Worship and Song and Praise

Scripture: Psalm 96:1, Psalm 51:17, 1 Chronicles 16:7-36
Date: 08/06/2011 
Lesson: 6
David's artistic life reveals to us how music and praise fit into worship.
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Good morning. Happy Sabbath. Welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. We are very excited to have you tune in this morning and join us as we sing and we open up God's Word and we study together. Whether you are listening on the radio this morning, watching live on our web site saccentral.

org, on the various television networks, through dvd, however you're joining us, it is a privilege to open up God's Word and study together. Our first hymn request that we're going to be singing is 245, "more about Jesus." This is a request for ariel in argentina. Ann and rod in australia. Naomi, nathaniel, Isaac, sherace, edgar, and sharon in england. Erno in florida.

Dave in Indiana. Wilson in kenya. Patrick and jasmine in Maryland. Tina in Montana. Duhane, winsome, andrew, and Michael in New Jersey.

The murrays in New York. Jenny, jamie, sandy, vern, elaine, and joe in North Carolina. Vanessa in Oklahoma. Brett in republic of korea. Deji in Texas.

Lavonne in thailand. Anna in trinidad and tobago. Daniel in venezuela. Jesse in Washington. Walusiku in zambia.

Two forty-five, first, second and fourth stanza, "more about Jesus." [Music] thank you so much for that request. If you have another favorite that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, it is very, very simple. Go to our web site, saccentral.org. Click on the "contact us" link and you will see right there requests for Sabbath school songs. It's very simple.

Go on there and there's all The Songs in the hymnal and you just pick your favorite, and we will do our best to sing that for you on an upcoming Sabbath. Next song, "give me the Bible" 272. This is from kenyon, felicia, erina, elizabeth, and knox in australia. Valencia, abelino, and eric in belize. Yancho in bulgaria.

Adineli and heather in California. Ping in china. Saw bo and irene in denmark. Derthalie in florida. Clinton in Georgia.

Nicola in germany. Corrine and cherly in india. Dave in Indiana. Jhevoi in jamaica. Chiaki in japan.

Tina and katharine in Montana. Thomas in New York. Vern, sandie, jamie, jenny, and jared in North Carolina. Ntib in Pennsylvania. Anjel in Philippines.

Abel in puerto rico. Sophie in south korea. Michael in tanzania. Vikki, veronica, and stephen in trinidad and tobago. And william in Wisconsin.

This is a very good song, 272. We'll sing all three stanzas, "give me the Bible." [Music] Father in Heaven, it is our desire this morning that we will realize how special the Bible really and truly is. Millions of people have given their lives for the things that are written in this book and many more will in the coming years. Father, may we never take for granted what we have available to us so readily. Come and live in our hearts.

Fill us with your spirit. Be with us as we open up Your Word and we study together this morning. Thank you for loving us, for bringing us here. There are many that aren't with us this morning for whatever reason. I pray that you will be with them on this Sabbath.

Be with our extended Sabbath school family wherever they are. Some are so remote they're hours and hours away from a local church, but we are a family in you. Thank you so much for that blessing. Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento central, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Thank you, debbie and our musicians, our singers. Good to see each of you here in our local class in Sacramento. Isn't this beautiful weather we're having for the--it's supposed to be the hottest time of the year. Just, you know you wonder how long it can go on. It's just been so nice.

And too bad for those of you who are watching on tv, it's really nice in Sacramento. I hear they're having a heat wave other parts of the country. We're glad that you're studying with us today, those who are part of the extended class. Always thrilling to hear as debbie is reciting the different places that are watching where The Song requests come in from. And we know some of you are members of the central church because you're living in isolated places and you have no church locally that you're able to attend.

And we welcome you as well. And for our friends that maybe did not know this, central church now has a new web site. The address is the same, but for the first time in oh, maybe 8 years or so, the web site has been, it's had a makeover. And by the way, debbie and her husband, eric, do all that, and we want to thank them for that. So you might just look at saccentral.

org. You'll find out what's new there at the central web site. And there's places for you to request songs for Sabbath school and find the notes and much more. That's saccentral.org. We are continuing in our study guide on worship.

