If the Devil Were a Musician...

Sunday, April 06, 2008 (Edited 4/9/2008)

He is, you know. When he was created by God, the Bible tells us in Ezekiel 28:13 that “tabrets” (tambourine, a percussion instrument) and “pipes” (probably something like a flute, a woodwind) were made as a part of his body. Isaiah 14:11 mentions the “noise of thy viols” (a psaltery, a stringed instrument of some kind). What he looks like or sounds like, I am sure I do not know, but regardless, Lucifer was given the ability to create musical sound.

This brings up the interesting discussion about whether or not angels sing. The only Bible reference I know of that seems to indicate angels singing is Job 38:7, where God asks Job, “[Where were you] when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” The format of Hebrew poetry indicates a parallel between the “morning stars” and the “sons of God.” If the morning stars, then, are interpreted to equal the sons of God, and the sons of God are understood to be angels, then the angels sang at the time of creation. Ezekiel 28:13 does say that Lucifer was in “Eden, the garden of God.” Notice also the similarity between the phrase in which Lucifer is called the “son of the morning” in Isaiah 14:12 and the wording of this mention of the “morning stars/sons of God” in Job 38. A case could then be made for the idea that the Devil is probably a singer as well.

I know that in our present culture, great derision is attached to the idea that a certain type of music could be labeled the Devil's music, but let's consider what kind of music the Devil would produce if he were a musician. His music would be characterized by:
  1. Rebellion against authority, specifically God's authority (Gen. 3:1, Is. 14:14, Matt. 4:9, Luke 4:6, 7)
  2. Questioning God's love (Gen. 3:4, 5; Job 1:9-11)
  3. Emphasis on the material and physical instead of the spiritual (Matt. 4:3, Luke 4:3)
  4. Emphasis on man instead of God (Mark 8:33, Matt. 16:23)
  5. Violence (Ez. 28:16)
  6. Promotion of the breaking of God's moral law (1 Cor. 7:5)
  7. Selfishness and pride (Isa. 14:13, 14; Ez. 28:17)
So, the Devil's music would be characterized by rebellion against authority, loud and violent sounds that appeal to the physical (the element of music that appeals to the body is the rhythm, or beat), immoral behaviors, selfishness and pride.

As a side note, it is interesting that in Exodus 32:16, 17, when Moses and Joshua came down from Mt. Sinai after receiving the Law, they mistook the sound of idolatrous music coming from the Israelite camp for the “noise of war.” The music was, presumably, loud, percussive and violent. You will, of course, remember the great rebellion and immorality that also accompanied the idolatry.

Do you know of any musical forms or styles that fit the description of the Devil's music? You make the call

Curtis Hollembeak

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.