29 June 2013

What God calls a "great musician".

Scripture: Amos 6:5

"You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David."

Observation: In surrounding verses, the Lord God condemns the people for their shallow and flesh-pleasing lives.  But this one stood out to me the most: He dismisses their music, not on grounds of lack of skill or beauty, but because, unlike David, they do not worship.

Application: I have always loved music.  I have memorized and sung for as long as I can remember.  I've learned to play various instruments (only one very well), and have always found incredible joy and peace in music . . . singing hymns at the piano was what got me through the intensity of adolescence.  And I find it so telling that this musical hypocrisy is specifically called out as the Lord decrees judgements against the wealthy and powerful of Israel.  The Israelites are in trouble because they cheapen the glory of music and serve themselves with it. They say they are "great musicians" like one of the most faithful followers of God, when in reality they are selfish, foolish, shallow, and wicked.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite verses, Doctrine and Covenants 25:12.

For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

Nowhere, but nowhere, in that verse is talent mentioned.  The only qualification for blessings to be poured out from heaven upon the heads of those singing to the Lord is righteousness.  I don't care if you can't carry a tune in a bucket--and neither does the Lord!

Prayer: Lord God of Israel, reach out to those with music in their souls, so they will find You, no matter where they are, or what their lives might look like right now.  Let them turn their musical passion towards You, and send the Holy Spirit in power into the hearts of those who hear them. My life has been so blessed--and sometimes saved--through music.  Please, reach out in power to those who have this gift, and bless them to turn it to Your name's glory. And let me use whatever gift I might have in serving You wherever I might be! In Jesus' name, so be it.  Amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!