Before we get to our lesson, I want to remind everybody, we do have a free offer we make available for those who may not have this or received it before. You can ask for "life in the Spirit," a book by Joe Crews, "life in the Spirit." Call this number, 866-study-more. That's 866-788-3966 and we'll send that to you for asking. That's especially for those who are in North America. It becomes more difficult and costly to send it globally, but you can also read that book online from anywhere in the world.

Just go to the Amazing Facts web site. That's amazingfacts.org under the free library. You can usually read the resources that we're also sending out to North America. Worship, going to talk about worship today and this is a--for the next couple of lessons, we're gonna be talking about some of the issues dealing with worship and music. Worship and song and praise.

And we have a memory verse, memory verse is psalm 96:1. Psalm 96:1. And if you've got your Bibles, your lesson ready, please say this with me. Are you ready? "O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth." Why do we want to sing a new song, every now and then? And how long do you sing a new song before it becomes an old song? And when you sing new songs, do you need to abandon the old songs? And when you read that book of 150 Psalms in the Bible, are they new or old? Well, first time you read them, they're new for you. Now, when we sing, singing is also vibrations and sound.

You got a couple of parts of singing. You've got what you might produce with your vocal chords, and human vocal chords are extremely complex. Some of us have a different set of pipes than others. We all know that. And you get some people--julie andrews used to be able to sing in 59 octaves.

I don't know, I made that up, but a lot, a lot. She'd get incredible range. And there's a few other artists out there that are divas, or what do they call men divas, hevas? Anyway but they've got these men and women that just have incredible range of octaves. My friend John lomacang, many of you've heard him sing before. I first met him in the heritage singers.

And John's got just beautiful voice and he never really studied or tried very hard. It just was a natural gift that he had. And one time we woke up to go to church. Heritage singers wasn't doing a concert, but we went to church. Well, the church knew that some of the heritage singers were gonna be there and without telling anybody it said right there, it was the pianist was there, John and angie and me.

And it said, "special music, heritage singers." Well, we looked around, we were the only ones there. And John got together with the piano player and said, "I don't know, what can we do?" And, you know, the piano player said, "well, the only song I know," he said, "I know The Song the bass singer typically sings." But the bass singer wasn't there that day. And John said, "I can do it." And I was shocked. I never heard of a John who could do first tenor. All of a sudden, he sang his bass singer's song.

.. You know? And it was great. And I thought, boy, what a range. It's just such a miracle, the way the human voice is made. But sometimes we'll praise God with our voices and with song.

I got up this morning just for my own entertainment, I grabbed my guitar and I played a little bit and I sang a little praise song. And David could do that. He's part of our study today. He could do it really well and he not only was very gifted on the harp. He was gifted with his pipes.

He could sing very well. And not only that, he was very creative. He could write. I mean he was a complete package, and he could do that and he could also like sling stones. He was a good sniper as well as being a good singer and lyricist and musician.

I mean David's a very complex character when you study him in the Bible. You know, you study the different kind of character parts where you've got people who are melancholy, you've got people who are choleric, and you got people who are sanguine and you got people who are phlegmatic. And when you study the different kinds of temperaments people have, David's almost a perfect dissection of a little of everything. And one reason I think that is is David was a type of Christ, and Jesus can relate to everybody. So I think everybody can relate to David.

He's an administrator. He's a builder. He's a king. He's a poet. He's a romantic.

He's a singer. He's a warrior. I mean just very diverse character. So anyway, all of us like song, I think. Some of us sing better than others.

Some of us just sing by ourselves and some of us--when I was with the heritage singers, I always wanted to sing with them. They let me sing with them a few times, but I know my limitations. But just for fun, max was always listening to auditions of different singers. So while I was in the group, I took a tape player into the shower and I taped myself singing in the shower 'cause I thought, you know, with the echo of the shower it sounded really good. And so I said, I've got this new audition I want you to listen to.

And so I gave it to max and he listened to me sing in the shower. And he just listened. He said, "that's not bad, that's very good." And then the whole thing was a joke and he never really--he thought that I was serious. And you hear the water going and you know I'm soaping myself up and I'm singing. But he didn't want to hurt my feelings so he listened very carefully.

