God's Gift Of Music (The Origin And Early History Of Music)
This a complete study on the origin of music.
All [bracketed] words in Scripture verses are mine.
Music Was Created With A Purpose
In the beginning, God made music... Music was a basic element in all of God's creation and part of the essence of its being. The emotional energy of music, its beauty, and its form, had but one purpose. And Music had its beginning when God spoke...
In The Beginning God spoke all the universe into existence. (Ps. 33:6) He freely breathed life, talents, abilities, and potential into his creation; an expression of His great love for all He made. His angelic host watched as each of God's words became galaxies, planets, and stars. They witnessed natural law as it was enacted by a Lawful Creator. The awesome, mighty Spirit of God was moving in power. As they watched, God set the universe into motion and began its singing. Who wouldn't understand the angels feeling humbled, awestruck, and joyous in the face of such holy, righteous power? The elation they felt could not be contained any longer. It burst forth as shouts of praise and singing, joining their voices to the music of the universe.
"By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers all the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD [trust and obey Him, recognizing His authority]; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast." (Psalm 33:6-9)
[The following question was asked of Job when he spoke presumptuously and the Creator God had to reprimand him:] "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars [angels] sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7)
"All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, another of birds. There are also celestial bodies [spirit] and terrestrial bodies [flesh]; but the glory of the celestial is one [glory] and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun [a star], another [glory] of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another in glory. " (1 Corinthians 15:41)
In the instant He spoke, God put awe-inspiring wonders throughout all of His creation. Each sun in space was different than all others, each angel a unique creature. The word translated as "star" is the Hebrew word kawkab (ko-kawb') which means "a blazing, moving or rolling light." This part of the definition of kawkab highlights how a star's gases "roll" off its surface to travel in constant spurts across the universe. The word's literal meaning is "to prick or penetrate, to reach through," as in the lights in the sky penetrating the blackness of the ebony night. Or, kawkab can simply mean "angel" (angel literally meaning messenger) bringing news penetrating the deepness of the separation of the heavens to reach the ear of the one to whom he is sent. The meaning is interchangeable depending on context, the same word used for both "stars" that live with God in heaven and stars that are suns that shine in space. So the "morning stars singing" means angels in the context of the passage of Job above, but kawkab is the same word used for stars in the sky as in the 1 Corinthians text that follows it (also above).
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament [expanse of space and the sky] shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, [each day an undeniable message comes from God's creation] and night unto night reveals knowledge. [The universe's design and each object in space displays that there is a God and makes it plain to all men that He is to be worshiped.] There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. [No matter where you go on earth or in space, no matter how remotely located the person, the voice of nature makes it plain that God is.] Their line [influence] has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." (Psalm 19:1-4)
You may be wondering what this has to do with music... In this physical manifestation of creation, music had a purpose which was to praise, to point to, and to thank, the Creator for the marvels of His love.
To all His spiritual sons, God gave, a place, skills and abilities to express praise to their Holy Creator. At that moment, when all were in unison, when all were staring in amazement at what God was doing, each was bubbling over with emotion too wonderful to keep inside. Then something happened. Every one burst forth with shouts of praise and singing (music). From awestruck silence to the first wave of the conductor's wand bringing forth a choir too mighty to comprehend. Each individual creature or thing of God's creation had a glory of its own and a purpose, whether it be angels or stars, a planet, a rock or a flower. Each thing placed carefully by God, each contributing their part to bring glory to Him.
Music Is Truly Universal
In this one purpose, the whole universe was acting as a single creation of God, knit together and weaved into one continual act of praising Him. In Psalm 19 above, David sings that "the heavens declare the glory of God." But then the lyric verse says something else that I found very interesting. It says: "Their line has gone out through the whole earth and their words to the end of the world." The word line is the Hebrew word qav (pronounced kav or kawv) and it means, "the measured entirety is all connected, tied together." It comes from the root word qavah (kaw-vaw') and it literally means "a string" (but not just any kind of string), a string that is to be used in a musical instrument. So a literal translation of "their line has gone out through the whole earth and their words to the end of the world" could be written, "The string of their musical instrument is playing the song of the glory of God throughout the earth and across the totality of the universe."
