The Timbrel And The Dance. 10/22/2014 (Evening thought)

 Psalms 150:1  Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

This passage of scripture clearly teaches us that The Lord can be praised on any type of instrument, once it is done in the right spirit, and according to the scriptural guidelines. Various types of instruments are mentioned, including, but not limited to the Harp, Psaltery, Trumpet, Timbrel, Cymbals, Organs, and any type of stringed instruments. Any instrument can be used in praise and worship but what makes the difference is how it is played and the motive and heart behind the players. One of the more common misconceptions pertaining to musical instruments being played in church is that some Christians believe that certain instruments, in and of themselves present an air of irreverence, while others tend to foster solemnity and sacredness.

But nothing can be further from the truth, because there are expert musicians who have at times used the trumpet to deliver a moving rendition of the hymn "Lift up the trumpet" and then there are other professional musicians like Herb Alpert, who have used the very same trumpet to make the hit pop song "Rise" that ended up on the secular billboards for several months. And furthermore there are popular singers like Luther Vandross, who lead alternative lifestyles, but are gifted in using stringed instruments throughout their recordings.

The real issue pertaining to musical instruments, timbrels, and dances has to do with being temperate in all things, meaning that we should not allow ourselves to be driven to extremes by the enemy of souls, so that what God originally intended to be something good and uplifting, is now brought down to the lower levels in order to satisfy the desires of the carnal mind. Music and dances that appeal or cater to the sensual and the vile are never to be interwoven with the sacred worship of God. On the other hand, the Lord does not require a frigid, straightened form of praise, that is purely intellectual in nature, with no feelings and emotions included.

The apostle Paul captures the desired blend of emotions, feelings, and intellect when He says that he will sing with the spirit and also with the understanding. And the Psalmist David adds his two cents by stating that we should make a joyful noise unto The Lord, and we should also serve The Lord with gladness. Joy and gladness are obviously the emotional aspects of praise, and therefore should never be stifled or forbidden by those of a different cultural upbringing. A person who has been healed of terminal cancer or Ebola will pour forth their praises to God in an entirely different manner than those of us who were never brought face to face with death, and that's why both Paul and David speak of both the intellectual and emotional aspects of praise. Let's read:

1st Corinthians 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

Psalms 100:1  Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

In our day, and in our own experiences, we will often find ourselves facing serious choices as it pertains to worship, for satan has intruded himself into religious music and song, and as a result has infected our praise by driving many Christians to one or the other of two extremes. When we give ourselves entirely to God, He will be certain to guide us into right paths, so that His name wouldn't be dishonored in any way, yet at the same time we can genuinely enjoy praising Him. We therefore end with a passage of scripture that encourages us to find the correct balance in everything that we do, for the work of The Holy Spirit is to fine tune all of the various aspects of praise, worship, and godly living. Let's read:

1st Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

May God grant to us an understanding heart and a teachable spirit so that we may worship Him in spirit and in truth. "Good night" and God bless!