But everybody--we all have different gifts, but I think most people like to listen to music. How many you will admit that music can change your moods? It's very powerful. And music is very expressive. Music teaches us. Now, we've got--we're gonna talk about David here for a minute and I gave some verses out.

1 Samuel 16. Who got that? 1 Samuel 16, right up here, mike up front. "But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul's servants said to him, 'surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp.

And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.' So Saul said to his servants, 'provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.' Then one of the servants answered and said, 'look, I have seen a son of jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.' Therefore Saul sent a messenger to jesse, and said, 'send me your son David, who is with the sheep.' And jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by his son David to Saul. So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer. Then Saul sent to jesse, saying, 'please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.' And so it was, whenever the Spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.

" You did that very well. I actually just wanted the last two verse but I did tell you. You did what I asked you to do. I did tell you to read from 14 to 23. Notice here, so you got the whole story.

That's why I let him read it. You got the whole story of what was happening. Saul was struggling with, what it calls it, an evil spirit from the Lord, just means that God withdrew his spirit and an evil spirit came. Remember, even satan came from before the presence of the Lord when he troubled job. That's all that means.

Doesn't mean that God sends evil spirits. And Saul struggled with depression. But when David played, what happened? And this wasn't any kind of music, he played skillfully a certain kind of music. It says that Saul would become refreshed and the distressing spirit would depart from him. Now I want to ask you an important question.

Do we all agree that there is music that can chase away depressing or distressing spirits and cheer and refresh? Would it also stand to reason that if God has that kind of music, that the devil would have the other kind of music that would invite and bring in the wrong kind of spirits? I think that there's both kinds of music. Do you know what the difference is? When was the last time you heard a good sermon on the kind of music that invites God's Spirit and the kind of music that invites the devil's spirit? Does the church need to understand that? Is there pagan music that maybe opens people up to temptation? Have you ever heard music do things to you that maybe it's central music or it can be melancholy depressing music? And that you listen to it, it just makes you sad and it can put you into a funk? There's all kind--music has very powerful affect on our emotions. And we need to understand what kind of music we're listening to. Sometimes you can just listen a little bit and you know right away, "I don't like where this is taking me." And you need to be aware of that. We are so surrounded and saturated in this culture with music, much of it the wrong kind of music.

I this to some extent we have been desensitized to the power of music. Music can be used in worship. Music can be worshipped--used to worship God and there's a music that is used to worship the enemy. How many of you agree with that? I think that you've got both kinds of music. Then there's another kind of music that can, of course, be depressing.

Saul--David wrote some songs when he was fleeing from Saul that talked about his distress. He said, "you know, I just being pursued by my enemies and Lord, what have I done?" And you can hear him just crying out. So some music is a release of what's in your heart and you can feel better. Can you be happy and sing, and it be worship? Can you be sad and sing and have it be worship? Sure. Are there some sad Psalms that David wrote? So can you pour out your heart to God sometimes and have some sad songs, but it is really still a form of worship? Because it's like a prayer.

A lot of the Psalms in the Bible, they really are prayers that are put to music. And I'll get to how powerful this--one example of a sad psalm, somebody look up psalm 51 and read verses 10-12 for me. Who has that? I gave that out. Over here, elizabeth. Psalm 51--matter of fact before we read that, I'm gonna read verse--psalm 32, a similar psalm of repentance.

Psalm 32:2-5, then we'll go to psalm 51. Psalm 32, "blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

I acknowledge my sin unto thee, my iniquity have I not hid. I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin." So here you have a psalm, this is not a happy psalm. This is a little sad. It's a psalm of repentance, but it is a psalm of worship. David, through singing this, was expressing himself.

It's a prayer. He's finding release through this song. And now read psalm 51, another example, psalm 51:10. "Create in me a clean heart, o God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." So Psalms and songs can express the feeling in the heart. Are some of the Psalms of David to be sung as solos? Yeah, some are really individual. "the Lord is my shepherd." It's the really individual. Are some of them also songs that are to be sung congregationally by a group? Yeah, you've got both groups. Any of you ever sing by yourself? Sure--how many of you are whistlers? Some of you maybe whistle through your teeth, you don't plan it.

