1 Chronicles 6:31-46 – Preparing the Heart & Soul for A Message from God’s Word

Posted: December 23, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

1 Chronicles 6:31-46

The Temple Musicians

Yesterday, we had our Christmas Sunday service and a major part of it was the music. Although my message, my sermon, was one of hope based on Jesus’ sinlessness even in his conception and birth and a message that I thought was one of my best, it would have all fallen flat if it were not for all the elements of the worship service. Without out the pastoral prayers and corporate prayers, without the hymns, without the special music by the pianist and without the anthem by the choir and the pianist, we would just be left with my message. And that would have been a boring service. We must have it all – the entire combination of elements to a worship service.

Yesterday, our music director, Ann Hudson, is one of the most humble servants of the Lord that you will ever meet. She is just precious. She has been a church musician for decades and has taught piano to probably two generations of people here in the Lamar area and southern Darlington County. She is aging now but man has she “still got game!” Yesterday, during her offertory musical piece, she tore it up. Even though I come from a decade of guitars and drums and modern worship songs, her dedication to her craft and the beauty with which she plays piano is unrivaled. To have a talent such as hers in my first appointment as the lead pastor of a church and for our church to be no larger than it is, my church and I are extremely blessed. She played an embellished version of Oh Holy Night where she simply used the music from the hymn but wow all the stuff she added to it. She brought tears to the eyes of many in the house of God yesterday morning. It was just beautiful no matter what generation you are from. It was amazing. And to watch the intensity on her face as she was playing was as moving as the music she was playing. She was in her own space. We were probably not there to her. She was simply in a zone and worshiping the Lord in a way that only she can. We were just witnesses to it and we were moved closer to God as a result.

That is the purpose of all the elements of worship outside the message. It is to melt away your cynicism and to focus you on the beauty of God. It is to melt away the cares of the world and focus you on what you may have forgotten during the week, that we are placed on this earth to worship our Creator. Music and the other elements of a worship service are to open the locked doors of our heart and allow us to say to our souls, “Ok, let’s listen to God now!” Music and the other elements of worship are essential and equal to the message. They go hand in hand. One without the other and Sunday morning worship is not complete.

It is why my music director and I met once a month to plan out the music for each Sunday in the next up month. In those meetings, I explain to her what each sermon in the coming month is going to be about. We pick hymns that go along with each sermon’s theme. She then plans her offertories and the choirs anthems around that theme. In this manner, each Sunday’s worship service is more cohesive and has a central gathering point theologically. That is the experience that I have been a part of in the two previous churches that I had been heavily a part of over the previous decade. Both of those churches were modern worship style churches but that idea of sitting down between pastor and worship leaders to plan out the music to match the idea of the sermon I brought with me to this traditional style church that I now pastor. Yesterday, reminded me of the power of music to set the stage for the sermon. The last two Sundays, so many of my church’s people have said that the totality of the service was awesome – that everything fit together and complemented one another. And, that, is what a worship service is to do. Soften the heart through music and prepare it for God’s Word and how it applies to our daily life.

That’s what I thought of this morning when I read what basically amounts to a hall of fame of the musicians that played at the Temple from David’s reign to the time of the exile. Let us read this who’s who list of musicians at the Temple now here in 1 Chronicles 6:31-46:

31 These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the Lord, after the ark came to rest there. 32 They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem; and they performed their service in due order. 33 These are the men who served; and their sons were: Of the Kohathites: Heman, the singer, son of Joel, son of Samuel, 34 son of Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Eliel, son of Toah, 35 son of Zuph, son of Elkanah, son of Mahath, son of Amasai, 36 son of Elkanah, son of Joel, son of Azariah, son of Zephaniah, 37 son of Tahath, son of Assir, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, 38 son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Israel; 39 and his brother Asaph, who stood on his right, namely, Asaph son of Berechiah, son of Shimea, 40 son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah, 41 son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah, 42 son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei, 43 son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi. 44 On the left were their kindred the sons of Merari: Ethan son of Kishi, son of Abdi, son of Malluch, 45 son of Hashabiah, son of Amaziah, son of Hilkiah, 46 son of Amzi, son of Bani, son of Shemer,

In this passage, we are reminded that David did much to bring music into worship. He established song leaders and choirs to perform regularly at the Temple (see 1 Chronicles 25). Some of those who served with music in the Temple are recorded here. This passage also reminds us that you don’t have to be an ordained minister to have an important place in the body of believers. Musicians at a worship service are as important to the success of a worship service as the pastor delivering a message that interprets Scripture and applies it to everyday life.

In this passage, we have evidence of how important music was in the biblical era Temple in Jerusalem. They were named as musicians at the Temple. The Holy Spirit guided the writer of Chronicles to They were as important as any lineage of the high priest position. And it reminded me of the fact that Ann Hudson is as important to the success of Sunday morning as any sermon that I preach. Her music and my message are God appointed intersections each Sunday to prepare the heart, to soften the heart, to challenge the soul, to take us to the places of the highest heavens and to see the face of God and then to be challenged by His Word. And then to send us forth emboldened to take on another week in a fallen world in a way that honors the One who we just finished worshiping.

Amen and Amen.

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