Music; October 24, 2021


1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

This last part of this letter has several pithy statements that are justly famous and loved. These two verses stick in my heart and mind because from the 2nd half of verse 23 through verse 24, the Japanese translation I use has been set verbatim to music, and it’s a very catchy tune! At least from the days of David, and probably from the beginning of mankind, music has been used not only for simple pleasure but also to implant truth in our minds and hearts. We speak of “ear worms” that keep running through our minds. When the lyrics are Scripture, that’s not a bad thing at all! Setting Scripture to music saw a real revival with the Charismatic Movement. Some people in more traditional churches were dismissive, calling such songs “choruses” because of their (usual) brevity, failing to recognize that sometimes the theology expressed in their beloved hymns was shaky at best! Certainly there are magnificent hymns that convey Biblical truth, but every musical style can be put to the service of God, and should be. We should use whatever tools are available to do what the Psalmist said – and this too has been set to music! “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

Anyone who reads my blog very much knows that I come from a very musical family, and I quote or reference songs frequently. I am very grateful for music and look forward to heaven, where even the grass and trees sing to God! (Isaiah 55:12. My wife experienced this personally in her Near Death Experience.) I couldn’t begin to count how many times God has used songs to encourage me, comfort me, and even guide me. I never want to misuse music, particularly since the devil loves to do that. I think that music is right up there with sex in the list of things that God gave for great blessing and the devil does all he can to twist, distort, and profane. I am to use the musical gifts I have been given to bless God and bless those around me, so that God alone may receive all the glory.

Father, thank You indeed for music, and for immersing me in it from before my birth. Thank You for the assurance I have that I will be immersed in it after my physical death, as well! Help me indeed use it as You desire and intend, for the blessing of everyone involved and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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