Pastor Bill, “Music communicates messages to our lives, to our hearts, to our minds, and even the very cells of our bodies. America is formed of many different musical styles, but our most infamous is country music. If you ever think that to be a good singer in God’s army, just take a listen to all those that are famous but would never pass American Idol. From Kenny Rogers to Dolly Parton, and even some of today’s most famous singers, they are nasally, pitchy, and yet they are award winners.
From the May 2012 bulletin presented by WYLL AM 1160, here is a perspective on country music:
“… And one of the reasons for its universal appeal is the truly authentic song titles they carry. For example:
How Can I Miss You if you Won’t go Away?
I Don’t Know Whether to Kill Myself or go Bowling
Hog Tied Over You
I would Have Written you a Letter but I Couldn’t Spell “Yuck”
… though the venues may vary, the storylines remain the same, including these mournful favorites:
I Shaved my Back for Nothing ‘cause Nothing Coming Back to Me
You’re the Reason my Kids are Ugly
I Wouldn’t Take her to a Dog Fight ‘cause I’m Afraid She’d Win
The Homecoming Queen’s got a Gun
Country Western is considered by many to be the ugly stepsister in music’s family portrait, as out of place as a TV dinner at Buckingham Palace… but put a pair of cowboy boots and spurs on her and she’s suddenly chic and sure to be a star, singing such hits as:
I’m Darned if I don’t and Danged if I Do
I Keep Forgetting I Forgot All About You
If Love was Oil, I’d be a Quart Low
Get Your Tongue Outta my Mouth ‘cause I’m Kissing you Goodbye
…That’s the appeal. The musician’s heartache transcends our own. His pain is our pain. His dog died too.
Thank God and Greyhound She’s Gone.
The Next Time You Throw that Frying Pan my Face Ain’t Gonna be There.
She got the Goldmine and I got the Shaft.
Jesus May Love you but I don’t, God may Forgive you but I Won’t.
Now, I mention all this because it appears that David, Israel’s greatest and most impassioned song writer, may have had a little bit of “country” in him too.
I say that because the introduction to Psalm 7 identifies this song as “A Shiggaion of David which he sang to the Lord.” The footnote in my Bible explains Shiggaion music as “a wild, passionate song” – perhaps the Hebrew equivalent to our Country Western.
II. Now, here in Colossians 3, God is telling us that WE need to USE the power of Music
In the NKJV we read “… let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 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.” Colossians 3:15-16
God wants us to use music as a tool – to strengthen ourselves and encourage others.
But, how can music help us as Christians?
1st – Music can change Our attitudes
In the Old Testament we’re told that, in the latter years of his reign, King Saul turned away from God. And so when God left Saul an evil spirit moved in. The result was that King Saul was driven nearly to the point of madness. One of his counselors told him that he knew of a young man who’s singing might just help relieve his burden. That was how David came to sing in King Saul’s courts. And we’re told that when “…David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.” 1 Samuel 16:23
Music can change our attitudes. It has the power to make us melancholy… or moody.
Back when I first went to College, I decided I would live life my own way. I didn’t shave. If I didn’t feel like it, I didn’t even brush my teeth. And I intended to listen to MY music as much as possible.
After about 3 months I seriously began to question what I believed. This so shocked me that I began to take stock of what I’d been doing with my life. I began to take more pride in personal hygiene and in my appearance… and I took a close look at the type of music I surrounded myself with.
One of my favorite groups at the time was the singing group “Simon and Garfunkel”. I’d listen to them for hours, but as I examined the messages of their songs, I discovered a pattern of despair and hopelessness. One song compared man’s life to that of a rat in a maze. Another declared: “I am a rock, I am an island. I touch no one and no one touches me”. I realized I needed to remove that influence from my life and replace it with more upbeat and hopeful music.
Music calms the savage beast.
Have you heard this saying before?
What if music awakens the savage beast?
What if the beat and lyrics creates dissension, hatred, anger?
How do we combat one of God’s own communication devices –
the power of music to reach his heavenly ears?
Is it possible the music can be a weapon in God’s army?
Music is in everything. Watch a movie or TV, and there is always some kind of music present. At graduation ceremonies, funerals, parties, and on hold on the phone you will hear some form of carefully selected music that is being used to create a mood or feeling.
I often times will comment, like many others, about the awful elevator music piping out on, well, elevators or while sitting on hold. The music is chosen, designed, to put you into a calmer place.
Would this be considered a weapon then,
because it is used to induce a certain behavior in people?
God uses music to receive messages and to send.
What does this music sound like to you?