But you can--sometimes I'm somewhere in other countries and they're singing a song. I recognize the melody, but I don't know the words and I found I can sing in about 50 different languages or whistle in 50 different languages. So I just whistle because I want to sing with them. I want to make a joyful noise, but I don't know the words. So you can do that, but sometimes you're sharing what's in your heart and it might be sad.

Now, let's talk a little bit about the purpose and the power of music and how music can be used to teach. Psalm 71:22-23. It says that we can praise the Lord, we can glorify God and extol his attributes. "Also with the lute I will praise you." That's something like the mandolin we had up front here, a simpler version. "And your faithfulness, o my God, I will sing to you with the harp.

O holy one of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice. I sing unto you and my soul you have redeemed." So here he's singing and playing at the same time. Psalm 57:9, who will read that for me? I think I gave that to somebody. Psalm 57:9.

I will praise you, o Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to you among the nations." So one of the reasons we sing, other people are hearing us sing and worship God. So it's not only for you to express what's in your heart, whether it's joy that you're singing about or you might be--have a prayer of repentance. It might be sadness that you need to release. But when we praise God, is it also an opportunity that others are listening? You know especially in the mission field when we have a worship service, they often turn up their pa system and all the neighbors from miles around are listening to the people sing. And they're wanting them to listen.

And we just--we did that in colombia where they had an evangelistic meeting. They cranked it up and it was almost uncomfortable for me. And I thought why are you doing that? They said all the neighbors are listening. And gradually they had some of the neighbors that would start wandering in because they're sitting in their houses. They can hear the revival messages and the sermons and The Songs.

And The Songs were catchy. They said, you know, they found themselves singing The Songs then they started thinking about the words, and then they came. Which illustrates another aspect to the power of music. Who was it? Plato that said, "give me the music of a nation and I will change the mind of that nation." Does the devil know that too? Confucius said, "if one should desire to know whether a kingdom is well governed or if its morals are good or bad, the quality of its music will furnish the answer." Well, if you were to flip through mtv, you probably wouldn't have a very good idea of the morals of our nation. I'm not recommending that.

I'm just saying that's probably a fact. Andrew fletcher said, "I knew a very wise man who believed that if a man were permitted to make all the ballads for a country, he'd need not care who should make the laws of that nation." If you could write the ballads that they sing, that would affect their morals more than the laws that are being legislated by the congressmen. Music is very powerful. During the time of the great reformation, luther understood this. And along with translating the Bible, you know one of first things he knew that he had to do? Give the protestants a hymn book.

Write them new songs based upon the theology. When a church makes a decision to change their hymn book, they need to really pray about that because whether they know it or not, they're gonna be--it'll be affecting the theology one way or the other because you sing those words and they do have an impact on your views. Now, with that in mind, I did a little experiment. Computer technology is very interesting. You've all heard us talk about praise songs as opposed to hymns.

And sometimes we tease and we call them 7-eleven songs and the idea of that being that you sing the same 7 words 11 times in some of these praise songs. Now, there's nothing wrong with the 7-eleven store if you just want to get one little item. But if you do your grocery shopping for your real nutrition at 7-eleven, you're in trouble. Sometimes I stay at a hotel and the only thing that I like to, you know, eat real food. You're at a hotel for several days and if all they've got is a convenience store near the hotel and I've gotta go get my grocery shopping there, it's pretty pitiful.

Everything is just laden with sugar and salt and preservatives, and you can't get very much fresh food in a 7-eleven. But I'm thankful every now and then for a 7-eleven 'cause I just might want a bag of peanuts. You know what I mean? That's okay. I'm glad they're there. Praise songs are not all bad.

There are some praise songs in the Psalms of the Bible. They're short. They're quick. They're to the point. And there's even some repetition.

A little repetition is not bad. "You don't want to be praying in vain repetition," Jesus said, "as the heathen do." So a whole lot of this vain repetition, it just starts turning into kind of eastern chants. And I've been in some Christian churches of all denominations where they start singing a song over and over again and it actually becomes burdensome. It's almost like hypnosis after a while. But the other thing that I had an issue with, it seemed like so many of the praise songs, not all of them.

