by Ada Nicholson Brownell
“’Four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments I made,’ said David, ‘to praise, therewith’” (1 Chronicles 23:5 KJV).
I had no idea how one would go about making a musical instrument until my brother, Dr. Joe Nicholson, who headed the Evangel University music department for many years, showed me and a crowd.
He demonstrated how to make a trumpet. He took 4 ½ feet of tubing, actually garden hose, and a funnel for one end and put a brass mouthpiece in the other. Then he blew. It sounded almost exactly as the brass instrument as he played a short tune. Then he used 9 feet of hose for a trombone or baritone. The sound deepened. For a tuba it took 18 feet and the notes he played were way down there.
People have been known to make music with reeds picked along a river. The ancients made sounds with leaves and blew on ram’s horns. Rhythm instruments can be made of most anything, including gourds to shake and jugs to blow. Kids often play tunes on a comb and paper.
David’s instruments probably were more sophisticated. He could engage metalsmiths to make brass instruments, and use various talented folks to create stringed instruments out of wood or other materials.
But musical instruments go back as far as Genesis and Adam and Eve. Where the couple’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are listed we’re told, “And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ” (Genesis 4:21).
I wonder if the word “Jubilant” was penned after him. Jubilant means “showing great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; rejoicing; exultant.”
The next verse names Zillah, one of Adam and Eve’s great-granddaughters. She bare Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. I wouldn’t be surprised that he made trumpets as well as tools.
Quite a lot of difference between what the Bible says and what the textbook claimed about the beginning of music when I was in college. “A monkey came down out of tree and made an instrument,” the book said and I laughed.
Music is used in worship to the only true God who created the heavens and the earth in the beginning.
When David was chosen to take his rightful place as God’s anointed king, David not only went to return the ark to the Israelites, but worked diligently to re-establish the form of worship among the people that David knew was true worship. That included joyful music and singing.
But before they could properly play, sing, and combine their voices they needed to be organized. The Levites needed to dust off their talents and divided into groups according to their ministries because during Saul’s reign they had brought in idols and neglected worshiping God as they should.
David wrote, “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet; praise him with the psaltery and harp, praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:3-6).
So they praised the Lord all the way as they carried the Ark home.
PRAYER: Lord, I praise you for breath, for music, and for who you are, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, my Savior, and my soon Coming King.
About the Author:
Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is the author of six books. She is a member of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers.
She and her husband have five children, one in heaven, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Ada Brownell Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06