yāḏa‘ [and] hālal
The old Scottish (Genevan) Psalter of 1551 affectionately and respectfully refers to Psalms 100 as “Old Hundredth.” The first stanza declares:
All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.
Here “is one of the every-day expressions of the Christian church,” writes Charles Spurgeon in The Treasury of David, “and [it] will be so while men exist whose hearts are loyal to the Great King. Nothing can be more sublime this side of heaven than the singing of this noble psalm by a vast congregation.” Today we consider a fourth way to praise God according to “Old Hundredth.”
The words “Know . . . that the LORD he is God” (Psa_100:3), show us that we praise God by increasing our knowledge of Him. Know is yāḏa‘ (H3045), which appears more than 900 times and has a wide range of meanings concerning knowledge acquired by the senses, “to know relationally and experientially.” It is similar to the Greek ginōskō (G1097), “to know by experience,” and often is practically synonymous with love and intimacy (Mat_1:25), as well as the personal relationship the believer has with Christ (Php_3:10; 1Jn_2:3; 1Jn_2:5; cf. Mat_7:23).
Yāḏa‘, then, first appears in Gen_3:5, where Satan tells Eve that eating of the forbidden tree would enable her to know good and evil. Gen_3:7 goes on to say that Adam and Eve knew they were naked. It also speaks of sexual intimacy (Gen_4:1) and even its perversion, such as homosexuality (Gen_19:5). Spiritually, not only does yāḏa‘ speak of God knowing us (Gen_18:19; Deu_34:10), but also of our knowing Him. While the lost do not know God (Jer_10:25; Job_18:21; Joh_17:25), the believer does, and that knowledge is to increase and grow. The psalmist desired to understand and know God’s Word (Psa_119:125). Solomon wanted “to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding” (Pro_1:2) and then added, “Teach [yāḏa‘] a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Pro_9:9). Peter likewise declares, “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2Pe_3:18).
Scriptures for Study: In what does true knowledge result (Psa_9:10)? What does Psa_44:21 declare about God?
Tag Archives: singing
HEBREW – Know [and] Praise (4)
yāḏa‘ [and] hālal
Serve [and] Singing [and] Praise (3)
Continuing our look at Psalms 100, we note the second and third ways to praise God in this wonderful “psalm of praise.”
Psalm 100:1A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Second, “Serve the LORD with gladness” (Psa_100:2). Many in modern church ministry think “praise and worship” is reserved for the church building and is comprised of singing and other “religious” exercises. The psalmist tells us, however, that praising God is extremely practical. Serve is ‘āḇaḏ (H5647), a verb that appears almost 300 times, the first of which is in Gen_2:5 (“till”) and 15 (“dress”), where God gives Adam the task of taking care of the garden. It is found repeatedly, then, to portray labor on one’s own behalf (e.g., Gen_4:2; Isa_19:9) or for another person (e.g., Gen_29:15; Exo_1:14).
This tells us something astounding: We can praise God no matter what we are doing. That is precisely what Paul meant when he wrote, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1Co_10:31). Dear Christian, do you dedicate each day’s activities to God? Do you do everything with the attitude that you are praising Him in it? Does the outcome of all your labor give praise and glory to Him? Do you take “gladness” in it (śimchāh, H8057, “joy, rejoicing, pleasure,” July 20)?
Third, “Come before his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2). Singing is renānāh (H7445), which appears only three other times (Psa_63:5, “joyful”; Job_3:7, “joyful”; Job_20:5, “triumphing”) and literally means “cry of joy.” It is derived from the verb rānan (H7442), “to sing or shout joyfully.” As one might expect, half of its some sixty occurrences are in the Psalms, but another fourteen are in Isaiah. What do we have to sing about? We “rejoice in [our] salvation” (Psa_20:5), “sing aloud of [God’s] mercy” (Psa_59:16), rejoice in His “help” (Psa_63:7), “sing” about His righteous judgment and government (Psa_67:4), and much more.
As Paul declares, there is nothing more indicative of the Spirit-filled life than the expression of song (Eph_5:18-19). Despite popular teaching, music must not be the foundation of church ministry or even the major emphasis. It’s not even mentioned, in fact, in Act_2:42, which lists the activities of the early church; the primary emphasis was doctrine. Singing (not just instrumental music but singing) is important, however, for its purpose is to be a restatement of doctrine. Oh, that we would seek depth in our church music!
Scriptures for Study: What do we have to sing about in Pro_29:6? What is the object of our singing in Isa_24:14?