But keep in mind I sing praise songs. I like praise songs, so don't take this as some kind of tirade against praise songs. Everyone understand? I just don't want--think that should be the main course for Christians. I think you ought to get your real nutrition in a grocery store where there's some depth of theology in the things that you sing. If you read through the hymnal, especially some of those old hymns, and I like new songs.

I write songs, I write new songs. I don't write old songs. But some of those hymns, they've got profound lyrics. Some are very simple, but the theology is very solid. It's well thought out.

And the people who put together the hymnals and when they pick The Songs, they're looking at the words, you can be sure, I hope. 'Cause there's theology. That's what's going to be the foundation of what the people believe and teach. But I notice that a lot of the praise songs, it's all about me. "Give this to me and I'm feeling this and I'm feeling that and I'm doing this and I'm doing this.

" And, you know it just seemed like it's all about "me." And in worship, what's worship about? Is it about--is it all about "me, me, me" or is it about God? Now we're in the equation, it's okay. So what I did with my computer program is I took all of the Psalms in the Bible--by the way, the 150 Psalms are not all written by David. Most of them are written by David, but many of them are written by asaph and probably some other authors. I think even Solomon wrote some. One is written by Moses, so there's different authors in there.

And I just wondered, I wondered how often it talks about different people. And for instance the word "his" in the Psalms, these are just some Numbers I ran through my computer program. You find the word "his" 614 times. You find the word "i" 802 times. But often the word "i" is saying, "I sing unto him.

" "He" is found 566 times. "Me" is found 662 times. "Him" is found 227 times. "My" is found 828 times. "Lord" is found 785 times.

"Mine" is found only 135 times. "God" is found 440. The word "king" is found 37 times. And I'm sure I left some things out. When you do the math, most of the Psalms are talking about God as opposed to the words that refer to "i, me, my, mine, or myself.

" So that really ought to be the emphasis. And a lot of times when you do find the words "i, me, my, mine, or myself" in the Psalms, it is talking about my worship of him, instead of it all being about me and my problems and, you know what I'm saying? So the central purpose of worship is not to be turning into yourself. The purpose of worship in songs should be out of yourself, to direct the attention towards God. Now, one of the very important aspects of music is a very, very powerful medium for teaching if you want to remember something so often. How many of you learned the alphabet? How many of you still working on it, that will admit it? I was walking--i don't know, I was some public place, it might have been a wal-mart for all I know.

I was walking somewhere and this little girl, she must have just been like 3-year-old. She was trying to catch up with her mom and she was singing. And she's going, "a-b-c me d-z-g." And she was just--she was just so cute 'cause she wasn't even consciously doing it. But she had the melody in her mind. She's singing it the best she could, but she got all the letters wrong.

A lot of them are e sounds, you know? And so as I was walking by her, I corrected her. I said a-b-c-d-e-f-g. And her mother kind of smiled at me. I thought let's get the first six or seven right. She looked at me like stranger.

"Don't talk to strangers that are singing to you." But how many of you learned the alphabet through that song? A-b-c-d-e-f-g. You know what I'm talking about that song? How many of you learned that alphabet through that song but you didn't raise your hand the first time I asked? 'Cause I know there's more of you out there. Music is a powerful way to learn. And so when you sing the Psalms, we don't know what the melodies were in those 150 Psalms. The music--however the Hebrews recorded the music, if they did, has been lost.

And that's unfortunate because I really would like to hear what the mood was, what the cadence was, what the tempo was for those Psalms. I'm sure there's a great variety there, but I'm sure it was all holy 'cause it was all spiritually inspired, right? But the important thing about the Psalms that's come down to us is the words. The music was to help remember the words. For instance, you go to--oh, let's see here. Go to the book of Deuteronomy for a second.

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses wrote a song and it's in Deuteronomy 32:1-43 is where you find that song. Matter of fact somebody read for me Deuteronomy 31:19. Who got that? Got a hand over here? Hold your hand up. And before you read that, I'll read Deuteronomy 31:22. "Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the children of Israel.

