Last year I created a new study for the women I worship with, a study in the book of Psalms. The first five lessons have been prep lessons, studies in the history of the psalms, the nature of Hebrew poetry, the types of psalms, and the place of music in Old Testament worship. What has amazed me are the little asides we have come up with—incidental lessons one can draw from hard facts. We forget that sometimes, and ridicule those who insist on fact learning as being somehow less than spiritual in their outlooks. Not so, my friends, for those who ignore the facts often make mistakes deadly to their souls. God had a reason for recording these things so it would behoove us to learn them.
Here is one for you. David spent chapter after chapter telling Solomon how to build the Temple. His instructions were detailed and specific. Do you think he came up with this all by himself? I have heard it said so, but David said otherwise.
Be careful now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it." Then David gave Solomon his son the plan of the vestibule of the temple, and of its houses, its treasuries, its upper rooms, and its inner chambers, and of the room for the mercy seat… All this he made clear to me in writing from the hand of the LORD, all the work to be done according to the plan. 1 Chron. 28:10, 11, 19)
Even in the disposition of the music and the musicians, David says the command came from God, not his own preferences. And he stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the commandment of David and of Gad the king's seer and of Nathan the prophet, for the commandment was from the LORD through his prophets. 2 Chronicles 29:25. May I just say this about that? When God wanted instrumental music in the worship, He knew exactly how to command it, and he was quite specific about when, how, and what was to be used.
When I was a music student at the University of South Florida, several of my professors expressed amazement at my religious beliefs concerning music in the services. “You are a pianist,” they said. “Don’t you want to use your talent in service to the God who gave it?”
When I explained as patiently and respectfully as I knew how, “What I want is to give God the service He requires, not the service I prefer,” they were dumbfounded. It had never crossed their minds, evidently, that the One being served had the right to demand a certain kind of service and would not accept anything else, in fact, would count it as rebellion.
David never decided what he liked and imposed it upon God. This is the man who said, “I will not offer to God that which cost me nothing.” He knew that service to God involved sacrifice, including the sacrifice of what he liked and did not like, what he preferred and did not prefer. David was truly a servant of God, not a servant of himself.
In every aspect of life, which are you?
They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain." Hebrews 8:5.