60 – March – 01 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
Congregational singing began
1640 — In that we have no leap year in 2014 we are going to use the entry of Feb. 29 on this date because of its importance to our Baptist churches. This was the day that Benjamin Keach was born into the home of John Keach of Buckinghamsire, England. By the age of 15 Benjamin became convinced of believers baptism and submitted himself to the ordinance upon his profession of faith in Christ. By the age of 18, the society of believers that he fellowshipped with saw fit to set him apart for the gospel ministry. At age twenty-eight he became pastor of the Baptist church in Horsleydown, London. In the beginning they met in homes because of the persecution but finally built a meeting house which was enlarged several times up to nearly a thousand. He wrote many treatises and apologies on the issues of his day which found him in court on many occasions. He not only differed with the state church officials but with some of his Baptist brethren relating to doctrine and practice. Baptists have always differed on non- cardinal issues. One such controversy involved congregational singing. Because of persecution, it had been necessary to avoid singing in worship until around 1680. The whole issue turned on one point, whether there was precept or example of the converted and unconverted, to join in the singing as a part of divine worship. Also they believed that those whom God gifted could sing as the heart dictated the melody but not by rhyme or written note. First they only sang at the Lord’s Supper and then later after the sermon and prayer. Some of the dissenters would leave the building and stand in the yard. Later they withdrew and started their own non-singing church, but then started singing around 1793. Thanks to Benjamin Keach and others we have congregational singing in our churches today.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 83.
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Filed under Church History
Hebrew Word – Selah
As we close our study of the rich vocabulary of the OT, we could not consider a more appropriate final word than selāh (H5542). It appears seventy-one times in the Psalms and three times in a prayer by Habakkuk (Hab_3:3; Hab_3:9; Hab_3:13), which was set to a tune and directed to the chief singer. It is not surprising it is omitted in the corrupt Latin Vulgate, but does appear in the Septuagint and is translated as diapsalma, which refers to some variation or modulation of the voice in singing.
While the precise meaning is not known for sure, several possibilities have been offered. Some think it derives from a root (sal) that means “to raise, elevate, lift up” and suppose that it directs an elevation in the voice, to sing louder, or to pitch the tune up to a higher key, because there is nobler matter to come. Others view it as an affirmation of the truth of something, whether good or bad, and render it “verily” or “truly,” corresponding to the idea of “Amen,” that is, “so be it,” “so shall it be.”
The most common view, however, is that this is a musical notation that means a pause and musical interlude and is derived from the word salah, “to strew or spread out,” implying that the subject should be spread out, meditated upon, strewn out in front of us that we might attentively consider it. It often follows a noteworthy statement, good or bad, and likely indicates a pause for reflection while the instruments play an interlude. This seems to be the most probable meaning.
When we read this word, then, we are encouraged to pause, reflect, meditate, and consider carefully what has been said. This meaning is made all the more probable by its use in Psa_9:16 : “The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.” As noted at the beginning of our study (January 6), the transliterated word Higgaion (higgāyôn, H1902) means meditation (January 6), musing, and thinking in the heart. How we should, indeed, reflect and meditate on verses such as Psa_66:4 : “All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.”
Dear Christian Friend, the author and publisher of this book pray that selāh will become an important word in your Christian walk. May God richly bless you.
Scriptures for Study: Read the following occurrences of selāh: Psa_24:10; Psa_44:8; Psa_50:6; Psa_59:13; Psa_62:8; Psa_66:4; Psa_68:19; Psa_68:32; Psa_143:6.
Soli deo Gloria — To God alone be the glory.
11 Year-Old Brings Judges to Their Feet With Her Unbelievable Audition
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363 – Dec. 29 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
His powerful singing voice came to the attention of D.L. Moody
December 29, 1876 – Philip P. Bliss (P.P.) perished along with his wife in a train crash near Ashtabula, Ohio. A bridge collapsed and the Pacific Express on which they were riding plunged 60 feet into a ravine and burst into flames. Bliss survived the fall and escaped through a window but returned to rescue his wife but neither of them made it out. He was only 38 years old. He had been born in Rome, PA on July 9, 1838, in the home of praying and singing parents. He spent his youth on a farm and was limited in a formal education. At 12 years old he was saved and joined the Tioga, Pennsylvania Baptist church by baptism. He was most familiar with the camp meetings and revival meetings of his times and taught school while he studied music. In 1859 he married a young woman who was a musician-poet in her own right. He and his wife moved to Chicago where he became involved in the music publishing business. He also composed music for Sunday schools. His powerful singing voice came to the attention of D.L. Moody who related that the ‘power of solo singing of Gospel songs at evangelistic meetings dated from that time.’ Bliss then united with Evangelist D.W. Whittle and served as soloist, song leader, and children’s worker. Bliss wrote the following songs: “Man of Sorrows! What a Savior,” “Almost Persuaded,” “Hold The Fort,” “The Light of the World is Jesus,” “Wonderful Words of Life,” “Jesus Loves Even Me,” and “Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall, Christ hath redeemed us, once for all!”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 545-47.
