesy with harps." I wonder what a difference would be seen in our services if our song leaders and musicians spent as much time seeking God in preparation as they did perfecting their craft. I have heard of some churches that have a full-on rehearsal every Saturday for the song service on Sunday, O that our rehearsals were changed to prayer meetings, and our talents surrendered to the power of God! Prophesy is a work of God through a sanctified vessel, these men would play on their instruments by the wisdom of God and the talent he had given them, and then they would sing the Psalms God had inspired. Some would speak of His coming, some would praise him, some would lift your spirits and some would warn you, the songs were as must as a message as the sermon that would be preached, and so are all songs that we should sing in church. They preach to us, they lift the downhearted, or they convict the sinner, some songs call men to repentance, and some do all of the above, the point is it is spiritual work, not just a craft or trade. Lord teach our churches to "prophesy with harps!"

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