Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. Psalm 42:7 ESV
My wife and I used to love a T.V. series called, “Numbers”. For those not familiar with it, the story line revolves around two brothers. One is an FBI special agent named Don and his brother Charlie, who is a brilliant mathematician. Don likes to kick in doors and catch the bad guys, while Charlie loves to hang out in his garage and work on equations on a blackboard. In each episode, Don needs Charlie to help solve a crime using that mathematical mind in some interesting ways. Charlie will come in, gather the evidence, then with some neat special effects, we are treated to the inner working of Charlie’s mind as numbers, geometrical shapes and algebraic equations flit across the screen. Though I hate math, I can identify with Charlie, though my thoughts would flit across the screen as notes rather than numbers. And as a lifelong musician and a lover of music, I have become intrigued by the various musical directions given in, many of the Psalms. Phrases such as “to the tune of The Lilies” (Psalms 45 & 80) or with stringed instruments, (4, 54, 61 and others), make me wonder what these passages actually sounded like. Many different instruments are recommended, such as Trumpets, flutes, cymbals, and an eight stringed harp. Other Psalms simply say, “a song” which may mean they were sung a cappella.
Now this all may sound nit-picky, but I believe that what God wants us to know through those tiny details is that He wants to connect with all kinds of people in a million different circumstances with music. You could almost call music the language of Heaven. Job mentions a moment when the morning stars sang together. Isaiah tells us that “the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12) and in Revelation 5:9, John tells us of people in Heaven singing, “a new song”.
Everywhere, in situations of grief as well as victory, in gratitude for blessings as well as when we cry for help, God has music that will cry out to him, from “deep to deep” In those times, God gives us a language, that can carry our words as well as a melody that will express our hearts even when words fail us. Music is not only a wonderful gift; it is a staircase that our prayers go up to speak to our Father. Notes are like the shaft of an arrow that drives us towards God’s target as well as the point that sinks His message into our hearts. Music is the breath of God that fills our sails and drives us across the ocean and an anchor in a storm, when we don’t know if we can hang on another minute. No, we will not learn how the Psalms originally sounded on this side of Heaven, but we can know that the God who gave them music, loves us enough to give us our own melody as we travel the road, He has called us to walk today.