One of the awesome things about music and its inspirational powers is its history. Music goes all the way back. People were moved by music since time began. It helped them communicate with God. It drew them closer to one another. It provided them an outlet for their emotions.
One of the most lush and larger-than-life places we see this played out is in the book of Psalm. The Bible is replete with words from songs to God but nowhere more so than in David’s book of songs. From blessed is the one in Psalm 1 to praise the Lord in Psalm 150, David pens beautiful sonnets and sounds. Everyone from Amy Grant to U2 has borrowed from David’s lyrics and set the words to new and beautiful melodies. They resonate just as clearly today.
The longest Psalm is Chapter 119 and my Women in the Word bible study was charged with reading it and meditating on it over the holiday break from our study. It is a 176 verse psalm with everything from praise to remonstrations to forgiveness and guidance. I’ve been reading it in bits and pieces because there is so much to digest. And I wish that I had musical ability because I try to sing them but can’t come up with the right melody.
Christians worldwide realize the power of scriptural songs, and particularly the Psalms. I was just reading an article from a pastor in Pakistan who, in a Facebook update, wrote these words: “Christian boy been murdered in police custody. Police fired shells on rally and arrested Christian protesters. Working on remaining tracks of “AWAKENING” youth album. Title song, Psalm 119, will be finished tonight.” His mission is to reclaim the heritage of singing the Psalms in Punjabi, set to indigenous melodies and rhythms. The pastor goes on to say that paying attention to worship renewal and music will reignite Christianity in the region.
Music. It does powerful things. It moves people to action. And if used by God, with God-breathed words, imagine the transforming power of the song. While music inspires me and changes my perspective in many ways as I’ve written about in this little miniseries, its impact is most dramatically felt in my walk of faith. God uses his scripture and His songs to draw me closer to Him, to breath a fresh word of strength and wisdom into my spirit, and to give me rest and comfort during time of need. If you love music as I do, then take a moment today to read a Psalm or turn up a praise tune. I dare say you’ll find the inspiration and perspective you’ve been seeking.