"And the Prisoners Heard Them"

Monday, February 15, 2010 (Edited 2/12/2011)

Paul and Silas were in prison, in stocks, for preaching the gospel in Phillipi. They were bruised and bleeding from being beaten for their "crime." And yet, they still had a song in their heart and, just as importantly, a song in their mouth. They did not just sing softly, hoping not to disturb anyone. Instead, they sang loudly, with energy, so that all could hear the joy in their voices.
    "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. (Acts 16:25)
As believers, we have the responsibility to sing God's song in such a manner that those who are prisoners of sin hear the wonderful message that God loves them, and offers them freedom through Jesus Christ.

We have a message to deliver that has the power to change lives, and influence people for eternity. We ought to consider the idea that our song should be performed with great energy and excitement.

One does not have to look far into the world of popular music to see performers who put their whole being and energy into communicating a wicked and worldly message. How much more ought the child of God sing to the Lord with energy and passion!

There are several examples in the Old Testament that illustrate the fact that Godly musicians can, and should, exert great passion when singing to the Lord. Read the following passages carefully.

Bringing the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem
    "And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets." (1 Chronicles 13:8)

    "And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet." (2 Samuel 6:14-15)
The rebuilding of Jerusalem:
    "And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off." (Nehemiah 12:42b-43)

    "And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off." (Ezra 3:10-13)
Would people describe your music as energetic and passionate? Do you sing from the depths of your soul? Are your body, soul and spirit all involved in delivering the song with excitement? The Lord is certainly worthy of our focused energies.

Let's open up and sing loudly so that the "prisoners" of this world will hear us and know that we serve the true and living God.

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.