Music and the Heart of God
I grew up in a musical home. That’s not to say that all of us kids are particularly gifted when it comes to music, but rather that music permeated many aspects of our lives. We listened to music while we cleaned the house or when we were in the car. We sang together just for fun. My sisters and I would even make up songs to go along with random things we were doing.
Music has always held a sweet place in my heart. But the more I read the Bible and learn about God, the more I’m realizing something: music holds a special place God’s heart too.
God created music.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
In the beginning, God created everything that exists. He created the world and everything in it. He specifically and specially created man in His own image. When God looked at all that He had created each day, He pronounced that it was all good. After creating man and woman, God looked at all He had created, and He said that it was all very good.
Man and woman, created in the image and likeness of God, were very good. God’s image, imprinted indelibly upon them, elevated them above every other created thing.
What, however, was included in God’s image? While we may not fully understand all the elements of this image of God, this imago dei, we can understand some of them.
God creates. He gave man the ability to create. God speaks. He gave man the ability to speak. God loves. He gave man the ability to love.
But does God sing? Could music and song be one expression of the image of God in man?
The Bible gives a surprising, exciting answer: yes!
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
God, the giver all good gifts, gave mankind a sweet aspect of His own nature when He gave man music. And He called it very good.
God puts a new song in the heart of every believer.
Psalm 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
This psalm begins with David describing a time when he “waited patiently for the LORD,” and when God “drew [him] up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog” (Psalm 40:1-2). These verses easily illustrate the experience of every believer at the time of salvation, and even at times after salvation.
God rescued David just as He rescues His children today. And part of that rescue, part of that restoration to fellowship, includes the bestowal of a new song . . . a song of praise to our God (Psalm 40:3). Several other psalms talk about this new song as well (Psalm 33:3; Psalm 96:1; Psalm 98:1; Psalm 144:9; Psalm 149:1).
I don’t know what this new song is. It could be different for every believer, or it could be one unifying song. But whatever the exact “song,” I do know that God uses this language of music to communicate His work in every believer’s life and to display that work to multitudes who “will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD” (Psalm 40:3).
Elsewhere in the Psalms, believers are commanded to sing (Psalm 30:4; Psalm 33:3; Psalm 68:4), and many times over God directly links singing to proclaiming and exulting in salvation.
Psalm 96:2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
God produces music in the hearts of all His children as a direct expression of and praise to the great God who saved them.
We will worship God forever in song.
Music clearly holds a special place in God’s heart, both in His creation of man as well as in His redemption of man. But music also plays a key role in God’s glorification of His children.
In fact, the “new song” we saw earlier will be present in heaven as believers worship, praise, and glorify God for all eternity (Revelation 5:9; 14:3). As glorified children of God, fully restored to fellowship with Him, we will worship and praise God forever in jubilant song.
At Creation, God gave man the gift of song. This gift originated in the very image of God. But sin marred that image. In salvation, God places within each believer a “new song,” a song that will praise Him and not mock Him, a song that will share the good news of redemption to everyone and not selfishly contain it. And at the end of time, when God fully restores man to Himself, this new song will once again fulfill its ultimate goal: worshipping our great God.
I love singing to God; I love praising Him for all that He has done. I love thinking about that moment in heaven when my song will be unblemished, untouched by the Fall.
Ultimately, music belongs to God, and as I wait for that day of restoration I will sing to God with great anticipation!