IF GOD APPROVED INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN PSALMS 150 WOULD HE NOT ALSO APPROVE IT IN THE CHURCH TODAY? 1. Musical instruments of Psalm 150 were used to signal times of worship as the trumpets of Numbers 10 were used as times of movement for Israel. Adam Clarke in his comments on 2 Chronicles 29:25 stated, "Moses had not appointed any musical instruments to be used in the divine worship; there was nothing of the kind under the first tabernacle. The trumpets or horns then used were not for praise, but as we used bells, i.e. to give notice to the congregation of what they were called to perform, &c." (Clarke's Commentary, Volume 2, p.690). The trumpets and other instruments were without valves which could play a musical scale. These instruments were percussive for marching or signaling such as drums, cymbals, bells and timpani are used today. 2. David introduced mechanical instruments of music to worship approximately 500 years after the making of the tabernacle. "Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith." (I Chronicles 23:5). These were instruments such as the sackbut and flute (Dan. 3:5), and viol (Amos 6:5). Use of David's instruments were soundly condemned in Amos 6:1-6. In Amos 5:23 God stated, "Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols." The use of instrumental music in the temple worship was as actions of the kings of Israel. God allowed it but never approved it (See Hosea 13:11). 3. The instruments of Psalms 150 were not employed in the tabernacle nor the temple proper. In 2 Chronicles 5:12, 13 we read of such a temple service. "Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them the hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets". The altar was located outside of the Holy Place which was a type of the church. The music then was in the outer court where the burnt offerings were made. They were on the East end of the altar. Therefore they were in the place that represents the world. There is where we should leave the instruments - in the world of entertainment - not in the worship of the church. IS AN INSTRUMENT INHERENT IN PSALLO? In I Corinthians Paul stated: "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing (psallo) with the spirit, and I will sing (psallo) with the understanding also." (I Cor. 14:15). Some have looked up the definition of the Greek word "Psallo" which according to Thayer means: "To twang the strings of a musical instrument...to play on a stringed instrument, ..to sing to the music of a harp; in the New Testament to sing a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song (Jas. 5:13), in honor of God. Ephesians 5:19 'Making melody'." (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, page 675). Then these people have concluded that because it sometimes meant to play on a stringed instrument that it would be permissible to use mechanical instruments of music in our song services in worship today. However there are five different ways that "Psalloing" may be done: 1) Twang the bow string; 2) twang the carpenter's line; 3) play on stringed instruments; 4) to sing to the music of a harp; 5) and in the New Testament usage to sing and make melody in our hearts. Thayer the Greek scholar made that very plain in his definitions. 1. One cannot "Psallo" without an instrument but the command of the New Testament is "Speaking to yourselves in psalms (Psalmois) and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody (Psallontes) in your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:19). As N. B. Hardeman said, "I want to state to you candidly, I believe that it is impossible to worship God acceptably unless there be the accompaniment of the vocal expression with that instrument described in God's book - namely, the making of melody or the striking on the strings or playing upon the chords of the human heart." (Hardeman - Boswell debate). 2. Paul did not command the Ephesians to "psallo" or pull the hunter's bow. He did not command them to "psallo" or pluck the carpenter's line. He did not command them to "psallo" or pluck the strings of a harp or strike the chords of an organ. Paul did command the Ephesians to sing and "psallo" (meaning to pluck, or make melody) "with your heart unto the Lord.".(ASV). 3. Singing is what Christ and the apostles did as recorded in Mat. 26:30. Singing is what Paul did in worship as recorded in I Corinthians 14:15. The command to the merry is to sing psalms (James 5:13). In the midst of the church praises are to be sung (Heb. 2:12). Not one indication is given that any other instrument was used in the first century church except that of the voices and the hearts of the worshippers. LET US CARRY OUT THE DIVINE COMMAND TO SING PRAISE TO GOD TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES.
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