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Music in Worship

By Chuck Henry
rev. 2/11/2013



Table of Contents


Supporting Scriptures

Amos 6:5 – Singing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, and inventing for yourselves musical instruments like David

Job 21:12 – The wicked sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice to the sound of the flute

Eph 5:19 – Singing and making melody in your heart




2 Ki 3:14-15

14 And Elisha said, As Yahweh of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you.

15 But now bring me a musician. Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of Yahweh came upon him.


1 Chr 16:42

And with them Heman and Jeduthun, to sound aloud with trumpets and cymbals and the musical instruments of Elohim. Now the sons of Jeduthun were gatekeepers.


1 Chr 25:6

All these were under the direction of their father for the music in the house of Yahweh, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and harps, for the service of the house of Elohim. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the authority of the king.


2 Chr 29:25

And he [King Hezekiah] stationed the Levites in the house of Yahweh with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of Yahweh by his prophets.


Psa 33:2-3

2 Praise Yahweh with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.

3 Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy.


Psa 87:6-7

6 Yahweh will record, when He registers the peoples: This one was born there. Selah

7 Both the singers and the players on instruments say, All my springs are in you.


Psa 98:4-6

4 Shout joyfully to Yahweh, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.

5 Sing to Yahweh with the harp, with the harp and the sound of a psalm,

6 With trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before Yahweh, the King.


Psa 144:9-10

9 I will sing a new song to You, O Elohim; on a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,

10 The One who gives salvation to kings, Who delivers David His servant from the deadly sword.


Psa 147:7-8

7 Sing to Yahweh with thanksgiving; sing praises on the harp to our Elohim,

8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.


Psa 150

1 Praise Yahweh! Praise El in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!

2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!

4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

6 Let everything that has breath praise Yahweh. Praise Yahweh!


Rev 14:1-3

1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.

2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.

3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.




Amo 6:3-7

3 Woe to you who put far off the day of doom, who cause the seat of violence to come near;

4 Who lie on beds of ivory, stretch out on your couches, eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall;

5 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, and invent for yourselves musical instruments like David;

6 Who drink wine from bowls, and anoint yourselves with the best ointments, but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

7 Therefore they shall now go captive as the first of the captives, and those who recline at banquets shall be removed.


I have learned over the years that it is not always a good idea to try to build a doctrine based on guilt by association. For example, Jezebel, a very wicked woman, wore make-up (2 Kings 9:30):


2 Ki 9:30

Now when Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she put paint on her eyes and adorned her head, and looked through a window.


Does that mean that it’s a sin to wear make-up? Although some would say, “yes,” Scripture does not. To carry the example a little further, in that same verse, Jezebel also looked through a window. So, on that basis (a heathen looking through a window), one could create a doctrine against looking through windows as well.


For those who take the guilt by association approach, Amos 6:5 is an excellent opportunity to add a Scripture reference in building their case that music is wrong. However, in taking this approach, they will likewise need to conclude that things such as the following are also wrong:


  • Lying on a couch


  • Eating lamb


  • Eating beef


  • Anointing themselves


Amos’ reference to David was due to the fact that David was a standout in his praise and worship to Yahweh. The comparison here in Amos is such that, just as David was a standout in his praise and worship for the good, so are these people standouts in what they are doing for the bad.




Job 21:7-15 (Job speaking)

7 Why do the wicked live and become old, yes, become mighty in power?

8 Their descendants are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes.

9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of Eloah upon them.

10 Their bull breeds without failure; their cow calves without miscarriage.

11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.

12 They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice to the sound of the flute.

13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.

14 Yet they say to El, Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.

15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?


Here we have yet another guilt by association reference that can be used in attempt to bolster the view that music is wrong. Following this line of logic, other things that will therefore need to be concluded as wrong are as follows:


  • One’s progeny becoming established


  • One’s house being safe from fear


  • One’s livestock multiplying


Job’s reference to the wicked here reflects the fact that sometimes the wicked prosper, as also says the book of Psalms—


Psa 37:7

Rest in Yahweh, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.




Eph 5:19

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Master.


When one sings, the tones are the result of air crossing the vocal chords. The thought begins in the heart, and then something is done with that thought to make sound. So it is with the playing of a musical instrument - the thought begins in the heart, and something is done to make sound.