13 The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the Lord as one. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other musical instruments, they began to sing, praising the Lord:
Yes, God is good!
Yes, God’s faithful love lasts forever!
Then a cloud filled the Lord’s temple. 14 The priests were unable to carry out their duties on account of the cloud because the Lord’s glory filled God’s temple.
One time, a friend and bandmate said his family back home used to call songs like the one described in this scripture “7-11 songs.” When he first said that, I looked at him funny and asked him what he meant. I walked right into the joke. In his best Kentucky accent, he said, “Well, you’re just singin’ the same 7 words 11 times.”
People who tend to prefer hymns to modern worship music often complain that they don’t enjoy singing the same words over and over. It’s too repetitive, they say. They want to hear more story, more theology. If this is you, how might you feel if we decided to sing all 18 verses of “O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing” some Sunday in worship?
I’m kidding, of course…but today I want to praise the virtues of “7-11 songs” from a biblical perspective. “God is good! Yes, God’s faithful love lasts forever!” is definitely an example of one. And here, in this passage, its this song that actually seems to usher God into the Temple. Don’t tell me this type of music isn’t powerful!
I think music can function that same way in our souls. Repeated words and phrases about God’s power and love can bring us into a state of communion with our Savior that is otherwise hard to achieve. We forget about ourselves and focus on God. And isn’t that exactly what worship is meant to do?
So yes, I like hymns and what they have to teach us. But I also like “7-11 songs” like the one ancient Israel sang at the dedication of the Temple. There’s a place for all kinds of music in God’s house!
by Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
What type of worship music moves you? Do you love hymns sung to the organ? Do you love praise music? Today, I challenge you to take a little time to appreciate what each has to offer. Get on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music and listen to something out of the ordinary for you.
Prayer: God, we thank you for the gift of music. You have given us ears that at times seem directly connected to our hearts. We are grateful for songs that allow you to meet us where we are until we are absolutely filled with the blessing of your Presence. Amen.