Dr. Jeremiah Mitchell
There is sound; but, there is also words. There is also words. And with the music, we know the Bible says that we are to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Ephesians 5:18. Not 5:18, but moving on after that. So, we have songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. The Bible tells us to sing these things. I don’t think it’s wrong to hear a commercial. (Sings.) “Give me a break. Give me a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.” Or something to have a jingle that’s in your mind. You say, “Well, those aren’t songs, hymns, and spiritual songs.” I don’s think God is saying you can’t sing anything else. I think we need to have a diet of these things. This should be my diet. We had peanut butter pie last night at our meal but that was in addition to my meal. That was dessert. That wasn’t my meal. Dessert is something you add to a meal or you might not. But the meal, the diet, what do you eat? Are you one of those people that comes out of Speedway with the 168 ounce drink? And you think, “Okay, look at how large they are. I’m going to watch out not to have that IV line to my lips with sugar lest I have too much of that.” I need to sip some water between meals. I need to limit my intake to what’s going to be good for me. I compare music to diet a lot of times. Where you don’t want to just, “Oh, church is the only place I listen to good music. Other than that, I listen to just my tunes.” Well, you have a steady diet. I think this is supposed to be my steady diet. (Points to Psalms, hymns, spiritual songs on chalk board.) Right here.
So, what are Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs? I might get into this a little bit more later on as well, but let me just give you a simple way to look at it. Psalms is scripture. Sing scripture. (Sings.) “This is the day. This is the day that the Lord hath made. That the Lord hath made. I will rejoice. I will rejoice and be glad in it. And be glad in it.” Sing scripture! “This is the day the Lord hath made!” Remember Mr. Armacost preached that message, “Don’t Forget About Today!” He preached that message and he talked about how we can waste today being excited about victories of yesterday or being depressed about failures of yesterday. Worried about obstacles that are coming up tomorrow. We need to just remember today! So, sing scripture. “This is the day!” I’ve been singing that with my children. I said, “Kids, today. Claire don’t be worried that Christmas isn’t for a long time..” It was the day after Christmas. I said, “Children, only 365 days til Christmas.” And, Alec looked at me and goes, “Dad, didn’t you say this is a leap year?” That’s right. “Children, only 366 days til Christmas.” Boy, my five year old. She’s like, “Well, how long is that?” I’m like, “You don’t want to think about it! Honestly, it’s a lifetime away for you.” And it is. “The best thing for you is to forget I even brought it up. I’m sorry.” Let’s just think about today and enjoying today and giving it to God and working hard for Him and pleasing Him. You know, “each day.” Is it Matthew 6, that talks about sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. So sing scripture. This is the day. There’s other scriptures. (Sings.) “See then that you walk circumspectly not as fools but as wise.” Or, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.” Or, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me though he were dead , yet shall he live, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never, never, never, never die. Shall never, never, never, never die. Believeth thou this, believeth thou this, this, this. Believeth thou this, this, this?” Anyway, how fun singing. “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God.” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” And those are fun. That can be done in a round. And you can even add the, “hallelujah.” I was thinking of the, “If sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Say, no. (clap, clap) Say, no. If sinners entice thee.” Sing scripture. And by the way, the hymnbook is full of scripture. “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Brother Rardon one time was getting up to preach year’s ago and he said, “Pull out your hymnals to…” And we’re like, “You said the wrong thing.” And he said, “Nope, I didn’t. I actually meant hymnals.” You know, he didn’t accidentally say hymnals. He said, “We’re going to look at Hark the Herald and he showed us the scripture that Charles Wesley actually got all those lyrics from. And he was all over the Bible. It was wonderful. But, sing scripture.
And then, hymns. Sing scriptural songs. Hymns. I don’t think we’re entirely sure what Paul meant
with this division. But people guess that like hymns might have been songs that were closer to the time where the men that were writing down the New Testament were living. But, I think basicly what does this mean for us; I think scripture and I think scriptural songs. Songs that give me scripture truth. That it’s not necessarily singing a verse but that truth is found in my Bible. A truth. (Sings.) “Coming again, coming again, maybe morning, maybe noon, maybe evening, and maybe soon.” You know, is there a verse that says, “Coming again, coming again?” “Oh, what a wonderful day that will be, Jesus is coming again.” Is there a verse necessarily that that goes with? Probably different verses that tie together for that truth. Right? So, sing scriiptural songs.
And then, spiritual songs, I think, kind of links back to here. (Points and draws arrow to Melody-Spirit on chalkboard.) Spiritual songs might be more of your choruses, possibly. But spiritual. Yes, sing scripture, sing scriptural songs. And then, this is my, “S,” if you want alliteration. Spiritual songs. Songs that just like, (Sings.) “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me” “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow. My Lord…” You know, just something spiritual. Something when you’re excited about God, you make stuff up! And it doesn’t have to be made up. But you just like, “Oh, Lord! Praise the name of God!” And you just start singing. Sometimes, when you’re older, you know enough songs that you start singing something. But, my children will walk around absentmindedly making up music. And they’ll be, (Sings.) “God loves me. So I will give my life to Him.” As they have the doll and they’re brushing the hair. “And, I will do everything for Him because He means so much. Praise the Lord.” And you just hear them singing, and I think God loves out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast the Lord perfected praise.
So, spiritual songs. I think this is fine for us. This is a practical way of looking at it. Yes, if you got more into the nitty gritty, I think maybe you‘d get some more out of it. But, sing scripture, sing scriptural songs, and sing spiritual songs. That should be your diet. That should be the main thing you listen to. Yes, enjoy this. Yes, enjoy this. But you know there’s some beautiful film scores. Sound tracks like a “Gettysburg.” There’s different film scores. But even as part of that music, if that becomes your main diet, the danger there is as you love to be emotionally carried here, and emotionally carried here with that music, that becomes what you crave. Being swept here and there emotionally when that shouldn’t be the main thing music does for you. Emotions, you know, somewhere even as your body feels this way, and the harmony, and the intellect, and all these things, it shouldn’t be all about your emotion. It should be, “I feel so good when I hear this music.” Again, you’ve got to watch that. It’s what pleases my God. What pleases my God and learning to enjoy that music.