As I was reading through 1 Samuel I came across more examples of how music is truly a wonderful gift from God. These verses demonstrate the power of moving air in waves at various frequencies to produce a healing and enlightening power. These are the things they never teach about music in school.
1 Samuel 10:4-6
And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
Samuel, the last Judge of Israel, is explaining to Saul what will happen as he is to become the first king of Israel.
“…you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.”
The power of music.
Music accompanies the prophets and I believe it’s what put them in the right frame of mind to prophesy. Music possesses the power to turn you into another man, the power to change you and how you feel.
I’m not talking about some politically charged song, I’m not even talking about the lyrics. I’m talking about the harmonic sounds and their ability to alter your mood, your emotions and open up your mind to how you think. That’s the power. That’s the power the gift from God gives us.
Play a major chord and then play that chord as a minor. That subtle difference, the half step, the small change in frequency of one note can take your face from a smile to a frown.
1 Samuel 16:14-16
Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.”
Verse 14 through 16 tell us about the possible mental disorder that afflicted Saul. Some say it could have been manic episodes with psychotic phases, major depression with psychotic factors, bi-polar disorder or others. (I guess it’s not so good to be the king.) I’m not even sure what all of those are but even Saul knew that when these episodes struck, music was a cure.
Saul’s people searched for a player of the lyre. They weren’t looking for some weekend hack, but a skilled musician who could control and use the power of his instrument.
This led them to David, the guy who took down Goliath with a simple stone. Of course it was a skilled musician who understood the power of simplicity.
Verse 23 tells us how David’s skill playing the music cured Saul and his psychotic episodes.
1 Samuel 16:23
And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.
Music has charm to soothe the savage beast. You’ve heard that phrase. Well it actually is, “Music has charm to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”
It was written in 1697 by William Congreve for “The Mourning Bride”
But it does no matter how you say it. Music is a special gift from God with special powers.
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