Voice in Speech and Song
Song and Events of Human History -- The melody of praise is the atmosphere of heaven; and when heaven comes in touch with the earth, there is music and song-- "thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." Isa. 51:3.

Above the new-created earth, as it lay, fair and unblemished, under the smile of God, "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." Job 38:7. So human hearts, in sympathy with heaven, have responded to God's goodness in notes of praise. Many of the events of human history have been linked with song.-- Ed 161.

Red Sea Crossing -- The earliest song recorded in the Bible from the lips of man was that glorious outburst of thanksgiving by the hosts of Israel at the Red Sea.-- Ed 162.

Miriam As Choir Leader -- Like the voice of the great deep rose from the vast hosts of Israel that sublime ascription. [See Ex. 15:1-16.] It was taken up by the women of Israel, Miriam, the sister of Moses, leading the way, as they went forth with


timbrel and dance. Far over desert and sea rang the joyous refrain, and the mountains re-echoed the words of their praise-- "Sing ye to Jehovah, for He hath triumphed gloriously."-- PP 288, 289.

Song of Moses -- These words [the song of Moses] were repeated unto all Israel, and formed a song which was often sung, poured forth in exalted strains of melody. This was the wisdom of Moses to present the truth to them in song, that in strains of melody they should become familiar with them, and be impressed upon the minds of the whole nation, young and old. It was important for the children to learn the song; for this would speak to them, to warn, to restrain, to reprove, and encourage. It was a continual sermon.-- Ev 496, 497.

Songs as Prophecy -- The more deeply to impress these truths [In Moses' farewell speech to the children of Israel, he set before them the results of obedience versus disobedience, a choice between life and death.] upon all minds, the great leader embodied them in sacred verse. This song was not only historical, but prophetic. While it recounted the wonderful dealings of God with His people in the past, it also foreshadowed the great events of the future, the final victory of the faithful when Christ shall come the second time in power and glory. The people were directed to commit to memory this poetic history, and to teach it to their children and children's children. It was to be chanted by the congregation when they assembled for worship, and to


be repeated by the people as they went about their daily labours.-- PP 467, 468.

God's Commandments in Song -- As the people journeyed through the wilderness, many precious lessons were fixed in their minds by means of song. At their deliverance from Pharaoh's army the whole host of Israel had joined in the song of triumph. Far over desert and sea rang the joyous refrain, and the mountains re-echoed the accents of praise, "Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously." Ex. 15:21. Often on the journey was this song repeated, cheering the hearts and kindling the faith of the pilgrim travellers. The commandments as given from Sinai, with promises of God's favour and records of His wonderful works for their deliverance, were by divine direction expressed in song, and were chanted to the sound of instrumental music, the people keeping step as their voices united in praise.

Thus their thoughts were uplifted from the trials and difficulties of the way, the restless, turbulent spirit was soothed and calmed, the principles of truth were implanted in the memory, and faith was strengthened. Concert of action taught order and unity, and the people were brought into closer touch with God and with one another.-- Ed 39.

Words of the Law in Music -- Moses directed the Israelites to set the words of the law to music. While the older children played on instruments, the younger ones marched, singing in concert the song of God's commandments. In later years they


retained in their minds the words of the law which they learned during childhood.

If it was essential for Moses to embody the commandments in sacred song, so that as they marched in the wilderness, the children could learn to sing the law verse by verse, how essential it is at this time to teach our children God's Word! Let us . . . do everything in our power to make music in our homes, that God may come in.-- Ev 499, 500.

Memorial Songs -- The dealings of God with His people should be often repeated. . . . Lest they should forget the history of the past, He commanded Moses to frame these events into song, that parents might teach them to their children. . . . We need often to recount God's goodness and to praise Him for His wonderful works.-- 6T 364, 365.

Music in the Schools of the Prophets -- The chief subjects of study in these schools were the law of God, with the instruction given to Moses, sacred history, sacred music, and poetry. . . . Sanctified intellect brought forth from the treasure house of God things new and old, and the Spirit of God was manifested in prophecy and sacred song.-- Ed 47.

Sacred Melody for Students -- The art of sacred melody was diligently cultivated. No frivolous waltz was heard, nor flippant song that should extol man and divert the attention from God; but sacred, solemn psalms of praise to the Creator, exalting His name and recounting His wondrous works. Thus


music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which was pure and noble and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God.-- FE 97, 98.

Music for a Holy Purpose -- Music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which is pure, noble, and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God. What a contrast between the ancient custom and the uses to which music is now too often devoted! How many employ this gift to exalt self, instead of using it to glorify God! A love for music leads the unwary to unite with world-lovers in pleasure-gatherings where God has forbidden His children to go. Thus that which is a great blessing when rightly used, becomes one of the most successful agencies by which Satan allures the mind from duty and from the contemplation of eternal things.-- PP 594.

