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The Beauty of Music

December 18, 2023

Today we come to Psalm 144:9-15 which continues with David’s “new song” (verse 9). David’s purpose is to “makes music to the Lord - to the One Who gives victory and Who delivers and rescues” (verses 10-11). The words “delivers” and “rescues” are soteriological words; thus, David has in mind to praise the saving power of God. In the same way, we should raise our voices and direct our songs to praise our God. Our songs ought to extol Him for the victories He has gained in our lives. God’s gift of music to us reveals His commitment to, His blessing on, and His approval of artistic beauty in our world. For this reason, our music (and all of our art) should reflect the beauty that God has created. It should glorify and elevate the Creator Who made it and gave it to us. Instead, much of our art and music today is misdirected nonsense that focuses on the human hang-ups of self and man’s selfish desires. This Psalm highlights not only our “deliverance and rescue” by God from self and selfish pursuits, but also from “the sword, from lies, and from deceit” (verses 10-15). The Psalm presents a view of the beauty that results from God’s “blessings - sons and daughters, filled barns, increased flocks, heavy loads drawn by oxen, no captivity, and no distress” (cf., verses 12-15). David concludes the Psalm with “Blessed is the people whose God is the LORD” (verse 15). That is true beauty, and we should proclaim it in our art and music.

Revelation 8-9:1-12 picks up with the opening of the seventh seal - which initiates the next set of judgments (interestingly, by music) - the seven trumpets. Trumpets one through four announce God’s judgment on nature and the environment. Today’s climate-change enthusiasts falsely think that, somehow, man holds control our environment, but in spite of their ideology, nature was never under man’s control. While we do have a responsibility to care for our world, nevertheless, this is God’s world and under His total authority. God’s long-term plan includes bringing unstoppable changes (judgment) on the environment and beyond all man’s recognition. Worse yet to come, trumpet five results in a series of three “woeful” judgments on man himself (8:13). In this judgment, the locusts that proceed out of the Abyss serve the purpose of “tormenting man for five months” (twice repeated in verses 9:5 and 9:10). For those so tormented, death is actually preferable to their torment, but as a part of this judgment, death will be withheld from them. This serves to explain how unbelievable men and women can be about rejecting God and spurning His warnings.

Also today, we come to the book of Ezra, which shows us God’s personal concern for His people after His judgment – in this case – the judgment of their exile from their land. God does not simply judge mankind and then leave him to figure things out on his own. God is still present in the aftermath, and He so desires to help us pick up the broken pieces of our chaotic lives. Ezra, and later, Nehemiah, will reveal the depth of God’s unfailing love even for a small remnant of His people. God wants to help us rebuild our shattered lives. How desperately we need Him!

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