This was a good, biblical article I read last week 1:
OLD TESTAMENT TEMPLE MUSIC: LESSONS FOR TODAY
(Friday Church News Notes, May 13, 2016, [email protected], 866-295-4143)
David organized the music worship program for the temple (1 Ch. 15:16-28; 16:4-6; 23:1-5; 25:1-31), and he did this by divine revelation (2 Ch.29:25). It is obvious that God loves sacred worship music. These things are an example for the churches (Rom. 15:4). Notice some lessons from these passages.
First, the instruments were harps, psalteries, cymbals (1 Ch. 16:16; 25:1) and horns or trumpets (1 Ch. 15:24). These four instruments are also mentioned in 1 Ch. 15:28 and 2 Ch. 29:25-26. These are not the type of instruments used to create raucous music with a dance rhythm. Notice that there were no drums.
Second, the singers and musicians were skillful (“to excel,” 1 Ch. 15:21; “skilful,” 1 Ch. 15:22; “cunning,” 1 Ch. 25:7).
Third, they were trained (1 Ch. 25:7).
Fourth, they were well organized; they submitted to God’s order and to the authority God had put over them; they were assigned their places (1 Ch. 25:2,6, 8). Compare 1 Co. 12:7; 14:40; Rom. 12:3-8; Heb. 13:17.
Fifth, they sang and played with enthusiasm and joy (1 Ch. 15:16). God’s people should follow this example in the churches, and the music leaders should teach and encourage it. I believe that congregational singing is a reflection of a church’s spiritual character. Many of the Lord’s people do not sing or sing so softly that no one can hear them, but the song service is not about me and whether or not I feel like singing or like to sing, and it’s not a
time to be entertained. It is about singing to God and edifying one another, and it should be done with exuberance.
Sixth, they prophesied (1 Ch. 25:1, 2, 3). Compare 1 Corinthians 14:24 which says that all the saints should prophesy. This means that every believer participates in and responds to every part of the service from the heart: to the preaching and teaching, the singing, and the corporate prayer. In light of 1 Chronicles 15, the singing and playing of instruments should be done for prophesying, which is defined in 1 Co. 14:3 as speaking “unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” When visitors see that the members are enthusiastically involved in the services, they understand that the believers really do believe what they say they believe and they are convicted of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Seventh, they sang God’s Words (1 Ch. 25:5). Compare Colossians 3:16. Worship cannot be heretical or frivolous but must be based solidly upon Scripture.
Eighth, they gave thanksgiving to God (1 Ch. 25:3). This is the first and foremost purpose of the Christian life and church. The churches need to make sure that they sing songs and hymns of worship and thanksgiving and not only songs for the edification of the saints.