Or, more to the point: God is using the universe like a musical instrument and playing a song for whomever will hear that Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
"The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory. [It is visible to all]. (Psalm 97:6)
The singing of the angels was a direct result of overwhelming thanksgiving, of joy too powerful to maintain silence. Each angel from his core of glory showed forth to God the glory that was given to him. Shouts accompanied by words with music burst forth, music being a natural out-pouring of happiness too large to contain.
Not only did angels (spiritual beings,"stars") sing, but also the literal stars in space "sang." It is known that each of the literal stars in space gives off vibrations, each unique to that particular star. Our sun, as a one of the stars of the sky, gives off vibrations not unlike vibrations common to music. These vibrations (which our modern science can now record) can be heard and recognized as individual elements of music. The scientific study of astro-seismology examines different vibrations given off by stars caused by seismic activity within each particular sun. Downloadable sounds of stars are available and include "ghostly whistling, drumming, humming or rumbling sounds." In fact, one star vibrates sounds that resemble "a bell with a musical tone of F sharp." (according to astronomer Donald Kurtz of The University of Central Lancashire in Preston, U.K).
Can you imagine listening to the combined sound of the universe's vibrations, should all of the billions and billions of stars' "songs" be audible to us at once and blended together? The same Sovereign Lord that has made the intricacies of ice crystals and simple splendor of flowers, would He not meld these sounds of the stars into music? It is something to think about, isn't it?
To claim that music was an invention of some rock-thumping caveman is a lie, to say the least. God put the essence of music into His living creation. Angels, mankind, and also in the world of animals, there is music. Canaries' birdsong has entertained emperors and kings, frogs' lovely croaking gives personality to the night, and crickets' chirps add to the melody. With each sound comes another piece of the music of the Grand Universal Orchestra. The fullness of the sound declaring that the Creator God (Jesus according to John chapter 1) is a presence that all must recognize.
The presence of this Song (this Music) thunders the message across all time and space: "I AM The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. I HAVE CREATED ALL YOU SEE. THE MIGHTY UNIVERSE IS A TESTIMONY TO MY POWER, MY KINGSHIP, MY RULE. I AM THE ONE TO RECEIVE WORSHIP. I CANNOT BE IGNORED."
Music and Song Had a Beginning
People are under the misconception that the further back in time you go, the simpler man becomes. It seems that all popular thought declares music as being some fortunate mistake forged by millions of other "fortunate mistakes" that gradually became songs of worship to God. According to the historic Bible record, nothing could be farther from the truth. Scripture declares the universe was created with each spoken word of God, to which the angels responded by shouting excitedly and by singing.
The spiritual beings known as angels, sang at the creation of the universe. Because they were God's handiwork, each had the ability to know music and singing. It was a natural part of their innate nature as God spoke them into existence. Is it not logical that humans would be similarly endowed?
I believe that the first humans, were very intelligent people who also were formed with this innate ability. Of course Adam and Eve began a simple society, as far as technology is concerned, but they certainly had brain power that many experts in their fields think far exceeded our own.
The account of the first man given the task of naming all the animals boggles the mind, if we were to stop and think about what that request would entail. He has to design names for all of them, remember each name given, and teach all those names to his children.This showed he had great intellect. Think about it, it was probably a great many years between naming them and children were born to him. When children did come, he had to call to mind each name to be able to teach them. And of course, he remembered every name.
Consider this: God brought all the animals to him, and as they were presented to him, Adam gave each a name, all the land animals and flying creatures. Every dinosaur, every bird, every bug, worm, bi-ped, quadraped, all of them named and cataloged for future reference by one mind at the moment he saw them. Once he named them did he write the names down? Maybe... but then he would have to be intelligent enough to write the description of each and or draw them. If he didn't describe the animals in words or draw them, then he remembered them all in his head. Either way we are looking at a human being that is at or above our genius level in cognitive thinking, creativity and memory skills. Simply amazing!
