Yesterday, we saw how the music played by a righteous man had a powerful effect on an evil spirit. When we come together to sing and praise and worship God, it reverberates around the spiritual realms.
Today we read about how King Jehoshaphat turned to Elisha in a time of trouble, and Elisha’s response is to ask for a harpist to be brought. Then we read that, “Whilst the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha,” and he began to prophesy.
Whether it’s David playing the lyre to ease Saul’s distress, or the hand of God coming on Elisha as the harpist played, or the walls of Jericho falling at the sound of the trumpets, or Paul and Silas’s miraculous release from prison as they sang hymns together, it’s clear that there is a link between music, praise and worship, and the move of the Spirit of God.
But let us remember that God does not need music, rather he chooses to use it. He can choose to use other things as well – God can reveal himself through the preaching of the word, during our prayer times, as we take communion, through the exercise of spiritual gifts, for instance.
When we come to praise and worship our Lord, we should do so expecting the Spirit of God to be at work. When we come to hear the word, or pray together, we should expect the same. Music may be more emotive, but it is not our emotions that dictate the presence of God. And this is a good thing as sometimes our emotions are not very reliable!
This Sunday, come prepared to praise God with your whole heart, and expectant that his Spirit will move as you do – after all, Ephesians 5:18-19 tells us to “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart” – but be expectant also that the Holy Spirit will move in the silence, in the prayer time and during the preaching of the word.