Revival Results in Singing
Monday, September 21, 2009[print version] [audio version ]
Revival is a very interesting concept. Many churches speak and preach of revival, pray for revival, and hold what are commonly called "revival meetings." Church history is full of famous, widespread revivals, like the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905 or the Great Awakening in 1730-1760. We have heard of well-known revival preachers of the past, such as George Whitefield and Billy Sunday.
The word "revival" literally means "to restore to life." In a Christian sense, we talk about revival as meaning a renewed fervor for the things of God, and a revitalized relationship with God.
One of the great examples of revival in the Old Testament occurs in the story of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was a Jewish exile serving as cup-bearer in the court of Artexerxes, king of the Persian Empire about 445 B.C.
Nehemiah was saddened to hear of the broken-down condition of Jerusalem, and Artaxerxes noticed his sadness of countenance. Nehemiah requested of Artexerxes to be allowed to return to Jerusalem to begin a resoration project there. The king granted his request, gave him an extended leave of absence, and wrote letters to people who could help him along his way.
Though he faced tremedous opposition, Nehemiah was able to successfully rebuild the walls around Jerusalem and restore the temple to it's place as the center of worship for the Jewish people living in the area.
When all was ready, the Jews held a great feast, read from the book of the law, held "preaching" services (Neh. 8:8), confessed their sins, and worshiped God (Neh. 9:3).
Part of this great revival included the resoration of music in the worship of God. Nehemiah re-appointed the Levitical singers to their positions as full-time musicians in the temple. The dedication service itself included great songs of praise to God, with both singers and instrumentalists doing their part.
To gain a better understanding of the importance Nehemiah placed on the temple music program, read and meditate upon these references to music found in the book of Nehemiah.
- "Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed," (Nehemiah 7:1)
"The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight." (Nehemiah 7:44)
"Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women." (Nehemiah 7:67)
"So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities." (Nehemiah 7:73)
"And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding." (Nehemiah 10:28)
"For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God." (Nehemiah 10:39)
"The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers were over the business of the house of God. For it was the king's commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day." (Nehemiah 11:22-23)
"And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries,
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Curtis holds a bachelor's degree in Bible with a music minor, as well as a master's degree in Sacred Music, having studied under Dr. Frank Garlock, president of Majesty Music, and Ray and Ann Gibbs, well-known Christian singers. He has served as music director and jr. high/high school supervisor at Grace Baptist Church of Mankato, Minnesota; school music director at the Franklin Road Christian School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; media engineer for the Sword of the Lord in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and, full-time music director at Second Baptist Church and Twin City Christian Academy in Festus, Missouri. He is currently self-employed and serves in the music ministry of the Berean Baptist Church in Rockford, IL. Curtis is co-founder and President of the Asaph Music Co. He regularly sings bass with the Bible Truth Chorale on recordings produced by Bible Truth Music at Faith Music Missions.
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