Yes, the lifetime accomplishments of the our first parents must have been great. Why would I say this? Well, if you consider their brain power potential and then add to these facts that the Bible also states the lifespans of the first few generations of humans were very, very long, you will have to say that they had plenty of time and resources to ponder and invent. Adam lived 930 years! Can you imagine if one of the brilliant people of our "modern era" would have lived so long... What if Michelangelo had lived 900 years; what would he have done with that life? or Thomas Edison? or Albert Einstein? I can envision Adam and Eve, being creative enough to have conceived of many things that science has thought would have been developed much, much later in time. They were certainly smart enough to write songs and do something with the concept of music. Perhaps they would have written songs of regret for their sin in the Garden, or songs of repentance and praise because a Savior would be coming who was willing forgive their sin and would also punish the evil creature that tempted them, when the time was right to do so.
Singing And Chanting: A Means Of Worship And A Tool For Historic Oral Tradition
Preserving history by means of responsive chanting and song is found in the Genesis account and throughout the Bible. Almost every book of the 66 books in the volume known as "The Holy Scriptures" contains poetry lyric that was most likely sung at some point in order to learn history and to pass it down to the next generation. Such lyrics were used most frequently for the genealogies and verbal interchanges that have had the most impact on history. Such verses were used for worship and as teaching tools for children and the rabbinical orders that had most of the Old Testament memorized. The Bible also states that angels use this method of chanting and responsive verse to praise and worship as well. The type of angels called seraphs or seraphim are mentioned in Isaiah to have been using a responsive type of praising God in their worship.
An Artist's Colorful Illustration Of A Seraph
"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the LORD sitting on the throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another [responsive chanting] and said, 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.'" (Isaiah 6:1-3)
"Now it happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine [Goliath], that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So the women sang as they danced, and said, 'Saul has slain his thousand, and David his ten thousand'"... "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances saying, 'Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands?'" (1 Samuel 18:6-7; 21:11)
In Genesis, we have shown how singing was used to express joy at the universe's creation. The lyric poetry of Scripture text was not only used with the rise and fall of the tones of music (song form), but there is also praise and review in the form of a rhythmic chanting, such as in the passage in Psalm 136, in which the psalmist intends for the singing to be in a responsive quoting of Scripture between two groups of singers.
"Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! [first singer or prophetic speaker]
For His mercy endures forever. [responsive singer or speaker or group of responders]
Oh give thanks to the God of gods! [first again, etc.]
For His mercy endures forever. [responders again, etc.]
Oh give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever." - (Psalm 136:1-3; and see all of Psalm 136)
"When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD:
'For He is good, [First singer, etc.]
For His mercy endures forever.'" [response, etc.] - (Ezra 3:10-11)
Unlike our society today, music in this era was for far more than just entertainment. In those days, music was part of the way people identified themselves.The practice of literally wearing remembrance items was common. Fastened by a strap would be a little box or pouch that would be unique to each tribe and family. Standards by which the family lived and rules the family lived by would be there displayed on them for all to see, and for them to always remember. The pouch would be fastened to their forehead or on their hand. On the outside, you would see the family symbol for tribe and family name. Inside, you would have the motto and statements of history by which the family lived. There would be Scripture verses that the family used as rules to guide them. And many times music that was composed for that particular family was placed there too, anthems sometimes generations old which the family members had to commit to memory and then pass on to their children.
Such reviewing tools using music were used with the dual purpose of praise and thanksgiving coupled with a sense of a passing on of heritage, a legacy handed down involving the LORD God. History and worship were given as part of the inheritance as the people of the LORD God of Abraham. Music was passed down along with oral tradition, parent to child. Family music would contain Psalms, God's law or some commands or statutes from Scripture, family lineage, history, accomplishments of family members and life lessons learned, as well as reminders of the God that walked with them through all the years and made all blessings possible. Songs are much easier to commit to memory than prose and tend to keep their root meaning much longer because its structure compliments our brain's mechanism for memory. Such musical treasures would then be given to posterity to receive, so that family records would not be lost in the dust of time.
"Therefore, you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth." (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)
Although Genesis is positionally placed as first of the Bible books, the Book of Job is chronologically older. As the oldest manuscript of the 66 books of the Bible, Job is filled with poetry/song lyric showing that from the earliest days, singing and music has been used to chronicle important events in time.
Genesis, the first Book of our present-day Scripture volume, has many such song lyrics as well. The first occurrence of this is in Genesis chapter 2, when Eve was presented to Adam. Adam had never seen any kind of creature that was human like himself. The text doesn't say how long he remained as the only human, but what it does say is that Adam was looking for a creature like himself among all the creatures that he named. Among them he did not find a creature of "[his] kind."