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This is Special
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Music: What does God think
Music: What does God think
The charismatic infection of a Baptist church rarely occurs as a frontal assault. Usually charismatics are able to infiltrate a church one by one, and often hide their true beliefs, or at least some of them, until they are established within the congregation.
Sometimes, charismatics, and their principles, are hidden within a “Trojan Horse.” One of the most effective charismatic Trojan Horses is that of Christian contemporary music.
We should pause here to say that we are not against all Christian contemporary music. The term “contemporary music” refers to any music that is being written today. Some Christian contemporary music is well-composed, with words that are doctrinally correct and that lift the soul to a better understanding of God and Scriptural principles. Such music is quite suitable for worship.
However, much of what is called Christian contemporary music, while being quite contemporary, is not quite Christian, either in music or words, or if Christian in words, so trite as to be both useless in promoting Christian principles and annoying to the ear accustomed to good music. Much of Christian contemporary music is not suitable for worship in a Baptist church that honors the Lord and desires to do His will.
The problem many Baptist churches face is that some members, who either have no understanding of the place of music in our church services or who are simply carnal, want the wrong kind of contemporary music to be used in the church services. The music they favor lends itself to doctrinal laxness, an ecumenical spirit, and opens the door for charismatics, who thrive in such an atmosphere. Too many Baptists pastors, having little or no background in music, do not appreciate the dangers of the wrong kind of music in the church services.
While the author is primarily a theologian, he also has more training in music than the average pastor. In fact, for the first three years of his college experience he majored in music, currently plays four instruments, and has been involved in both symphony orchestras and bands. Further, he was music director of two churches of good size, so he feels qualified to write briefly on this subject.
The Definition and Composition of Music
The best definition this author has ever seen of music is this: Music is the tonal expression of emotion.
Through music, we express our many moods and feelings. Music can therefore be used to inspire patriotism, express love of God, build loyalty to the church, and express the true love between a man and a woman. It can also be used to inspire rebellion in youth, instill a desire for illicit drugs, incite to sexual promiscuity, and entice to a favorable view of false religions.
What a piece of music accomplishes depends on its composition. The composition of a piece of music shows the intent of the composer, for the elements of the composition are all designed to produce an emotional response in the listener. The elements of music composition are:
1. Melody – the personality of the piece by which it is identified.
2. Harmony – that which provides artistic interest by supporting the melody.
3. Rhythm – a servant to both melody and harmony, it enables the music to flow smoothly from one measure to another, and gives pulse to the music. Good rhythm is largely unnoticed and essentially regular.
4. Dynamics – the loudness and softness of the piece.
5. Resolution – this gives a sense of finality to the phrases and to the piece as a whole.
Some may ask, “What forms of music are legitimate forms of music?” We would have to answer: All forms, for all forms of music express emotion through the elements of their composition. Therefore, there is no form of music that is not legitimate music.
This does not mean, however, that all music is suitable for either Christian worship or even Christian consumption, for there is some music has a purpose that is contrary to Biblical truth.
“Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up.” – Daniel 3:4-5. Here we have music whose expressed purpose was to promote idolatry.
Take note of this: There is no such thing as “neutral” music. Music can express love, loyalty, compassion, mercy, faith, adoration, anger, jealousy, malice, lust, hatred, carelessness, and any other of the full range of human emotions. Further, music can be used to manipulate the emotions and express morality, or the lack thereof.
Let us spend a moment on what we said above about music being able to manipulate the emotions. Some people say, “Music doesn’t affect me.” However, such people are only self-deceived. Ever notice how that in finer restaurants the music is soft, slow, and relaxing? Such restaurants try to promote the relaxed enjoyment of the meal. On the other hand, in fast food restaurants the music is usually loud, fast, and jumpy. The whole idea of the music in those restaurants is for you to “gobble and go.” The Nazi soldiers of World War II Germany were single-minded in the dedication to their nation and formidable on the battlefield. Why was this? If you ever listened to a German march you would know.
Music in the Bible
In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to worship Him with both vocal and instrumental music, “Sing praises to the LORD.” – Psalm 9:11. “Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.”- Psalm 33:2.
In the New Testament, the churches were instructed to use music as part of their teaching ministry. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”- Colossians 3:16.
The God who instructed us to use music in our churches also told us what kind of music is suitable. Both in the passage above and in Ephesians we have three types of music that are approved of God. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”- Ephesians 5:19. Let us examine briefly the types of music God approves:
1. Psalms – these are Scriptures set to music. An example of this is the song, “Seek Ye First,” which is in the hymnal In Spirit and In Truth, published by the American Baptist Association:
Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
And His righteousness,
And all these things shall be added unto you!