" Boy, that song has got 1,050 words in it. How could you write a song with 1,050 words in it in 1 day? Well, there's a couple of people that have done things like that. If you've got the Holy Spirit, you could probably do it. I know rodgers and hammerstein, they would sit down sometimes and the words would come quickly. Sometimes they'd have to labor a little harder.

Who was it that wrote so many American songs like "white Christmas" and the others? I can't remember his name. Huh? Irving berlin, yeah, lived over 100 years of age, only wrote in the key of f. He had a special piano built for him that he'd press a pedal--he transposed everything into f because that's the only key he could write in but boy, words would just come to him like that. And some of you have heard of woody guthrie who wrote "this land is your land, this land is my land." His son, arlo guthrie wrote one of the longest songs I think we have in modern time called "alice's restaurant." I don't recommend it, but I'm just dating myself right now. But he may have written that--he had a gift for song too, but it just went on and on and on.

And just to give you an illustration, I wondered and prayed about how much to say here, but just to try and illustrate the point. So here you got Moses' song. It's got 1,050 words in it. And I started to thinking myself, what's the longest song I know? Well, back when I was younger, there was a song written "bye-bye miss American pie." How many of you know what I'm talking about? It's an old song. Okay.

At one time, I knew every word in that song. There are 866 words in that song. Now in the interest of Sabbath school, I actually went online, cut and paste and did a word count so I know these things. And I thought to myself, boy, I still know--i started going through. I closed my eyes and I was able to still go through the first several stanzas of that song in my mind.

But the only way I was able to do it in my mind is I'd have the melody there reminding me of what the words were. And I learned that song 30 years ago. I won't sing it for you. But, so how could the children of Israel learn the principles that they found in this song of Moses with 1,050 words? All right, go ahead read for us Deuteronomy 31:19. "Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.

" It's basically saying, I want you to memorize this song so you know who the Lord is, you remember how he's led you. Now, you know another reason this is important? Deuteronomy 31, who wrote that song? Moses. When you get to the last book in the Bible, does it talk about they sang The Song of Moses and the lamb? The Song of Moses is a song of God saving a nation from slavery and delivering them. The Song the church sings is a song of salvation from the slavery of sin and deliverance. And so there's a lot of parallels here.

How many of you know the gettysburg address by heart? How many agree it's beautiful? Some of you think, well, you've got most of it. I could probably stumble through, but I know I'd make mistakes. There's only 278 words. How many of you know The Song of the gettysburg address? There is no song I know of. I might write one just so people can memorize the words.

One reason people struggle to remember that is 'cause it's static words. And now I have a lot of respect for actors and actresses that get these long sections of script. And they not only have to control their body language and their expression, they've gotta remember these incredibly long passages without taking a break for another cut to study their lines and it's phenomenal sometimes the long reads that they have. Some people are gifted with memories where they can remember every word in a script and go 15 minutes nonstop saying something word for word without a teleprompter, without the cue cards, and that's difficult. Sometimes I do little commercials for Amazing Facts where I've got just 30 seconds, and I mess up almost every time, 30 seconds worth of words I've gotta remember.

Sometimes I cheat and I've got an ear piece where I tape what the commercial is. I put it into my ear and it says it to me so I remember. If it gets much longer than 30 seconds, I can't remember it. So how do we remember the Word of God? How important is remembering the Word of God for the Christian? One of the very important ways is in The Songs we sing. So that's why it's important, not just to sing praise songs that are typically--they've got a few important points and truths in them.

But if you want some depth of theology, the hymns have a lot more content. And then there's Scripture songs. How many of you know some of the Scripture songs? You get songs like "as the deer panteth for the water." That's taken right out of the Psalms. There's a lot of Psalms like that. Psalm 19 and you know what they are.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, shall mount up with wings like eagles. They'll run and not be weary. They'll walk and not wait." The reason I can remember some of these things is I also know the melody 'cause it's a song. And so it's really important for us to sing the Scriptures. And every now and then you might find a new song.

Dave boatwright and I years ago wrote a song about the great commandments. "Love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself." And it made it easier for us to remember it. So that's the--one of the reasons for that--for the music and to praise God and to worship God in music. All right, let's move on here in our lesson. David, a song of praise and worship.