"And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper comparable to him.' [human] Out of the ground the LORD formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all the cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. [a human counterpart, a companion] And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man." (Genesis 2:18-23)
What was Adam's response to seeing the first female human being, the companion, the wife designed for him by the hand of God? It was a statement made into the first love song. These lyrics are found in Genesis 2:23.
"And Adam said,
'This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman; [Click link for article with explanation of this love song.]
Because she was taken out of man.'"
The account of mankind's first sin is also documented in lyric form. This song was not based on a happy and joyous occasion. In fact, it is the most tragic moment in history. This song taught a lesson, but along with the lesson, is the hope that one day a Savior (Jesus) would come to fix the un-fixable problem of mankind's sin nature. This lyric is God's words to Satan after it was confessed to God that the serpent had deceived Eve. God curses the Devil and the serpent he used to talk to her, and then God relays to His enemy that one day a Savior would crush the serpent's (devil's) head, defeating him. It was a ray of hope that grieving humanity would need to cling to down through the generations. So this song was sung and passed down to each generation since:
"Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life,
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel." - (Genesis 3:14-15)
The next big event given in lyric form is after the account of the great flood of Noah. [click link for a short study on Noah] Most of the world filled with people (and quicker than you would think). Remember, the lifespans of humans at this time were very long and the children born to a family would be a huge number (almost laughable, if it were not in the Word of God and documented to be so). One child born roughly every 12-18 months, for the child-bearing years of the mother, who could live hundreds of years! It would be mind-boggling numbers in families that began to spread across the face of the land. This is why it was the practice to name a town after a family's name because it was not uncommon that a family would fill a place to over-flowing and then to declare the place a settlement. The town or city resulting would be filled with all one family.
It is understandable that parenting would be lacking and so it was that God "looked down" and judged mankind to be totally corrupt, without any redeeming qualities whatsoever, evil to the core. His answer was a flood that would wipe the globe free of life and start again. So, as you probably know, God used Noah and his very small family to build an ark out of gopher-wood which took him 120 years to accomplish. God gathered all the air-breathing land animals to the ark and preserved them. Then Noah brought his wife, his three sons, and their wives along with them, through the greatest catastrophe that the world has ever known. Mountains and landscapes were changed forever. Land masses shifted and changed. (*See special note below) God also tells us in Revelation that in the last days there will again be a shifting of land masses and mountains, but in that day it will not be the pressure of water causing the shifts. It will be caused by the Lord's anger shaking the earth in earthquakes to break up the plates of the earth's surface.
"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up and the windows of heaven were opened. (Gen. 7:11; 8:1-2)
"Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand.'" (Revelation 6:14-17)
*[Years ago I saw a documentary in which a geologist postulated that all the continents at one time were one giant land mass. He moved the illustrations of the continents on a map of the world like a jigsaw puzzle and showed how at one time they could have fit together. Because the Bible record does not specifically say that the land was at one time in one large continental mass, we don't know if that was what happened in this cataclysm of flood water, but that would fit the Genesis account. And it would also explain the migration of animals and people to every land mass on the globe in such a relatively "short" time span before the water wiped the earth of all life.]
In Genesis 1:6, the Bible describes the earth as having nothing but water on its surface during the creation and then God as having caused a "separation" between the water that was on the earth's surface with a canopy of water that was above the breathable atmosphere, a separation "divide[d] the waters from the waters." The flood brought down that water canopy and the globe lost its protective covering that held the temperature steady all around the it. As that canopy fell, the earth instantly took on the temperatures common today. Some areas stayed warm around the equator but the areas nearer the poles instantly froze over, making the animals flash-freeze with edible vegetation still in their stomachs.
God saw the need to make a covenant promise to mankind that a flood like that of Noah's day would never happen again. He gave a visible sign in the sky (the rainbow) and a verbal commitment (covenant) assuring that all life would never be wiped out like that again.The rainbow would appear caused by light that now would shine through water vapor after the rain. (It had never rained before, but a mist rose from the ground and watered everything.) - Gen. 2:6
Scripture marks God's solemn oath with this song lyric:
"While earth remains,
Seed-time and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease." - (Genesis 8:22)
By the time of the tower of Babel in Genesis chapter 11, the first writing as communication is mentioned in Scripture. The indication is that language and writing was present way before the flood of Noah. Therefore, it is logical to assume that music lyric would be present as well. (**See Scriptural evidence below)
We first need to examine a bit of history that most people disregard when documenting the history of music. That is the account of language disbursement that happened in the days just after the great flood.