2. Hymns – these are songs of praise and adoration. Songs like, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “The Spacious Firmament,” “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” and “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” By the way, hymns are excellent vehicles for teaching doctrine, especially those in the above-mentioned hymnal, and children who are raised on them love to sing them when they are teenagers.
3. Spiritual Songs – these are gospel songs and songs of testimony and exhortation. “There is Power in the Blood,” “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place,” “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart,” and “Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus,” are examples of spiritual songs.
Forms of Music Not Suitable for Worship
Any of the forms of rock music are not suitable for worship in the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. We say they are not suitable because of origin, composition, and effect on the listener.
Rock music has its origin in African tribal music designed to promote fertility rites and idol worship. When brought to America, it was mingled with jazz, blues, and swing music to produce what we now have as modern rock music. With such evil influences and evil associations, you would think that no Christian would want anything to do with it. Still, there are many who see nothing wrong with using rock music in church, especially to attract young people. What they don’t realize is that they are using the same music form that Satan uses to promote pre-marital sex, rebellion, and drug use among teens and pre-teens. And let us say something about using worldly music to attract young people to our churches. This author is old enough to remember when hippies were in style, and when their counter-culture was somewhat popular. Some Baptist churches, in order to reach the young people of their day, resorted to aping the hippie movement. It was thought that if we approached hippies using their language (“God can take care of your hang-ups”), music, and fashions, that we could reach them with the gospel and make good Baptist young people out of them. Christian coffee houses became numerous, and some churches even substituted “right on” for “amen” in their services. However, the results were, sadly, not what many wanted. Instead of winning the hippies to Christ, the hippies won many of the Baptist young people over to their philosophies and lifestyle. And why not? They were already half-way to the counter culture in their own churches. Have we learned anything from that experience of 40 years ago?
The composition of rock music is easy to spot. Rock music consists of a driving beat with the accent on the upbeat (backbeat) wedded with repetitive chord patterns in the harmony.
Remember that, earlier in this chapter, we said that the beat or rhythm is largely unnoticed in good music. Not so with rock music. The beat is upfront and in your face. It is designed to get people up and dancing, to move faster, drive faster, and eat faster. It produces a hyped-up, aggressive feeling in the listener. Good music has its accent on the downbeat. By accenting the upbeat, or backbeat, the effects of the driving beat are enhanced. Add to that the repetitive chord patterns, and you have a form of music that is both hypnotic and that jangles the nervous system. Rock music produces sensual feelings and an attitude of rebellion against authority.
When rock music is wedded to Christian words, the music contradicts the message. Having said that, much of the contemporary Christian rock music contains words that are contrary to sound doctrine and promote a self-centered, experience-oriented view. Because of its origin, composition, and effect, rock music is not suitable for Christian worship.
You will find that people who are regular listeners of contemporary Christian rock music are shallow in doctrine, rebellious to church authority, and interdenominational in view. These are not things we want to encourage in our churches. Yet these are exactly the characteristics of most charismatics. Contemporary Christian rock music prepares Baptist people to accept a charismatic mind-set, and sets the stage for charismatic infiltration into our churches.
Other forms of music that are not suitable for worship include jazz, blues, and swing, all of which promote a sensual mood. In our churches we want music that appeals, not to man’s base nature, but to the new nature that Christ provides.
Forms of Music Suitable for Worship
For the spiritual health of our churches we must have the following:
1. Music that is well-written, using all of its elements to create a suitable frame for the worship og God.
2. Music that matches, and bears out the mood of words that are theologically sound and spiritually uplifting.
3. Music that enhances the preaching ministry. Church music that does not prepare the people for the preaching of the Word of God is a waste of time. Music that prepares people for the ministry of the Word is most profitable, [NOTE: Too often I have heard this from Baptists: “The music service was so powerful, that we just kept on with the music and didn’t even get to the preaching.” What a tragedy! The Bible does not say “So then faith cometh by music,” but, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17. I would have a hard time believing that the Holy Ghost, who was the active agent in the inspiration of the Word of God, would lead us to leave off its preaching. God’s pastors need to strongly stand against anything that would downgrade the importance of the preaching of the Bible to God’s people and to those who are lost.]
Forms of music that accomplish the three items above are suitable for worship. Such music will promote doctrinal fidelity and spirituality in our churches.
The above: “The Trojan Horse at the door of your Baptist Church,” is chapter V of the book: “Wildfire, Tongues, Healings and the Charismatic Movement,” written by David E. Gonnella, (Pensacola: West Florida Baptist Institute Press, 2009).
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