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THE ASAPH MUSIC LETTER
ENCOURAGING BELIEVERS TO SET AND MAINTAIN A BIBLICAL MUSIC STANDARD
To the chief musician and his choir
Vol. 3--No. 2--January 31, 2004
(Go easy on your eyes. Print this letter for a more enjoyable read.)
“…AND THE SINGERS SANG…” –II Chronicles 29:28
Oh, did they sing! But what were they singing?
Prior to the glorious reign of King Hezekiah over Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, were some good kings and some not-so-good kings. We know from Bible history that once Israel was separated into two kingdoms, the northern kingdom never really had a good king, but God would periodically grace the southern kingdom with kings who loved the Lord.
Hezekiah’s grandfather, Jotham, was a fairly good king, however, the Lord had somewhat against him, for “he entered not into the temple of the Lord. And the people did yet corruptly.”
Following him, Hezekiah’s own father, Ahaz, absolutely trashed the place, especially the house of the lord. II Chronicles 28: 24 says, “And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.” Not only did Ahaz not attend the house of the Lord—like his father—but he helped make it so that others could not attend. Nice guy.
Only by the grace of God could we have a Hezekiah after we have had an Ahaz. The very first month Hezekiah was in office he repaired the house of the Lord. Then he had a meeting with the priests and the Levites. They were the ones responsible for keeping God’s house the way it ought to be kept. Hezekiah’s two-hundred-and-seven-word sermonette is some of the finest preaching you’ll ever read. It is the epitome of motivation for those slacking their God-given jobs.
The Lord blessed, and from king to peasant, the land of Judah was back on the right track.
Once the country was headed in the right direction, King Hezekiah scheduled a grand ceremony to honor the Lord which included much singing and music. What we discovered interesting was where they found the songs and music to use at this ceremony to honor the Lord. II Chronicles 29:25 says, “And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets.” Then five verses later, “Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer.
To provide the best music for this special occasion of honoring the Lord, they went back approximately two hundred and eighty-nine years to get it. No contemporary music for this service!
Did they have to go back two hundred and eighty-nine years to get it? Of course not. Should we, in our services today, go back two hundred and eighty-nine years to get our music? Not necessarily.
The point is, they secured the music which was right. They went after what was appropriate for the Lord’s service.
“…for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets.”—II Chronicles 29:25
NEW FROM ASAPH MUSIC COMPANY…
To the Praise of His Glory by Mary Lynn Van Gelderen