Now I just talked to you about The Song of Moses. If you look in your Bibles in, is it 1 Samuel 22? Not only is there a song of Moses, but here you've got a song of David that does not appear in the Psalms first. It appears in 1--sorry, I said 1 Samuel. 2 Samuel, I apologize. 2 Samuel 22, here you've got a song that is 50 verses.

It's the chapter's got 51 verses but the first verse you'll notice is an introduction. So it's actually 50 verses in this song the way it's broken down. And it talks all about the Lord's leading. I've got a friend from finland and he said in the old country, he said they had songs. He said they still small groups of his particular church in finland.

Says when they would get together and sing, they wouldn't use any instruments. They would sing a song. He said you could leave, you could come back in a half an hour, they'd still be singing the same song. None of the words were the same. And he said they would sing a song that lasted a half an hour with no words the same.

And I thought, wow, that's really something. Songs, over time, have kind of gotten shorter and shorter. You know what happens with a culture? I've seen it happen with evangelism. Seventh-day Adventist evangelists, when they would go to an area and do an evangelistic meeting when the message first began, they would move somewhere for a year. And 3 or 4 nights a week for a year, they would have a set of meetings.

And they'd preach. And they'd probably change the venue a little bit in the winter and then the summer. But some people said, "look, we don't have time to come all year long. We've got the harvest." So they cut the meetings down. Adventists were really hard core back then.

They'd go all year long. They cut the meeting down to 6 months and the evangelists were saying, "how am I supposed to fit this message in only 6 months?" So they cut the message down to 6 months and they'd go somewhere during the winter months or part of the summer months and they'd do a meeting. And you had j.n. Loughborough and these others, they'd go pitch their tent. They'd be there for 6 months.

And then they said, you know people said, "look, that's too long. We're too busy. The world's getting more modern. It's more industrialized. Life is faster pace right now.

We don't have time for 6 months of meetings." They said, "you gotta--" the conference said, "lookk, we need you to go to more places. You can't stay one place so long. We need you to travel and cover more territory. You gotta shorten your meetings." They shortened their meetings to 3 months. And they met with some success and then they'd try and, you know, teach and train and disciple people to follow-up after they left.

And they said, "look, you've got the gift of evangelist. This guy's got the gift of pastoring. You need to do more traveling. Let the pastors ground them. They'll give the rest of the message.

You gotta get their attention. You gotta cut your meetings down to just 2 months, 8 weeks." And then 6 weeks. Now when I first started doing evangelism, I know I sold, at the end of my series, I sold an album. I sold two albums with sixteen cassette tapes, back when people used cassette tapes, in each album. There were thirty-two presentations in my meeting and I had more.

Well, that had to get cut down 'cause churches were saying, "our people just aren't gonna come out for 32 nights anymore. There's just too much going on with school and it's too busy. And doug, if you spend that much time," conference would say, "in one place, we can't do as many meetings. You've gotta get more places." So then they cut it down. We got it to where it was 5 weeks of meetings.

Then 4 weeks of meetings. Then 3 weeks of meetings. Then 2 weeks of meetings. And I've done several series now where they said, "we'd like you to come do a series, but pastor, we only have time for maybe a week." And I'd say, look, if you really want me to do the series, I need 10 days. And you know when? I did these series of meetings with pastor nelson, the map meetings.

We tried to cover the high points of our message in 10 nights. "Most amazing prophecies" it was called. I've done several series like that. It's just so hard now to get people to commit to that same dynamic of covering the message in these songs. You see it happening in our singing.

So that we go from these great anthems, these big songs where people would sing this message. How'd you like to go to church and sing psalm 119? Somebody did. Isn't that right? That's how it got there. Have you read psalm 119? Boy, you sing that song, you're gonna believe in the power of God's Word, the truth of God's Word, the dependability of God's Word, the awesomeness of God's Word. You read psalm 119, it's long but it's all about the Word of God, the testimonies of God, the statements of God, the law of God.

And they would sing that. It was one song. They didn't say, "today we're gonna have a little praise song. Let's sing verse 1 and 3 of psalm 119," like we do. We don't even get through all four verses of a hymn anymore, do we? And I do it too.

