The precedent for a choir goes back a long way. For instance, in II Chronicles 5:13, “The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by the trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: ‘He is good; his love endures forever.‘”
In II Chronicles 20, the Israelites under King Jehoshaphat are facing a huge army of Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites, coming to wage war against them. Everyone prayed, fasted, and sought the Lord for their deliverance. The Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel, and he told the people, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” Then we see a very unique battle strategy emerge in II Chronicles 20:21: “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” The result was the the attacking armies waged war against themselves. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. As you can imagine, more worship followed as the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned to Jerusalem victorious.
One more example from the book of Nehemiah (have I mentioned to you that I have a grandson named Nehemiah who just happens to be beginning, unbelievably, his freshman year of high school). The biblical Nehemiah, along with the workers who helped him, in the face of great opposition, rebuilt the destroyed and burned walls of Jerusalem in 52 days. Part of the dedication of the walls involved a choir. In Nehemiah 12:31, Nehemiah says, “I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks…” Without question, Nehemiah and the people recognized the hand of God in this amazing accomplishment.
Clearly, choirs have played a part in honoring the Lord throughout history. Just as clear is the fact that our Lord accepts and appreciates the offering of this type of worship.
This week I want to thank the choir of Madison Christian Church. They are faithful to their ministry, and, under the direction of Matt Archibald, help lead the worship in many of our services. As a guy who occasionally sings in the choir at Christmas, it would be easy for me to miss folks in a listing of choir members. Therefore, I am relying on the list supplied to me by Matt Archibald. We say a sincere “thank you” to: Darla Crabtree, Bonnie Holzbauer, Trish and Mark Hannum, Michelle and Leah Roseberry, Tracy Stillion, Kathy Kellenbarger, Dan and Mary Duncan, Margaret Hutchins, Roger Tedrow, Annette Ventola, Sandy Bellamy, Mike Richardson, Susie Herr, Bob Small, Jeff Nash, Joe Steager, Janet Koehler, Jill Woerner, Teresa Woerner, Liz Crabtree, Pamela Smith, Pam Burt, Lydia Archibald, Susan Harris, Sue Harper, Bernie Craigo, Pat Thrall, Terry Steinhauser, Lewis Smith, Kathy Sedwick, Larry Trimmer, Marsha Harty. Bridget Hale, Diane and Paul Barnes.
One of the things that you clearly see in the Bible is that when the choir is leading in worship in a powerful way, the rest of God’s people quickly join in with enthusiasm. This is exactly the design of what takes place at Madison Christian Church. When the choir is present leading in worship, the level of all of the worshipers is raised. We thank the choir for their many hours, hard work, and musical excellence!