Yesterday we discussed how King David called upon the singers and instrumentalists to accompany him in bringing the ark of God to its tent home…the Tabernacle of David! I want to continue this story by pointing out several very interesting things that happened during this journey!
In I Chronicles 15 we are told of the musicians who were called upon to accompany the ark on its way to the tent David had pitched to house it until the building of the Temple could occur years later under King Solomon. Verse 19 speaks of three singers, Heman, Asaph and Ethan, who were appointed to sound aloud cymbals of bronze, as well! Verse 20 details some who played psalteries (which is similar to today’s “zither” which looks somewhat like an autoharp; it is a stringed instrument, possibly a forerunner of the piano); verse 21 speaks of harps; and verse 24 mentions blowing with trumpets.
I Chronicles 15:27 says, Now David was clothed with a robe of fine linen with all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the singing with the singers. David also wore an ephod of linen. An ephod was a priestly garment or vestment for the high priest, so in essence David was acting as a priest in bringing the ark of God to its home, as he worshipped! Verse 28 reads, Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the horn, with trumpets, with loud-sounding cymbals, with harps and lyres. (NASB) Chapter 16, verse 1 tells us, And they brought in the ark of God and placed it inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. (NASB) It seems that the musicians were very jubilant, shouting, playing their instruments and really “having church”!
II Samuel 6:14 & 15 adds this note, And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet. (NASB) I believe they were all worshipping, feeling the presence of the Lord very strongly, as they journeyed to the waiting tent, many dancing and shouting. Some played musical instruments, including two of the priests who blew trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God! (I Chronicles 16:5 and 6 paraphrased) In short, they were “getting happy” in the Lord!
How many musicians were there among the Levites, you ask? I Chronicles 23:3-5 gives us the answer: The Levites were numbered from thirty years old and upward, and their number by census of men was 38,000. Of these, 24,000 were to oversee the work of the house of the Lord; and 6,000 were officers and judges, and 4,000 were gatekeepers, and 4,000 were praising the Lord with the instruments which David made for giving praise. (NASB) The number 4,000 indicates skillful musicians who had been trained and played instruments made by David in order to lead the singers and others in worship! I find this to be very exciting! Many of these ancient instruments are forerunners of those we have today, and some of them are still made in much the same way. If David designed them, perhaps he had others who actually made them from a prototype. Who knows? He probably did not personally manufacture them all. It would be interesting to know how the instruments really came to be made! We do know that David and others accompanied those who sang the Psalms, as is written above many of them in the Book of Psalms. There are 150 of them there, but more appear in several other Old Testament books; Jesus and Paul quoted them in the New Testament, as well, so it is assumed the Early Church also sang psalms, as the Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 3:16, 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. (KJV)
In I Chronicles 25:1 & 3 we read, Moreover, David and the commanders of the army set apart for the service some of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun, who were to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals;….six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun with the harp, who prophesied in giving thanks and praising the Lord. (NASB) Musicians were even used in warfare! Today, prophetic music is a powerful thing, and can be used in spiritual warfare! The Holy Spirit releases His anointing which in turn can bring about deliverance and healing as a Spirit-filled musician plays on an instrument. Case in point: Remember when Saul called for a musician when he was tormented by demons and David played for him on the harp and the evil spirit departed from him? (I Samuel 16:23)
In addition to (or perhaps a part of) the 4,000 mentioned above, I Chronicles 25:6 & 7 tells us about others used in the house of the Lord to minister in music: All these were under the direction of their father to sing 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 direction of the king. Their number who were trained in singing to the Lord, with their relatives, all who were skillful, was 288. (NASB)
And in conclusion, don’t forget Jehoshaphat, the righteous king who ruled hundreds of years after King David. He also knew the power of anointed worship music, sometimes even sending the musicians and singers into battle before the army of Judah! How would you have liked to be in that choir and orchestra? Here are the words of II Chronicles 20:20b-22, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. (NASB) The dictionary says “rout” means “to defeat decisively or disastrously”!
Is there power in anointed music? Absolutely! God has used musicians time and time again for His divine purposes, not only to destroy the works of the enemy, but to bring us into His presence through the oil and sweet savor of the music He has created…a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness! Come into the Holy of Holies and be refreshed as you play and sing before Him! Truly God has given us this beautiful gift, so be encouraged today, fellow musician. You are very special to God!!
I, as a musician, want to be a woman God can use in His Kingdom! I want Him to say of me, as he said of King David of old, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.” Acts 13:22 (NASB) Is that your prayer today?
Listen to this song I wrote and recorded a few years ago based on David’s prayer in Psalm 139:23 & 24…. I hope you will pray this prayer with me!