Monday, December 28, 2009

Worship and Hearing the Voice of God (2 Kings 3)

Beyond the most well known kings, like Saul, David, Solomon, and Ahab, it's really hard to keep track of which ones served the Lord and which ones didn't. Part of the problem is that the kingdoms of Israel and Judah are both descendants of Abraham so there are lots of kings. The other difficulty is that even the kings who commit to serving the Lord fail to tear down the high places. There's a lot of evil going on.

And they're always going to war.

2 Kings 3 begins with Jehoshophat (king of Judah), Joram (son of Ahab, king of Israel--who is in Samaria--haven't figured that one out yet), and the king of Edom going to war against the king of Moab. There's no mention of them asking God's advice before setting out against Moab, but once they are out in the desert, they run out of water, and now they ask God for help.

Jehoshophat asks, "Isn't there a prophet of the Lord here?"
Elisha just happens to be on the scene.

The king of Israel asks Elisha to speak to God, and this is where it gets interesting to me.
Elisha asks for a harpist.

As he listens to the music, as he worships the Lord through song, the hand of the Lord comes upon Elisha and he hears the word of the Lord.
I'm not surprised.

Music transcends logic.
It reaches into our souls, where God's Spirit speaks without the limitations of words, where we experience true worship.

I write about this phenomenon in my journals and I feel it in my heart, but sometimes I wonder if I am alone in my perception. Or I wonder if worship music is a crutch. Should I be able to worship God without music?

The writer of 2 Kings records this incident with Elisha.
Worship acts as a conductor of God's Spirit.
It leads us into God's presence so that we can hear His voice.

The NIV Study Bible says that the harp creates a "disposition conducive to receiving the word of the Lord." (see note on 2 Kings 3:15)

God created music, and it is far more complex than seven full steps in multiple octaves.
The rabbi Abraham Heschel taught that music is the only language compatible with the wonder and mystery of being. He wrote that music is "not an end in itself, but a means of religious experience."

I want to hear God's voice . . .
How can I incorporate more music into my devotional life?

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