The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement for Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, or S.P.E.B.Q.S.A. has in their banner song a line which sings,
“What is a heart without harmony?
What is a soul without song?
A bird with no wings-
A harp with no strings,
A world without right or wrong?”
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee.
Music is a joy, whether you experience it professionally, artistically, recreationally, or if it is socially a part of who you are; music accentuates our existence. It adds a deeper level of expression that speech and words alone cannot produce.
Music is the expression of the soul. But who composed this language of rhythm and melody and harmony? There are only two options: the first is that we (mankind) generated it ourselves, and the second is that it was given to us from a supernatural source.
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4a,7)
Music could not have been invented by mankind. The Lord testifies in Job that there was music before Creation. Despite this fact, some reason that, as an expression of communication, music evolved from language as a means of carrying emotion as well as information. As all theory that begins and ends with man- the problem is that man has only recently begun to discover all of the facets of the art he supposedly created!
If man had to work so hard to develop music- who taught the bird to sing? Who gifted the wolf with his howl, the dove with her tremolo, the woodpecker with his staccato?
“The workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” (Ezekiel 28:13)
This passage in Ezekiel describes God’s crowning creation before man: the devil, or Lucifer (before he fell). As awesome a sight and sound this fifth cherub must have been, God’s endowment toward man musically excelled that of his predecessor. Our lips, tongue, and teeth provide percussion– metering rhythm and beating out the time signature through the formation of vowels and consonants. Our lungs and windpipe, nose and sinus cavity are the wind element- that God-given breath which gives the winds a mighty voice and carries the notes from singer to hearer. The vocal cords (also known as voice reeds) are the harps of the body for pitch and volume. Stringed instrumentation functioning flawlessly- able to be tuned to any key, climb any scale, and create any mood through sound. Percussion, wind, strings: a veritable orchestra within the man!
My God, how great Thou art!
Again, some claim that man developed his God-given talents into music, for the man to show forth praise to those who had been benevolent toward him, or for the man to thank one who had granted him mercy, or one who demanded it because of their power or station. But song is so much more than just a hailing of authority or an admission of subjection- it has to be, with its fullness of passion and feeling, and often of joyful exhilaration.
The truth is music, like life itself, came from a source outside of our world. Man was created in the image of God: body, soul, and spirit. God intended for man to have fellowship with him on every level: the physical (things seen), the spiritual (things unseen), and the emotional (things, whether seen or unseen, that are felt). I believe The original musician was not man projecting outwards, but of Deity projecting downwards to man.
“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
With the extraterrestrial origin of song understood, how clearly we now know that “God breathed into his nostrils,” was the preparation for the filling up of joy and thanksgiving that charges and triggers man’s basic melodies. A musician cannot be the source of his arrangements and orchestrations; if he were, how mechanical and dry repetition it would be!
“Be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” (Ephesians 5:18-19)
Music is the resonance of love, ‘we love him because he first loved us’. It is the worship that goes beyond words. The Majesty of God, when understood, inspires a majesty in joy of being filled with the Spirit of God. It is the EXpression of what is IMpressed from a holy God, when His holy words combine with his holy melodies and harmonies to become a symphony.
Hark, ten thousand harps and voices
Sound the note of praise above!
Jesus reigns, and Heav’n rejoices,
Jesus reigns, the God of love;
See, He sits on yonder throne;
Jesus rules the world alone.
–Thomas Kelly, 1806