David's Psalms a Continuing Inspiration -- The communion with nature and with God . . . were not only to mold the character of David, and to influence his future life, but through the psalms of Israel's sweet singer, they were, in all coming ages, to kindle love and faith in the hearts of God's people, bringing them nearer to the ever-loving heart of Him in whom all His creatures live.-- PP 642.

David's Worship in Song -- Daily revelations of the character and majesty of his Creator filled the young poet's heart with adoration and rejoicing. In


contemplation of God and His works, the faculties of David's mind and heart were developing and strengthening for the work of his after-life. He was daily coming into a more intimate communion with God. His mind was constantly penetrating into new depths for fresh themes to inspire his song and to wake the music of his harp. The rich melody of his voice, poured out upon the air, echoed from the hills as if responsive to the rejoicing of the angels' songs in heaven.-- PP 642.

Music From Heaven for King Saul -- In the providence of God, David, as a skillful performer upon the harp, was brought before the king. His lofty and Heaven-inspired strains had the desired effect. The brooding melancholy that had settled like a dark cloud over the mind of Saul was charmed away.-- PP 643.

Consolation in Music -- He [David] had been in the court of the king, and had seen the responsibilities of royalty. He had discovered some of the temptations that beset the soul of Saul, and had penetrated some of the mysteries in the character and dealings of Israel's first king. He had seen the glory of royalty shadowed with a dark cloud of sorrow, and he knew that the household of Saul, in their private life, were far from happy. All these things served to bring troubled thoughts to him who had been anointed to be king over Israel. But while he was absorbed in deep meditation, and harassed by thoughts of anxiety, he turned to his harp, and called forth


strains that elevated his mind to the Author of every good, and the dark clouds that seemed to shadow the horizon of the future were dispelled.-- PP 644.

David as Song Leader -- The men of Israel followed, with exultant shouts and songs of rejoicing, a multitude of voices joining in melody with the sound of musical instruments; "David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord . . . on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals." [See 2 Sam. 6.]-- PP 704, 705.

Music for the Ark Procession -- The triumphal procession approached the capital, following the sacred symbol of their invisible King. Then a burst of song demanded of the watchers upon the walls that the gates of the holy city should be thrown open: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in." A band of singers and players answered, "Who is this King of glory?" From another company came the response, "The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle."

Then hundreds of voices, uniting, swelled the triumphal chorus, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; Even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in."

Again the joyful interrogation was heard, "Who is this King of glory?" And the voice of the great multitude, "like the sound of many waters," was heard in the rapturous reply, "The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory."-- PP 707, 708.


Songs of David's Experience -- The fifty-first psalm is an expression of David's repentance, when the message of reproof came to him from God. . . . Thus in a sacred song to be sung in the public assemblies of his people, in the presence of the court-- priests and judges, princes and men of war-- and which would preserve to the latest generation the knowledge of his fall, the king of Israel recounted his sin, his repentance, and his hope of pardon through the mercy of God.-- PP 724, 725.

Music a Means of Freedom From Idolatry -- The service of song was made a regular part of religious worship, and David composed psalms, not only for the use of the priests in the sanctuary service, but also to be sung by the people in their journeys to the national altar at the annual feasts. The influence thus exerted was far-reaching, and it resulted in freeing the nation from idolatry. Many of the surrounding peoples, beholding the prosperity of Israel, were led to think favourably of Israel's God, who had done such great things for His people.-- PP 711.

Songs for Deep Trial -- What were the feelings of the father and king, so cruelly wronged, in this terrible peril [the rebellion of Absalom]? "A mighty valiant man," a man of war, a king, whose word was law, betrayed by his son whom he had loved and indulged and unwisely trusted, wronged and deserted by subjects bound to him by the strongest ties of honour and fealty-- in what words did David pour out the feelings of his soul? In the hour of his darkest


trial, David's heart was stayed upon God, and he sang. [See Ps. 3:1-8.]-- PP 741, 742.

Part of the Sanctuary System -- In bringing to the temple the sacred ark containing the two tables of stone on which were written by the finger of God the precepts of the Decalogue, Solomon had followed the example of his father David. Every six paces he sacrificed. With singing and with music and with great ceremony, "the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place.". . . As they came out of the inner sanctuary, they took the positions assigned them. The singers-- Levites arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps-- stood at the east end of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets. [See 2 Chron. 5:7, 12.]-- PK 38, 39.

Songs for the Battle -- "Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high."

