The first question I would like to explore with you is the “why” of writing music. This is the natural starting point in any discussion, really, because if there is no reason behind it, there is no motivation. On the other hand, if there is motivation to do something, one will commit to jumping through complex hoops to attain the goal. Specifically for writing music, even if you have never been trained in writing or playing music, if your motivation is strong enough, it will drive you to learning until you can master it. So, let’s grasp that motivation!
A quick search on E-Sword (the Bible software program that I like to use) of the words “sing praise” brought me to some good reasons for making music. Some were commanded to sing praises; David indicated that he could not fulfill his daily vows to the Lord until he had sung His praise; others declared that it was solely their delight to praise God. It is described as a good thing to sing praises to the Most High (Ps. 92). The Bible views the making of such music to the Lord as not only (though most importantly) glorifying to God, but also as beneficial to the singer (player) and to those who hear (see Eph. 5:18-21 and Col. 3:12-17, where making music to the Lord is connected with the filling of the Spirit, true thankfulness, biblical submission, forgiveness, mercy, perfect love, patience with each other, peace, wisdom, and teaching others). Music has always been a vital part of a relationship with God, whether in Israel’s temple or today in the Church. For those who think like me (visually), here is a simplified list of the benefits of making music:
ü It glorifies God
ü It promotes a worshipful attitude
ü It answers the joyful heart with a way to respond
ü It calms frustrations, anger, and fear
ü It produces peace in the heart and love toward God and others
ü It teaches those who hear
That’s a good list. I could expound on each of those points, but you probably get the idea. Music is good for our spirits! And if that’s the case, we ought to be in the business of making it. Too many people are going to the wrong places for medicine for their aching hearts; but good, God-honouring music is a powerful balm for the hurting spirit. We can help others by teaching them and encouraging them through good music, and we can teach our own hearts in that way, too. So if the Lord is the Great Physician, in a sense, we are His pharmacists filling His prescriptions.
That’s some pretty good motivation for joining the long line of people who have made music unto the Lord! In our next post in this series, we’ll take a look at what kind of people make up this line, and we’ll see if we qualify to join. Until then, my heart will go on singing!
Soli Deo Gloria!