Sound has the power to change everything.
Imagine a scene from a movie where a woman is walking down a sidewalk. I’ll add some details to spice it up. It’s a fall afternoon and the wind is picking up, making the dead leaves swirl around her feet with every step. The street is downtown in a big city. It is crowded with business people on their lunch break. The woman, in her forties, is wearing a navy blue skirt and a white blouse. Her right hand is clutching the strap of her purse, and she is walking extremely fast. From these visuals what do we know about the situation? Very little. We can guess at what the situation might be–maybe she’s late for a meeting, maybe she doesn’t work and has come downtown to give her husband something at his office. The truth is, we know nothing except for what our eyes see. Our eyes simply give us facts.
Now take the same scene and add the eerie sound of a lonely faint chime. Voice this over the background of a futuresque dissonant chord from a synthesizer. Add the boom of a bass drum playing sporadically as if in a death march. Now we feel something. We’re concerned for the woman, maybe even scared and on the edge of our seats because we think she’s being chased. Change the music to a light piccolo playing over the staccato plucks of an orchestra’s violin section and the scene becomes more playful, as if she’s running against the heavy flow of people walking the other way. With this background music, she becomes more of an individual heroine whom we’re rooting for. Finally, change the music to the slow, lush sound of strings passionately playing “The Love Song” and our hearts drop. Perhaps she is on the way to the hospital where her love lies dying and has only hours to live.
Sound can create a story from dry facts. It stirs our emotions to go beyond facts to feeling.
The scene’s meaning depends entirely on how the viewer and the listener choose to respond emotionally, and the meaning can also depend on their mood while watching and listening. The revelation that comes to the seer has everything to do with the sounds of the scene.
The woman walking is a picture of the church, progressively taking steps forward, often frantically. The sound being heard as the church goes forward has everything to do with how the seers will interpret what goes on. Therefore, the sound impacts how they will pray, how they will believe, and how they will interpret the activity they see in the church. Is she walking into a season of peace, a season of joy, or a season of being raped and violated by the world? Music is the indicator. Music sets the tone of her destiny.
Throughout the generations of history, the spiritual climate of God’s people has always had a musical indicator.
With every revival, there has been a release of new music or new sound. Whether the music released revival, or whether the revival released the music varies from generation to generation. However, the sound changes as God’s people’s responses change to what God is doing and saying. I know we could argue that sound and music continually change as a result of the development of the technology of any given generation. But the fact is, God gives the technology also. It’s a chicken or egg deal. Any way you look at it, God unveils new songs and new sounds in relationship to the new revelation of His presence in His people. That’s why the enemy fights so hard to counterfeit everything that God desires to do musically in a generation.
David was able to impact his generation not only politically, but poetically and prophetically. This prophet, priest, and king brought God into all arenas of life in Israel. All authority in Israel, whether it is political, ecclesiastical or personal, rested on this man, who was after God’s own heart. He established the standards of the day to see, hear, and know God. David, as a worshiper, had committed to performing a vow of worship seven times a day unto God (see Psalm 119:164). Seven times a day, he took his harp and spontaneously sung to God. Those spontaneous expressions of his worship relationship with his God became the lyrics of the nation, and a truth that endures to all generations.
We forget that the Hebrew mindset was intuitive, not philosophical. They thought with their eyes. For them, God saying it was the same as God doing it. Most commentators stumble through the Psalms and are frustrated with the lack of unity in imagery, when in fact David simply sang what he saw, and what he saw was what God was saying.
In this way, the eye gate is as important as the ear gate, for unless we see what the Father is doing, how can we hear what He is saying? When we think with the eye, the connection is optical rather than logical.
The foundation of the prophetic song is musically coming into agreement and accompanying what God is doing and saying (see John 5:19).
God is now developing our sensitivity to His Spirit through the emphasis on prayer, intercession, praise, and worship, causing His church to walk as a victorious lady in a blue skirt surrounded by songs of deliverance, seeing and hearing with each step the sights and sounds of God’s heavenly purpose. May the accompanying soundtrack of this scene impact the world that views us, that they might hear the sound of heaven as we walk with our God.