After Noah led his family out of the ark, he offered a sacrifice to God. God again blessed mankind as He did at the time of Adam and Eve. He told them to "be fruitful" and "fill the earth." (Gen. 9:1) But man's flesh was tainted by sin so rebellion grew rapidly yet again. Their decision instead of spreading out and filling the earth like God said, was to attempt to gather themselves together and build a mighty empire and a tower that reached to the heaven. This tower was not just going to be a great edifice, but it had a stated purpose as given it by the leader of the time, Nimrod.
Nimrod had made a great name for himself in a world that began to ignore the God of Heaven with a renewed viciousness. He became known as a "mighty hunter before the LORD." A little word search and you see the word before means to be "in great opposition." You place yourself before someone when you challenge them personally. Today we would say, "There!... in your face!" When you put the word hunter in front of the word before you get a connotation that he was a man who loved to kill (both animals and people) and especially anyone that worshiped the Lord God. His fame was in being "archenemy" to the LORD God, nemesis to the One that "walked with Adam in the cool of the evening" in Eden. The word mighty makes it plain that he was viewed as a god-like hero comparable to a Hercules or Perseus or any of the demigods of ancient Greece or Rome, declaring himself to be as mighty as the God of heaven and therefore able to challenge Him. "Mighty" is a Hebrew word that means, "tall of stature, giant, valiant, strong, leader, champion."
He talked the people into disobeying God's directive to "be fruitful and fill the earth." He convinced them that staying all together would make them stronger, in fact, a force that would raise itself up and challenge the God of Eden. So in defiance of that mandate to fill the earth, Nimrod led the people in an effort to build a tower so large that it would stand face-to-face with God Himself. It is clear that he gathered all the people in the area of the tower together and then actively campaigned for more workers, undoubtedly forcing many into labor on the structure now called the "Tower of Babel."
"Cush [great-grandson of Noah] begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, 'Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD [a saying that most probably also was a song lyric]." (Genesis 10:8-10)
** "Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. (Genesis 11:1)
** The generations that came after Adam and Eve produced a whole population that was united in sin against the Lord God. The language, both spoken and written, was universal (only one language) across the face of the globe. We know this because of the verse quoted above. The earth had but one "language" and one "speech." The Hebrew word for language here is sepheth (sef-eth') and means "spoken language, talking communication." (literally: speech of the lip). The Hebrew word for speech is dabar (daw-bawr') and means "language chronicled, book, written speech." This is evidence that song lyric could be not only be passed worldwide by mouth in oral tradition, but all had the same written language as well worldwide, so written song lyric was probable.
God saw that one universal language was essential to these sinful people, if they were to unite in order to complete this tower project. Of course, mankind could never actually challenge Almighty God, but still this project would have begun a series of events that would bring much sin and suffering to the human race. So God decided to put confusion in the people by instantly replacing one universal language with many languages in the same instant of time. Communication essential to construction was immediately stopped, and in frustration, people were compelled to spread out across the globe in small groups according to language, instead of all being congregated in the same place together.
Since a new language was thrust upon them in a moment, instantly giving them the knowledge to fluently speak a new tongue, it seems reasonable to me that writing would also be given at this same instant. But because nothing is written of any changes from the former universal speech (writing, debar), we really don't know for sure if there was a time lapse between each new language bestowed and the new writing system that would have to be devised for it. So it is impossible to know how soon music lyric would again be prolific. One thing is sure though, when each language group began to produce its music and song, the exquisite beauty of each native tongue and style was again to the credit of God's creation. As each people group settled into their new means of speaking, music took on unique qualities, each group so unlike another and yet the music itself remaining universal to all.
