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Is Worship Music Biblical? (Y1.T2.D36)

Unsplash; "Edward Cisneros"

Yes. The Bible is full of worship.

Last trimester, I wrote a blog about religions that forbade music and how "the Bible is full of people bursting out" in songs of praise.

In today's passages, Jesus enters Jerusalem for the last time as a human, and the crowd throws down palm branches and joyfully shouts, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38).

Jesus healed many people throughout his ministry (Matthew 4:23). He fed thousands (Mark 6:44). And he loved everyone (John 3:16). So it's not hard to imagine a throng grateful enough to praise him in song (Psalm 118:26).

This outraged some Pharisees who complained to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" (Luke 19:39).

To which Jesus replied, "I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out" (Luke 19:40).

The battle over worship music continues today as some ultra-conservative or orthodox groups disparage modern worship. They complain about instruments or melodies. But Christians—like those in the Salvation Army—have used songs to "go into all the world, and preach the Good News" (Mark 16:15).

A Christianity Today post title "The Story of Salvation Army Music" reports how "William Booth saw music as a means to an end. Christian music should attract people and speak the message of salvation to their hearts." And "followers of Booth caught his dream of evangelizing the world and developed musical endeavors to aid in this holy task."

Those traveling bands provide an example of how people took the popular sound of the day (big band music) and used it to worship and evangelize. And they aren't alone. Christian music spans the spectrum of genres from screaming metal to inner-city rap.

James 5:13 reminds us: "Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises."

People who love God will always find a way to lift their voices in praise.

Worship music is biblical. And thank God that regardless of your instrumental taste, you can find lyrics that celebrate the Almighty and all he's done.

Hosanna and Hallelujah

12 On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, (John 12:12)

Matthew 21:8a, Mark 11:8a, Luke 19:36

Matthew 21:8b, Mark 11:8b, John 12:13a

37a As he was now getting near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples (Luke 19:37a)

Matthew 21:9a, Mark 11:9a

37b began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen, (Luke 19:37b)

Matthew 21:9a, Mark 11:9a, Luke 19:38a, John 12:13b

1 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good,

for his loving kindness endures forever.

2 Let Israel now say

that his loving kindness endures forever.

3 Let the house of Aaron now say

that his loving kindness endures forever.

4 Now let those who fear Yahweh say

that his loving kindness endures forever.

5 Out of my distress, I called on Yah.

Yah answered me with freedom.

6 Yahweh is on my side. I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?

7 Yahweh is on my side among those who help me.

Therefore I will look in triumph at those who hate me.

8 It is better to take refuge in Yahweh,

than to put confidence in man.

9 It is better to take refuge in Yahweh,

than to put confidence in princes.

10 All the nations surrounded me,

but in Yahweh’s name, I cut them off.

11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me.

In Yahweh’s name I indeed cut them off.

12 They surrounded me like bees.

They are quenched like the burning thorns.

In Yahweh’s name I cut them off.

13 You pushed me back hard, to make me fall,

but Yahweh helped me.

14 Yah is my strength and song.

He has become my salvation.

15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous.

“The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly.

16 The right hand of Yahweh is exalted!

The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly!”

17 I will not die, but live,

and declare Yah’s works.

18 Yah has punished me severely,

but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness.

I will enter into them.

I will give thanks to Yah.

20 This is the gate of Yahweh;

the righteous will enter into it.

21 I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me,

and have become my salvation.

22 The stone which the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.

23 This is Yahweh’s doing.

It is marvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:1–23)

38b Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38b)

10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:10)

10 When he had come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?”

11 The multitudes said, “This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”(Matthew 21:10–11)

39 Some of the Pharisees from the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 He answered them, “I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out.”

41 When he came near, he saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace! But now, they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, hem you in on every side, 44 and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another, because you didn’t know the time of your visitation.”

11 Jesus entered into the temple in Jerusalem. When he had looked around at everything, it being now evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. (Mark 11:11)

Meditation Moment

Dear God,

All the earth worships You and will sing to You and lift up Your name (Psalm 66:4). No matter what happens I seek You and commit my life to You, the God who does great things that can’t be fathomed, marvelous things without number (Job 5:8–9). Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. I will declare Your name to everyone I know and among the congregation—I will sing your praise (Hebrews 2:12).


Meditation Music Link


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