Early in the morning they rose and went into the wilderness of Tekoa. As they advanced to the battle, Jehoshaphat said, "Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper." "And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto


the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness." 2 Chron. 20:14-21. These singers went before the army, lifting their voices in praise to God for the promise of victory.

It was a singular way of going to battle against the enemy's army-- praising the Lord with singing, and exalting the God of Israel. This was their battle song. They possessed the beauty of holiness. If more praising of God were engaged in now, hope and courage and faith would steadily increase. And would not this strengthen the hands of the valiant soldiers who today are standing in defence of truth?-- PK 201, 202.

Nehemiah's Record of the Levites' Songs -- The Levites, in their hymn recorded by Nehemiah, sang "Thou, even Thou, art Lord alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things therein, . . . and Thou preservest them all." Neh. 9:6.-- PP 115.

God's Care for Israel -- And the Levites' hymn, recorded by Nehemiah, vividly pictures God's care for Israel, even during these years of rejection and banishment: "Thou in Thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness; the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go. Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Yea,


forty years didst Thou sustain them in the wilderness . . . . Their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not." Neh. 9:19-21.-- PP 406, 407.

Praise in Ezra's Day -- Then from the assembled throng [during the Feast of Trumpets in Ezra's time after the rebuilding of Jerusalem's wall], as they stood with outstretched hands toward heaven, there arose the song: "Blessed be Thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. Thou, even Thou, art Lord alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and Thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth Thee" [Neh. 9:5, 6]. The song of praise ended, the leaders of the congregation related the history of Israel, showing how great had been God's goodness toward them, and how great their ingratitude.-- PK 666.

Songs on Journeys to Jerusalem -- The journey to Jerusalem [when Jewish families attended the feasts], in the simple, patriarchal style, amidst the beauty of the springtime, the richness of midsummer, or the ripened glory of autumn, was a delight. With offerings of gratitude they came, from the man of white hairs to the little child, to meet with God in His holy habitation. As they journeyed, the experiences of the past, the stories that both old and young still love so well, were recounted to the Hebrew children. The songs that had cheered the wilderness wandering were sung. God's commandments


were chanted, and, bound up with the blessed influences of nature and of kindly human association, they were forever fixed in the memory of many a child and youth.-- Ed 42.

Music at the Feast of Tabernacles -- With sacred song and thanksgiving the worshippers celebrated this occasion. A little before the feast was the Day of Atonement, when, after confession of their sins, the people were declared to be at peace with Heaven. Thus the way was prepared for the rejoicing of the feast. "O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever" (Ps. 106:1) rose triumphantly, while all kinds of music, mingled with shouts of hosanna, accompanied the united singing.

The temple was the centre of the universal joy. Here was the pomp of the sacrificial ceremonies. Here, ranged on either side of the white marble steps of the sacred building, the choir of Levites led the service of song. The multitude of worshippers, waving their branches of palm and myrtle, took up the strain, and echoed the chorus; and again the melody was caught up by voices near and afar off, till the encircling hills were vocal with praise.

At night the temple and its court blazed with artificial light. The music, the waving of palm branches, the glad hosannas, the great concourse of people, over whom the light streamed from the hanging lamps, the array of the priests, and the majesty of the ceremonies, combined to make a scene that deeply impressed the beholders. But the


most impressive ceremony of the feast, one that called forth greatest rejoicing, was one commemorating an event in the wilderness sojourn.

At the first dawn of day, the priests sounded a long, shrill blast upon their silver trumpets, and the answering trumpets, and the glad shouts of the people from their booths, echoing over hill and valley, welcomed the festal day. Then the priest dipped from the flowing waters of the Kedron a flagon of water, and, lifting it on high, while the trumpets were sounding, he ascended the broad steps of the temple, keeping time with the music with slow and measured tread, chanting meanwhile, "Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem." Ps. 122:2.

He bore the flagon to the altar, which occupied a central position in the court of the priests. Here were two silver basins, with a priest standing at each one. The flagon of water was poured into one, and a flagon of wine into the other; and the contents of both flowed into a pipe which communicated with the Kedron, and was conducted to the Dead Sea. This display of the consecrated water represented the fountain that at the command of God had gushed from the rock to quench the thirst of the children of Israel. Then the jubilant strains rang forth, "The Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song"; "therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isa. 12:2, 3.-- DA 448, 449.

Song at Jesus' Triumphal Entry -- From the multitudes gathered to attend the Passover, thousands


go forth to welcome Jesus. They greet Him with the waving of palm branches and a burst of sacred song.-- DA 571.

Praise at the Last Supper -- Before leaving the upper chamber, the Saviour led His disciples in a song of praise. His voice was heard, not in the strains of some mournful lament, but in the joyful notes of the Passover hallel. [See Ps. 117.]-- DA 672.

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