To illustrate this uniqueness, I have included some simple melodies from three different regions of the globe that shows only a small sample of the variety of music that, in part, was caused by the confusion of languages in our distant past. I have each sample using the same ancient instrument so that the listener can hear a similar sound to compare styles easily. My friend and fellow hubber Mickji gave me permission to use her video that she already shared on a hub written recently. I used it to show the Italian influence on music. I hope you enjoy all of these beautiful styles of music.
Music On Ocarina - Asian Influence (China)
Music On Ocarina - Italian Influence
Music On Ocarina - American Influence
Which influence was your favorite?See results without voting
Chapter 12 of Genesis brings the account of Abraham (Abram) and begins the Jewish people and nation. The tradition of the people of God to document and commit to song all the important events in their long history begins here.
Beginning with this song in Genesis 12:1-3. God had his human authors penning songs, one after another, throughout the Old Testament. And the tradition is upheld as New Testament readers are admonished to sing songs and hymns and spiritual songs along with their worship, prayer and study time.
"Now the LORD said to Abram;
Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your fathers house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
And I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed.
- (lyric copied by Moses, believed to have been written shortly after the exodus from Egypt in 1491 B.C.)
"Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation [the mind is given to wine's control]; but be filled with the Spirit [let the Holy Spirit control your mind], speaking to one another in psalms [Bible Psalms and Scripture verses] and hymns [songs of faith giving praise to God] and spiritual songs [songs from the heart of worship, free-verse], singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:17-20)
This art of making music and giving glory to God got a big "shot in the arm" from a small shepherd boy in the countryside of Bethlehem, in Judea. David began his musical career while he was tending the sheep of his father Jesse. He was just a young lad when he began to use the long hours alone guarding the flock to pray and sing to God. He pondered on the God that loved his ancestor Abraham and that he knew watched over him in the wilderness, protecting him from the lion and the bear coming to raid the flock. He used the time to construct stringed musical instruments and to learn to play songs to God while he prayed and sung. He became known as a man who loved God. God called him "a man after My own heart." (Acts 13:22)
"And when He [God] had removed him [Saul from being king], He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony, and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'"
Young David Worshiping With Song While Tending The Sheep
Development Of Musical Instruments In Scripture
The first mention of musical instruments in the Bible is in a verse containing the lineage of the family of Cain (the one that killed his twin brother Abel). It speaks of a family of music makers that descended from Cain that were known for their playing of the harp and vessel flute (The ocarina. It is the ancient instrument that is played in the videos above.).
Because the Book of Job is chronologically the oldest manuscript, technically the oldest mention of musical instruments is in this music lyric in Job 21:12:
"They send forth their little ones like a flock,
And their children dance.
They sing to the tambourine and harp,
And rejoice to the sound of the flute."
"Then Lamech [direct descendant of Cain, 5th generation] took for himself two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. And Adah bore Jabel. He was the father of those who play the harp and flute [specifically the vessel flute]. (Genesis 4:19-21)
David's Favorite Instrument - The Harp
Sitting in the meadows and grazing lands, David began to realize that time with the Lord exposes who a person is on the inside. He understood early on in his life that he needed a merciful God to forgive him for his sins and that his own good deeds were not going to save him. He spent time in the long days and nights writing down his thoughts that were actually prayers to the LORD God. He sang the prayers with music from his "stringed instrument" over and over and by the time God made him king over all Israel and Judah, David had become a master musician and maker of musical instruments.
"[Woe to you...] Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments,
And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David."
Lyric found in - (Amos 6:5, see vs,3-4)
"And he [King David] appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the LORD God of Israel: Asaph the chief, next to him Zechariah, then Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Matithiah, Eliab, Beniah, and Obed-Edom; Jeiel with stringed instruments and harps, but Asaph made music with cymbals; Beniah and Jahaziel the priests regularly blew the trumpets before the ark of the covenant of God. On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren to thank the LORD:
'Oh give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!'" (1 Chronicles 16:4-9; rest of song in vs. 10-36)
David composed most of the songs in our Bible book of Psalms and then impressed upon his son that music was important. Solomon then went on and wrote...
"He [Solomon] spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs were one thousand and five." (1Kings 4:32)
Not only did king David write music and train musicians, organize and conduct major music events, but he also built all the instruments that the musicians played. Simply incredible! Even as David got old and knew his day of death drew near, he made sure to structure the worship of the Lord even after he was dead!
