While the Minstrel Played
Today I want to talk about the importance of music, hearing God and how they are often linked together. In 2nd kings chapter 3, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel and stopped paying him tribute. So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom gathered their armies together and prepared to invade Moab.
They made a long sweep through Israel, Judah, and Edom around the dead sea, which is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, about 8 times more salty than the ocean. They approached Moab from the South, but when they did, they ran out of fresh water and they became in danger of them and their animals thirsting to death.
In a panic, and really needing a word from God, the three kings went to visit Elisha the prophet. Now Jehoram, the king of Israel was the son Ahab and Jezebel, who had tried to kill all of the Lord’s prophets, so Elisha was not real happy to see him. We will pick it up in 2 Kings 3:14.
Elisha said, “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look at you nor see you. But now bring me a minstrel.” And it came about, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.
He said, Thus says the LORD, ‘Make this valley full of trenches.’ For thus says the LORD, ‘You shall not see wind nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, both you and your cattle and your beasts. This is but a slight thing in the sight of the LORD; He will also give the Moabites into your hand.’
The kings did as Elisha had said, and dug ditches in the valley. The next morning the area filled with water and they all had plenty to drink. The Moabite army saw the sun reflecting off the water and thought it was blood. So thinking that the Israelites and Edomites had turned on each other, they rushed into the Israelite camp to loot the dead, but instead found a prepared and organized army. Israel easily won the battle, and it was all because of that word from the Lord.
When Elisha needed to hear from God, he called for a minstrel to come and play music. While the minstrel played, it says that “the hand of Yahweh” came on him and brought him a life changing word. There is no real explanation for this given. It is just how it works. This is repeated in several places in the Bible. In 1Samuel 10:5, Samuel gave Saul a prophecy:
1 Samuel 10:5–6 (NKJV) — After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying. Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
As the prophets were walking with musicians playing, the Spirit of the Lord came on them and they began to prophesy. Then when Saul came into the area, the Spirit came on him and he began to prophesy as well. In fact, his life was forever changed from that moment on. The Holy Spirit was speaking to them and through them, while the music played.
1 Chronicles 25:1 (NKJV) — 1 Moreover David and the captains of the army separated for the service some of the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals.
The prophets felt the hand of God come on them when the music played. Music has a spiritual element to it that we don’t fully understand. It charges the atmosphere around us. Heaven is full of praise and worship, singing, and music.
The phrase “Sing unto the Lord a New Song” occurs about 9 times in the Bible, on earth, and in heaven. The elders before the throne sang a new song in Revelation chapter 5, and in chapter 14. Notice that it was not an old song that they sang. Apparently this was a spontaneous song that they wrote while John was there. There is a place for older ones as well, Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn together on the night that He was betrayed, but overall our God is creative, and inspiring. After all, He THE Creator. Psalm 40:3 (NKJV) tells us: — “He has put a new song in my mouth.” We should not reject new songs from the Lord. Heaven will be completely full of them.
In 1st Samuel 16, David the shepherd boy would play his harp for King Saul and drive away the evil spirits that tormented him: 1 Samuel 16:23 (NKJV) — 23 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.
Anointed music reversed the situation. At the beginning Saul was tormented and the evil spirits were having their way with him, ruining his day. Then after David played his harp, Saul’s spirit was refreshed, and the evil spirit became tormented and left. If you want the distressing spirits to leave you alone, get under some anointed praise and worship. They cannot stand it.
In Acts 16:25–26 (NKJV) Paul and Silas had been arrested and put in prison. Then it reads: — 25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
As Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns, the power of God fell on the entire prison. There was an earthquake, chains were loosed, and people were saved. Do you see the power and how worshipping God changes the situation?
* Anointed music will bring the hand of God on your life in a powerful way.
* It will cause the Holy Spirit to speak to you, and through you.
* It will charge the atmosphere. God really inhabits the praises of His people.
* God will give you a new song to sing to Him occasionally, and I am talking about you personally, not just me, so sing it. That is why He gave it to you… in order to change your circumstance.
* Anointed music will cause evil spirits to leave, and it will refresh your own spirit at the same time.
* You can trade the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise.
* While the minstrel played, the hand of God came on the prophets. When the praise music started up, then His presence came down.