Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day  
There is not only no substitute for musical skill, but there is also no substitute for hard work if one wishes to have a successful music ministry.

 

Why the Music of the Temple Was Successful part 3

Why the Music of the Temple Was Successful part 3  
THE MUSICIANS WERE FULL-TIME WORKERS.
            Third, these Levite musicians were full time workers.  I Chronicles 9:33 states, "And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in their chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night."  The chief Levite musicians were recorded by the chronicler as working day and night.  I Chronicles 16:37 states that the priests and Levites ministered continually (tamid 8548).  The word tamid meant that they ministered on a daily basis.
            The ministry of the Levite musicians was evidently a ministry requiring long hours or work since I Chronicles 16:37 states, "So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren to minister before the ark continually (tamid 8548), as every day work required."  A companion scripture II Chronicles 8:14 states, "And he [Solomon] appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges (mishmereth 4931), to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty (dabar 1697) of every day required. . ."  As mishmereth and dabar indicate, the Levites were responsible for the safeguard of the concern or ministry of music making in the Temple.  This responsibility included working as much every day as was needed to fulfill the needs of Levites' daily ministry. 
            The lesson to the church musician today is clear.  If you want to be a chief musician, you will have to be willing to work day and night.  It is no marvel that the music of the Temple was so successful since these musicians were willing to work until the task was accomplished.

 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day
When it comes to musicing unto God it is one thing to know about God but it is entirely another thing to know god as one’s personal Savior.

 

Why the Music of the Temple Was Successful part 2

Why the Music of the Temple Was Successful  part 2
THE MUSICIANS WERE PREPARED SPIRITUALLY.
            Second, the music of the Temple was successful because the Levite musicians were prepared spiritually.  I Chronicles 25:1 explains to us that the Levite musicians were separated or set apart to prophesy with music.  As we learned in Chapter IV, the word naba (5012) used of these musicians was the same word used of the prophets of the Old Testament who were great spiritual men.  Likewise, the Levite musicians were spiritual because they were cleansed ceremonially or morally as is stated in I Chronicles 15:12a.  "And said unto them, Ye are the fathers of the Levites:  sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren. . ."  Verse fourteen states, "So the priests and the Levites sanctified (6942) themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel."  The Hebrew word used here for sanctify and sanctified is quadash (6942), and according to Strong means to be clean ceremonially or morally or to sanctify one-self wholly. 
             In other words, these men were called to holy living.  The writer will not push this hypothesis any further exegetically, but it will suffice to say that in our dispensation the minister of music must be sanctified through and through.  However, II Chronicles 23:6a states that these Levite musicians were holy men, "But let none come into the house of the LORD, save the priests, and they that minister of the Levites; they shall go in, for they are holy (qodesh 6944). . ."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day
As I have often told my students, there is no substitute for musical skill when it comes to getting the job done well.

Why the Music of the Temple Was Successful part 1

Why the Music of the Temple Was Successful part 1 
THE MUSICIANS WERE PREPARED MUSICALLY.
            There are several reasons as to why the music of the Temple was so successful.  First, the Levite musicians were trained musically.  As was just mentioned, I Chronicles 15:22 states that Chenaniah was trained, “And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song:  he instructed (yacar 3256) about the song, because he was skillful (995)” He became "chief" and was able to instruct because he was an accomplished musician.  The concept of musical skill is mentioned in several other places in the Old Testament.  I Samuel 16:18 explains that David was a cunning (3045) player (5059).  As a matter of fact Saul's request in verse seventeen was, "Provide me now a man that can play (5059) well (3190) and bring him to me."  I Chronicles 25:7 states, "So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed (lamad 3925) in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning (biyn 995) was two hundred four score and eight."  II Chronicles 34:12 mentions the Levites ". . . that could skill (995) of instruments of musick."  Finally Psalm 137:5 states ". . . let my right hand forget her cunning (chashab 2803)."
            Since all of these words carry the sense of quality and the ability to perform well and understand music thoroughly we know that there was no substitute for musical training in the Old Testament.  As a matter of fact, the same concept was carried over in New Testament times.  I Corinthians 14:15 states, "I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding (nous 3562) also."  We learned earlier that the Greek word nous means with the intellect or the mind.  Since it is a Biblical principle, and since we are living in a highly educated society today, our music ministers in the church must have an intellectual knowledge of music and its elements.

 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day 

One of the reasons that a Christian musician should write out his or her music philosophy is that  it helps a musician to understand why  he or she does musics in a certain way.

 

Doing” Exercises One’s Philosophy part 3

Doing” Exercises One’s Philosophy part 3

            It is impossible to successfully discuss the necessity of having a Bible based music philosophy and praxis with a musician who considers that musicing is an autonomous procedure since his or her music philosophy and praxis is non-discussable.  It is not discussable because freedom reigns in all areas of this musician’s musicing unto God.  Therefore, although there are without doubt convincing arguments for not using many styles of music to worship God, one should understand that probably only the Holy Spirit will effect change in the way an autonomous musician musics.  A Church musician has the power to make autonomous musical decisions, but when we all face him whose eyes are as a flame of fire, we will have to give an account for how we have musiced unto God.

            A musician who sincerely desires to bring all his or her musicing under the Lordship should never recoil when someone questions the way that musician musics.  People who trust a minister of music or a music educator to guide the way Christian organization musics have the right to know why a musician does what he or she does. Christian musicians who are placed in a position of leadership should publish a music philosophy on that organization’s web site or in some other accessible publication so people are able to digest what that musician believes philosophically about the nature and value of music. 

 

 


 


 


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thoughr for the Day

Thoughr for the Day  

The mature musician and the mature Christian always takes the responsibility for all his or her actions including musicing in community with others.

 

“Doing” Exercises One’s Philosophy part 2


“Doing” Exercises One’s Philosophy part 2 
             No Christian musician is forced, by the norms and beliefs of other twenty first century believers or non-believers, to perform any style of music that contrary to Bible principles of musicing or that which is not congruent with changed life principles dictate.  When a musician performs various styles of music, he or she is acting on personal music philosophy and actual beliefs that that they are the best choice that he or she can make to music unto a holy, infinite God.  That Christian musician is testifying that these types of music are more appropriate, proper and profound than the time honored musical genera that have been used for multiplied centuries to honor and praise the triune God.    
            A Christian musician may be convinced by another’s arguments that a style of music is not philosophically the best music to use to worship God, and yet that musician may continue to perform that music.  My father used to say, “If you convince a man against his will, he’ll be of the same opinion still.”  So, regardless of what musicians say they believe philosophically, I am drawn to the conclusion that they are doing what they like to do.  Again, Richard S Taylor summed up the matter quite well, when he wrote, “Free domestic philosophies, such as existentialism, exaggerate individualism.  Freedom is the watchword, and personal autonomy is the aim.”  A Return to Christian Culture, by Richard S. Taylor p.66.