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Sunday, June 12, 2016

It isn't the beat which matters....

Release your heart’s joy in sweet music to the Eternal. When the upright passionately sing glory-filled songs to Him, everything is in its right place.  Worship the Eternal with your instruments, strings offering their praise; write awe-filled songs to Him on the ten-stringed harp. Sing to Him a new song; play each the best way you can, and don’t be afraid to be bold with your joyful feelings. (Psalm 33:1-3 VOICE)

Sometimes I think about why God created some of the things he did. The Cholla Cactus, for example, are kind of prickly and pretty much a nuisance if they get you while you are walking along unsuspecting of their "attaching" capabilities.  Bamboo can transform a backyard into a jungle-like adventure, but get it started in your yard and be prepared to be overrun by that prolific stuff in no time!  Scorpions must have some "redeeming" quality, but I am not sure what that could possibly be!  Slime in the bottom of your free-standing pool really isn't all that attractive, is a hazard to your health, and isn't something we really want to deal with.  Bamboo can be used to fashion many a nice object from drinking glasses to rafts capable of carrying cargo - so it has good qualities.  That jumping cholla cactus is actually nourishment to the bighorn sheep in the drought of summer.  The scorpions eat insects which would otherwise be a nuisance to us.  The slime in the bottom of your pool actually converts sunlight into energy, is food for some living creatures who live in or around the water, and it actually produces oxygen, reducing carbon dioxide in the air.  We may not understand the purpose in everything, but know this - if God created it, it has a purpose!

Music was first and foremost God's creation.  Over the course of time, man may have adapted it from one "style" to another, but in the beginning, it was heavenly worship and joyous words of praise to the Creator himself.  It was designed as a way for our hearts to release the joy contained within - to let go and give all we feel inside to God in joyous celebration.  As our psalmist points out, when the "upright" (those who have been embraced by God's grace) sing glory-filled songs to God, everything is right on earth! God even warns us that he could make the rocks to cry out if we don't - so lest we think this glory-filled worship is an unimportant thing, we might want to reconsider our stand on worship!

Some music just rubs me wrong - it irritates me a little.  That form of music is not what I am going to listen to on a regular basis - in fact, I don't listen except when someone pulls up to me at the stop-light with it blaring so loudly from their onboard sound-system that I cannot help but "listen" while stuck next to them in traffic!  The words don't edify - they are downright ugly some of the time.  I just feel dirty listening to them!  If music was created as a means of worship, it stands to reason we might just worship a few things through our choice of music which are a little less "godly" and a whole lot more "self-centered" or "ungodly" in the mix.  This isn't a rant on not listening to "rock and roll", "music with a beat", or the like.  It is just a reminder to never forget the original purpose of music as it was created.  It was created to honor God, to draw us closer to him, and to celebrate his greatness.  We can do this in the sweet melody of hymns, or in the toe-tapping "music with a beat" - the heart expressed in the words which elevate him is what really matters when it comes to worship.

God's reminder to us is to celebrate him - to not forget to raise our voices in praise.  We don't want to hold back what needs to be celebrated anymore than we want to hold back a good sneeze!  Just as the sneeze was meant to release something from within, worship and praise were actually designed to release some pretty awesome stuff from within, as well!  Just sayin!