During the Welsh Revivals of the early twentieth century, Bible teacher and author G. Campbell Morgan described what he observed. He believed the presence of God’s Holy Spirit was moving on “billowing waves of sacred song.” Morgan wrote that he had seen the unifying influence of music in meetings that encouraged voluntary prayers, confession, and spontaneous singing. If someone got carried away by their feelings and prayed too long, or spoke in a way that didn’t resonate with others, someone would begin to softly sing. Others would gently join in, the chorus swelling in volume until drowning out all other sound.
The renewal in song that Morgan describes has its story in the Scriptures, where music plays a prominent role. Music was used to celebrate victories (Exodus 15:1–21); in worshipful dedication of the temple (2 Chronicles 5:12–14); and as a part of military strategy (20:21–23). At the center of the Bible we find a songbook (Psalms 1–150). And in Paul’s New Testament letter to the Ephesians we read this description of life in the Spirit: “[Speak] to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:19).
In conflict, in worship, in all of life, the music of our faith can help us find one voice. In harmonies old and new we’re renewed again and again, not by might, nor by power, but the Spirit and songs of our God.
What song has spoken to your heart recently? How can music encourage you in your relationship with God?
The Spirit has a song for those who listen.
Why is so much detail given about the tabernacle and the ark? In today’s passage we read that “There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb” (2 Chronicles 5:10), a seemingly unnecessary detail. The tabernacle was the place God dwelt with His people, so details mattered. The mention of the contents of the ark was the “contract” of the relationship between God and His people. It reinforced that God was with them.