From 1 Chronicles 25-27
The book of first Chronicles near the end has a series of records describing David’s government. It seems David was fairly organised and ruled well. The first few accounts describe the levites and the priests. In today’s passage we will have another look at the musicians.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
25 David and the chiefs of the service also set apart for the service the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals. The list of those who did the work and of their duties was: 2 Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah, sons of Asaph, under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the direction of the king. 3 Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with the lyre in thanksgiving and praise to the LORD. (1 Chr 25.1-3)
It seems men prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals and they did this under the direction of the king.
The role of a prophet was to speak aloud the words of God to the people. Sometimes it involved the prediction of future events. However most times God spoke through them to teach, encourage, rebuke and judge. These men under David’s direction are no doubt knowledgeable in the scriptures and perform a teaching service for the people. Teaching them to know the LORD and walk in his ways.
They did this however using song and music. Much like our music in church should be today. We should hopefully learn something about the LORD as well as be encouraged and offer up our praises in song.
4 Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth. 5 All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him, for God had given Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. 6 They were all under the direction of their father in the music in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the order of the king. 7 The number of them along with their brothers, who were trained in singing to the LORD, all who were skillful, was 288. (1 Chr 25.4-7)
Prophets were also known as seers. When David wanted to inquire of the LORD, he would go to the seer and seek direction of the LORD through him.
Then the account resumes is description of the musicians. There were 288 of them. Thats a lot.
Story of Israel
Song has been used to describe the mighty deeds of the LORD throughout Israel’s history. Consider the following.
After their rescue from Egypt
15 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying,
“I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 The LORD is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The LORD is a man of war;
the LORD is his name. (Ex 15.1-3)
Solomon’s Dedication of the Temple
7 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the LORD. 5 King Solomon offered as a sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6 The priests stood at their posts; the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the LORD that King David had made for giving thanks to the LORD—for his steadfast love endures forever—whenever David offered praises by their ministry; opposite them the priests sounded trumpets, and all Israel stood. (2 Ch 7:1–6)
And of course the Psalms. This is the start of a song for the sabbath.
1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
4 For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy. (Ps 92:1–4)
Story of Jesus
People sung during Jesus’ first appearance. Following his death and resurrection, Paul instructed his followers to play music to the lord with thanksgiving in their hearts.
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5:15–21)
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