By John Sleadd
You Are In a Musical
I want you to know that God has composed a cosmic musical and that you are in it. Look at it this way. God is the sovereign designer and sustainer of existence, reality and activity. He is the playwright, composer, arranger, director and producer of the universe. He is the author of the Divine Redemptive Drama, the grand story of creation, fall, redemption and consummation here on Earth. He is Drama King. I believe that when we appreciate the exquisite integrity and artistry of God in His work, we will more fully apprehend the part we were created to play in His show as the bearers of His creative image. In the Divine Redemptive Drama, God writes the script, creates and chooses the cast, determines and directs the plot, composes and arranges the score, directs and produces the show. He even appears in His own production as the overcoming hero. Jesus, the Son of God (fully God, yet fully human) came to earth from heaven to save sinners by dying in their place, then rising from the grave and ascending back to heaven. How dramatic. Let me unpack a few points showing the musical genius and intentions of God.
1. God is Master Musician and Singer.
Music is a fitting and generous outpouring of God’s own character. God is a singer, and the Master Musician, so He has seen fit to include music in His creation. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) Jesus sang in the upper room after he had instituted the Lord’s Supper. (Mark 14:26) He probably sang countless other times as well that are not recorded.
2. Creation is tuned for musical praise to God.
What was the Holy Spirit doing as He hovered over the face of the waters when the earth was void and formless? (Genesis 1:2) He could have been providing a musical prelude, a creation overture, if you will. Consider that the Holy Spirit is depicted as operating like an invisible, yet moving wind (John 3:8) and that music is conveyed by vibrations carried invisibly through the atmosphere by sound waves. Consider also that God is not a God of confusion, but of order (1 Corinthians 14:33). And we know music as the orderly sequence of pitched vibrations over time, with the elements of melody, harmony and rhythm. Even the heavens make music. The Lord declares that the “morning stars sang together” during their creation (Job 38:7). If creation were a piano, the Holy Spirit would be the piano tuner.
3. Man was created to sing and make music.
Every human being is born with vocal equipment for speaking and singing (for hearing and enjoying, also). Jesus was fully human and he sang. We likewise are able to sing. Let’s do it! God has provided man with an inspired song book, the Psalms, which commands us to sing. “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the lord, all the earth” (Psalm 96:1). Our singing will continue into the eternal state, too. The apostle John observed angels and the saints singing in heaven (Revelation 14:3). So we can look forward to singing into eternity. Instruments are mentioned very early in the Bible. Jubal was the father of all who play the harp and flute. (Genesis 4:21) King David was a skilled harpist and song writer. Gifted singers, instrumentalists and directors served in regular worship in the Old Testament. Still do. After all, the Bible commands it. “Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!” (Psalm 150:3-6) Will there be instruments in heaven? You bet. John saw the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders with harps as they fell down before the Lamb (Revelation 5:8). And the trumpet of God will sound when Christ descends from heaven. (1 Thessalonians 4:16) It stands to reason that other instruments will be included in the heavenly orchestra as well.
4. In Conclusion, We should sing.
So here we are in the midst of the Divine Redemptive Drama, a grand musical of God’s design. Do you find yourself singing? There is much to sing about. Christmas and Easter mark the historical incarnation and resurrection of Christ, and are key events for caroling and rejoicing. And every Lord’s Day the saints are called to lift their voices in praise to the triune God who has bought them and adopted them into His kingdom of grace. “ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16) “Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” (James 5:13)
The Best Is Yet To Come
Now here’s a reminder. The show is not over. In fact, we haven’t even reached the intermission. Act I included the exciting scenes of creation, the temptation and fall of man, the flood of judgment, the call of Abraham, the giving of the Law, the giving of the Son, the cross, the resurrection and ascension of Christ, the growth of the Christian church until now. Each of us will experience an intermission of sorts as death carries us into the presence of the Lord. But Act II begins when Jesus returns and we are glorified (receive resurrection bodies) with Him. All of creation currently waits in dramatic suspense, anticipating His spectacular arrival. (see Romans 8:19-25) When will He appear? Will He finally right all wrongs and extinguish all evil? Will He destroy death forever and establish His eternal kingdom upon a renewed earthly stage with renewed heavens? Will He know and accept you and me personally into His presence? Stay tuned, and keep singing. The best is yet to come. He is Drama King!