Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday - Nehemiah 12 - Plain Country Music

his chapter describes for us the musical praise and worship that went on during the years of the restoration of Jerusalem. There were professional ministers of music who were designated and paid to sing songs of thanksgiving as the people went about doing the business of renewing the glory of the city of David (Nehemiah 12:47). These musicians and singers were "sought after from all over the land.” Their assignment was to be happy, to be grateful and to sing with accompaniment (Nehemiah 12:27). And, Nehemiah 12:28 indicates that the genre of music which they performed was a mix of plain country music and village music. (Admittedly, those labels have nothing to do with the modern designations which come to your mind and mine).

Specifically, at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the singers were divided into 2 choirs which stood facing one another (Nehemiah 12:40). With zeal and joy, those "singers sang loud" until the congregation was full of joy and their rejoicing rent the air (Nehemiah 12:42 & 43). Whole families exulted and sang together with intense emotion as they praised God. Wherever we might classify their brand of music (if we could hear it today), one thing is for sure, it expressed the holy gratitude and happiness of God's people. Whether it's Podunk, sophisticated, hip or traditional: for sacred music to be truly "good" music as a vehicle of praise, it must be adequate to express the deep thrill which swells up in our hearts when true spiritual worship is the business of the hour. 

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