The Importance of Song

There is a rabbinic teaching, based on the Torah, that animals cannot carry the burdens of their masters on Shabbat. They can, however, be led or drawn around the property by a collar.

The word translated as “collar” in this ruling is the Hebrew word “shir.” Some sages argued that the ruling should have used the word “sher,” a rarely used Hebrew word meaning collar or bracelet, related to the word “shir.” Nevertheless, the word in the ruling, translated as collar, is “shir,” usually rendered as “song.” If you have ever worked with domesticated farm animals, then you might have learned that they do respond to singing, and can be led by song – I’ve done it to lead sheep.

While the plain meaning of the ruling concerns barnyard animals, a deeper appreciation of the use of “shir,” song, helps us to understand the importance of music and song.

Zephaniah 3:17 says that the Lord will rejoice over us “בְּרִנָּה” “with singing.” Not only does the Lord lead us with song, the melody of His voice, but song causes us to reach out for Him.

Be sure to include song, and singing – especially wordless melodies from the heart – in your day. He will lead you with it, and you will connect to Him more readily by it.

Be well. Shalom.

Music in Prophecy

In II Kings 3, three kings – of Israel, Judea, and Edom – advance to war with Moab. On they way they stop to inquire of the Lord by Elisha, the disciple and successor of Elijah. Elisha, angry at the sin of these three kings, says to Jehoram, the son of Ahab and Jezebel, “What do I have to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother!”

At the insistence of Jehoshaphat, Elisha will inquire of the Lord. Yet, he makes an unusual request, “Now, bring me a musician.” As soon as the musician began to play, the hand of the Lord came upon him, and he began to prophesy. Why?

Elisha was furious over the idolatrous sin of Jehoram, and in that anger the door of prophesy was closed to him. Anger disrupts and prevents the stillness of heart/mind needed to receive prophecy. Elisha knew that in order to hear the voice of God that he had to let go of his wrath, and open his heart to heaven in order to receive from the still small voice of God.

Music, skillfully played by a prophetic spirit-filled heart, opens the door for the prophetic – true prophetic words. Without melody to attune the worshipper to the worshipful melody of heaven, anger not only clouds prophecy, it distorts reality.

This is why prophecy must be saturated in melody; and why Elisha requested a musician. The music opened Elisha to prophecy, and to speaks words of truth even when in his flesh he despised the actions of Jehoram. Elisha recognized that there is timing for the Lord’s plan, and in our limited view we are unable to fully appreciate all that the Lord is setting in place.

Inspired music will settle the heart, and allow the plan of God to unfold not by our interference, but with our faithful commitment to His will.

Be well. Shalom.

The Pulse

‎קוֹל דּוֹדִי דוֹפֵק – “kol dodi dofek,” “the voice of my beloved comes knocking” (Song of Songs/Solomon 5:2b).

In 5:2a the heart awakens, and stirs the soul to life. The voice of the beloved is knocking, desiring entry. This is a verse of anticipation and connection.

‎קוֹל דּוֹדִי דוֹפֵק – “kol dodi dofek,” “the voice of my beloved comes knocking” can also be translated as “the voice of my beloved is pulsing,” meaning that it is always there rhythming in the inner man by the beat of the heart. But “kol” announces, cries out in chorus, waiting for the harmony.

Music and rhythm in worship brings the bride and groom together in joyful harmony, surrounded by myriad voices of saints and angels. Yet, the ever present reminder of the beloved knocking, desiring entry and connection, is the heartbeat – the dofek/pulse.

How do we know that Messiah desires to enter in song with His bride? The heart beats, pulses, and stirs us awake. The rhythm of life, of He who is life, rousing us in praise, in love, and to life.

The pulsing of the heart in harmonious song dislodges anger and sorrow, and leads us by rhythmic chorus into the presence of the King.