“But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said, “Thus says the Lord…”2 Kings 3:15-16
Those who attend or watch the First Baptist Dallas services know the value of our orchestra. We take our responsibility seriously and understand the deep roots instrumental music has in Scripture. There are many examples in the Old Testament of its use in temple worship—the book of Psalms is full of instructions for how musicians should accompany the texts. Paul affirms this type of music in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 when he advocates “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” Finally, when the heavenly veil is pulled back in Revelation, music is an integral part of its activities. Instrumentalists will be busy for all eternity. Among all the biblical passages that provide insight, there is a story in 2 Kings 3 with some interesting application for us at First Dallas.
The context of the passage involves Jehoram who became King of Israel after the death of his father, the wicked King Ahab and husband of Jezebel. Scripture says “he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” With Ahab gone, Moab decided they wouldn’t deliver on a massive debt to Israel, so Jehoram called on Jehoshaphat (King of Judah) for help.
Although an alliance with ungodly Jehoram was unwise, Jehoshaphat agreed anyway. During a seven-day march around the wilderness, these kings found no water for their soldiers or their animals. As a last resort to deal with this dilemma, Jehoshaphat guided them to seek a word from the Lord, even though he should have done this in the beginning. One of the servants pointed out that Elisha was nearby – the great prophet who received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. When they sent for him, Elisha wanted nothing to do with wicked Jehoram. When they pressed him further, Elisha responded, “were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you.”
In this grumpy mood, what Elisha said next is interesting: “Now bring me a musician.” Although no information about the musician is given, Scripture then tells us that “when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him (Elisha). And he said, ‘Thus says the Lord…’” This musician provided a pivotal ministry that enabled Elisha to hear from the Lord, and those who needed life-giving water received it soon after.
It is a privilege to serve in the instrumental ministry at First Dallas. Each Sunday, people who have been marching in their own waterless wilderness for the last seven days come to our church needing a word from the Lord. As our pastor steps forward, he figuratively says, “bring me a musician.” Our music ministry humbly steps forward in prayerful expectation that we can be a conduit for the Lord to anoint our pastor as he proclaims, “Thus says the Lord…”