May 25 (Daily reading: 1 Chronicles 23-25) “Now when David reached old age, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. And he gathered together all the leaders of Israel with the priests and the Levites” (23:1-2). We know that David’s kingdom was highly organized; today’s reading shows how music was included in that organization. Of the 38,000 Levites who were responsible for all things concerning the tabernacle, 4,000 were charged with “praising the LORD with the instruments which David made for giving praise” (23:5). The psalms were meant to be sung; some are introduced by the words: “To be sung to the tune of …”
David set aside some of these singers “to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals” (25:1). God called prophets to declare His word to the people. They sometimes predicted future events, but more often God spoke through them for instruction, encouragement, and correction. This text reveals that prophecy sometimes involved song and music. These musicians whom David set aside to prophesy by singing and playing instruments were no doubt knowledgeable in the scriptures. In their role as prophets, they taught the people to know and follow the Lord.
This brings to my mind some well-known instructions from the New Testament. “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:18-19). “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16).
Our singing is to be Spirit-led just as much as our preaching!
My prayer for us as individuals and as a church: May our music prophecy of the greatness and grace of our God! In so doing, may our music always proclaim the truth of the scriptures!
– Al Gary