"So when David was old and full of days, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. And he gathered together all the leaders of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and above; and the number of individual males was thirty-eight thousand. Of these twenty-four thousand were to look after the work of the house of the LORD, six thousand were officers and judges, four thousand were gate keepers, and four thousand praised the LORD with musical instruments, 'which I made,' said David, 'for giving praise.'" (1 Chronicles 23:1-5)
"And the priests attended to their services; the Levites also with instruments of the music of the LORD, which king David had made to praise the LORD, saying, 'For His mercy endures forever,' whenever David offered praise by their ministry. The priests sounded trumpets opposite them, while all Israel stood." (2 Chronicles 7:6)
David loved God with a love so deep that he wished his worship to be the purest. The formula for worship that God showed to him has stood the test of time. People worshiping the Lord God today use the same basic elements that David made sure was in his worship, way back then. Taking into account every musical innovation, every change that technology has made, the basic elements of David's worship with music are all there. The stated purpose: to commemorate, to thank, to praise the Lord, to tell all people of God's greatness and to point everyone to God's love and His salvation.
Across The Universe Every Rhythmic Beat Of Music's Heart and Every Melodious Note Declares: "I AM GOD - LOVE YOU"
Jesus Said, "I Love You This Much..." And He Stretched Out His Arms And Died For You
Throughout the universe pulses a song. Within that song is a plea from Jesus, the Creator God. He urgently begs for each person to listen. Can you hear Him?
He is saying: Look Up! I AM Here! I Love You So Much. Please Let Me Into Your Heart And Your Life. I Want To Save You From Your Sin.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men... And the Word became flesh [God became flesh] and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father [the one with all of God's authority], full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-4, 14)
But why do you need God? The very first reason is that we are born sinners and we were not meant to be sinners, we were meant to be sons of God. Remember earlier in this article we read a song lyric that was written about the first sin? The way sin came to us humans is when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree that God had told them not to eat. That is the thing that keeps us from being naturally born as God's children. You see, when Adam sinned all of us were yet to be born. So when Adam became father to his first child and then his second, each of those children were born with sin. Remember, nothing sinless can be born from sin. So all of Adam's offspring (down through time that includes us) are sinners. All born in Adam are condemned. But Jesus died to pay for our sin and to adopt us into His family to become His children, to be in Christ.
"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12)
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22)
We are naturally born sinners and God cannot bring us home because sin cannot be in God's presence in heaven. But God has provided a way for sinners to be forgiven and declared holy. That way is to accept Jesus into your heart and life and to ask Him to take the sin away from you. He will use His blood that He shed for you and pay for your sin, so you don't have to pay for your sin yourself when you die. You see, Jesus was born without sin because He is God's Son, not Adam's child. He had God's pure blood, not Adam's blood that came from his DNA. Did you know that the gene for blood comes from the father and not the mother? It is true. Jesus had no human father, God was His Father.
"Now the birth of Jesus was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed [engaged] to Joseph, before they came together [before they had sex] she was found with child of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:18)
"Behold, I [Jesus] stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20)
This article was about music. It was about where music came from and how music is supposed to reach into the heart. It does that because music was created by God and is something that was made to go into the heart and pull the listener to God. Jesus stands at the door of your life and patiently knocks. Will you open the door for Him to come into your life?
If you know you are a sinner and you realize you need a Savior to forgive you of your sin, you can pray a prayer to tell Jesus you need Him.
Pray this: Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I know I need a Savior to pay for my sins because I can't do anything to pay for them myself. Please forgive me of my sin and save me, Lord. Jesus I believe You died for me and that after three days in the grave You rose from the dead. I thank You for doing that to pay for my sin and I thank You for offering to adopt me as Your child. I love You for what You did for me and I will follow You the rest of my life. I pray this In Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
More by this Author
Traditionally the father (or a male role model) would train a boy about what it meant to be a real man. Nowadays people struggle with this concept and try to distort the idea of what a man should be.
Although this article is part of a series, it is a Complete study on its own. Bible history is filled with idolatry. Idols are made to replace God in worship. What can we do to lessen this tendency in ourselves?
Although this article is part of a series, it is a Complete study on its own. It is in our human nature to sin. Part of us loves it and part of us hates it. We will define "Works of The Flesh."