You know why I do it? I'll be in a song service with the church and we got people taking requests. And I think well, look, we can do three requests, sing the whole thing or we can do six or seven requests. You get more songs, but we can't sing every verse. And so, yes, I have surrendered sometimes a few lines of a hymn in order to get more hymns. But you see what's happening? It gets to where everything sort of gets to be fast food, not only in our evangelism and in our preaching, but in our singing.

And so everything is just like, you know, hors d'oeuvres, The Songs. Well, here you got in psalm 22, you got 50 verses that David sang about--you know, I'll probably just read some of it here. Let's read verse 1 and 3. No. It begins.

And you notice The Song of Moses, Deuteronomy 32 also talks about God being a rock. Isn't that interesting? The Song of David and The Song of Moses talk about God being a rock. "the Lord is my rock and my fortress." That's also like the psalm of Moses in psalm 91. Similar words. "And my deliverer; the God of my strength, in him I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, and my refuge.

My Savior, you saved me from violence. I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from mine enemies." Now in this you'll notice that he's praising God. Is this a song of worship? Is it? Is it also a song of instruction? It is. Is it also a song of releasing his emotions? "When the waves of death encompass me, the floods of unGodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of hell or sheol surrounded me.

The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord." So it's then telling what the problem was and he's also telling the answer. All this was done in the context of being worshipful. All right, Ephesians 5:19. We gave that to somebody.

Got that over here? Elizabeth has that. Talking a little bit more about how important music should be in the life of a believer and one of the roles for music and worship. Are we ready for that? Go ahead, elizabeth. "Speaking to one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts for the Lord." Speaking to each other in Psalms. Now, notice you're speaking in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing.

So it's speaking Psalms, singing. So you not only can speak the--you not only sing The Songs, you can speak The Songs. "Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight rose a melody sweeter than psalm. In celestial-like strains it unceasingly flows o'er my soul like an infinite calm." That's a song, isn't it? But I spoke it. Did it make sense? A lot of songs are poetry.

Poetry is a lot like music or like a song without the music. So speaking Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and singing and making melody not only with your voice, but where? In your heart. Now what does the heart mean? In your mind to the Lord. You ever sing in your mind? My problem is, and it happens all the time, we're just so surrounded in our culture with just diabolical music. I don't know any other way to say it, friends but just to say that there's just--and it's sometimes it's embarrassing because I'll be somewhere and I'm in a restaurant.

I won't name them right now. And they might have great food, but they always have background music. And it's like a cacophony because it's like everybody needs to eat to rock music now. I don't know why they think that. So I'll get a call or I'll take the phone and they'll go "where are you?" I'm at this restaurant.

Or I'm watching the news at home and the phone rings. And I try to tell everybody in our family, when the phone rings press mute. Or if someone comes to the door, turn off the tv. It's just always seems kind of rude to me to have it blaring in the background. And someone will call during a commercial and the music for the commercials.

And it just--it's not--not to mention even the content of the commercials these days. And in the middle of the day just I can't even talk about it in church. Isn't that something? And people go, "what is going on?" I go, I'm sorry. It's a commercial. They're advertising some ski resort and it's just.

.. This wild noise. And so you get that stuff in your head and then you gotta get it out. And all these old songs I used to know. Problem is you used to know them and then you'll hear it.

They'll be selling some product and then you go around you've got that song in your mind and the words that go along with it are still there. So you have to compensate. You've gotta learn The Songs of God and there's some beautiful melodies and you put those in your heart and you think those in your heart and you get them over and over. Any of you get a new song in your head and you can't get it out? That's what you want to do with the right kind of songs. Okay, we're out of time.

We got a lot more to say about music. We're not done yet, friends. I didn't cover everything but I'll try and take some of this and cover it in next week's lesson. Don't forget our free offer, "life in the Spirit." Send it to you just for asking. God bless you, friends, until we study again together next week.

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This is a story that involves every life on earth, every life. "The cosmic conflict." If God is good, if God is all powerful, if God is love, then what went wrong? Available now on dvd. Thank you for joining us for this broadcast. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our web site at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs including "Amazing Facts presents," "central study hour," "everlasting Gospel," "Bible answers live," and "wonders in the word.

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