Wisdom Of The Week

Wisdom of the Week by Dave Nelson of Libby, Montana.

Until my retirement in May 2011, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.

To view a full library of Dave’s devotionals please visit his website at www.wisdomoftheweek.com

Enjoy this week’s devotional!

November 28, 2022

“MADE FOR MUSIC”

     Music, both instrumental and vocal, has always played a key role in our lives. My mom and sister (as well as my wife, daughter, and multiple other family members) have played (or play) the piano.  I have played the French Horn since I was in the fifth grade, and my brothers-in-law all played instruments and we all sing or sang. I also remember the old Sunday evening “singspirations” as several local churches would occasionally get together to sing hymns and praise choruses as well as have special music.  Frequently when family would be together for the holidays, we would get around the piano and sing.

     While in college, Kathy sang in choir at Prairie Bible Institute and I sang in the choir at Grace Bible Church while attending Montana State University. I also sang in the “COLLYP Quartet,”  which would do special Sunday evening services in the Bozeman area; and, while working at Hyster in Portland, I sang in our church choir there as well. (COLLYP = “College Young People”)

     Music is also a key theme in Scripture. There are 246 references to songs and singing as well as many references to using musical instruments to express joy and to praise our God.  A number of the Psalms are prefaced by: “For the Choir Director,” or “To the Chief Musician.”  Instruments and singing have, from the beginning of time, been a key vehicle of expressing our joy and praising our awesome God.  Psalm 100 begins: “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.” The concluding Psalm (150) is one of doxology calling for praising God because of His deeds and His greatness:  “Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals…Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!”

     When the Apostle Paul wrote about being “filled (controlled) with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18), he indicated that the result would be “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (v. 19). Similarly, when you “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you” it will result in “with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16)

     In the most recent issue of Acts & Facts (Nov/Dec 2022) from The Institute for Creation Research, there is a very fascinating article, “Created to Sing” by President Dr. Randy J. Guliuzza and Industrial Engineer Aaron T. Guliuzza). The article shares that “singing produces lifelong benefits. It aids in brain development by establishing learning processes needed to assimilate astonishing amounts of information.”  As God engineered the human body, He linked together the auditory and neurological systems, and “made singing such a super-fun activity for toddlers that they gladly partake in this brain-building activity.”  Probably many of us still remember singing the “ABC” song, ending with,  “Now I know my ABC’s, next time won’t you sing with me?”  I still remember a silly song I learned in Spanish in high school.  And I’m sure most of you have hymns and choruses that still play over and over in your mind and often, subconsciously, break forth into singing.  Even folks who suffer from dementia and struggle with memory, can often remember the words of hymns that they learned years ago!

     “Our auditory and neurological systems were orchestrated (by God) to work together seamlessly to give us the ability to sing, play instruments, and enjoy music. Our brains contain an area that specifically analyzes music–an area clearly built for this purpose!”  Wow!  The more we learn about our human bodies and the many intricate systems that work together, enabling us not only to have life but to “grow in wisdom and stature” and to appreciate God’s created world around us and to express our joy and to praise God with our voices and our musical abilities, the more we can understand David’s words: “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth” (Psa. 139: 13-15 NIV).  (Note: “the depths of the earth” is a reference to the womb). 

     A key part of God’s amazing design of the human body is our ability to sing and play musical instruments, which He intended as a means of expressing our joy and praising Him.  It is interesting that Scripture also often makes reference to a “new song.”  In David’s testimony in Psa. 40, He said, “He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in the LORD” (vv. 2,3). In Psalm 98:1 all creation is summoned to celebrate and rejoice over the establishment of the LORD’s kingship on the earth with a “new song.”  “O Sing to the LORD a new song, for He has done wonderful things.”  Again in Psa. 144:9, David writes: “I will sing a new song to Thee, O God; upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to Thee.” David was referring to Israel’s “new song” of redemption (vv. 9-11) that will be sung in kingdom blessing (vv. 12-15).  

     When the Apostle John was caught up heaven to be shown things that would take place in the future (Rev.4:1), he saw a scene about the throne where they were worshiping “The Lamb that was slain” (Rev. 5:12). John writes: “And they sang a new song, saying ‘Worthy art Thou..’ ” (Rev. 5:9).  the final reference to the “new song” is in Rev. 14:3 where this “song of redemption” is being sung by all the redeemed saints in one gigantic choir. They are rejoicing over the accomplishment of God’s entire redemptive work before Christ’s return.

    We were “created to sing.” We were “made for music” so that in both time and eternity we could praise our Majestic Creator-Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is worthy “to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11).  So, “Sing to the LORD a new song. Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised…Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name…” (Psa. 96:1-7). 

Forever His,

Pastor Dave