Psalm 43:4 – Then will I go to the altar of God, to my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. (NIV)
1 Chronicles 15:16 – David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals. (NIV)
Having a great love for music, as a youth, I desired to play the piano. Not being especially talented, however, I never advanced beyond the elementary level. Yet amazingly, God orchestrated a plan so that I would one day marry my piano teacher! Although I still cannot play an instrument, I now enjoy listening to my husband's music, and together, we appreciate a variety of worship songs as part of our praise to God.
Many years have passed since piano lessons, and now, I love music more than ever. I have also become interested in the sounds of ancient instruments, especially the harp. Several articles tell the story of harp makers who have reproduced the harp of David and other ancient instruments of praise. This Davidic harp, known as the kinnor, is much simpler than a professional concert harp. Yet, David was uniquely gifted and inspired by the Holy Spirit to create divine music.
Reflecting upon the Psalms, I wondered about the original music, once a significant part of Israel's temple ministry. Though presumed lost when God's people were exiled, nevertheless, I believe that, some day, we will hear those very same melodies again. The Psalmist expresses deep sorrow: "By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps" (Psalm 137:1-2 NIV). But in Psalm 30:5, we are reminded that "weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." (NIV) Today, the time of rejoicing has come; the sound of the ancient harp has been revived, and some of the descendents of ancient Israel have returned to the land.
The Psalms encourage believers to make music to God Most High. Revelation 5 describes the worship of our Saviour with harps and songs of joy. Therefore, whether we play an instrument or not, everyone can honour God through music. One day, all believers will join the heavenly choir, worshipping the Lord in the beauty of His holiness, with sacred wonder and the splendour of harmonious melodies bestowed from above. Can we even imagine what that will sound like?
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for instruments of praise, and the blessed gift to worship You with glorious music in heaven and on earth. May Your Word put a new song in our hearts, and may all generations together, in perfect harmony, proclaim Your awesome greatness and majesty. In Jesus' holy name, we pray. Amen.