“The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the LORD with one voice. They raised [their] voices, accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and musical instruments, in praise to the LORD: For He is good; His faithful love endures forever; the temple, the LORD’s temple, was filled with a cloud.”
In this passage, we see quite an ensemble of musicians and music. The occasion was the dedication of the temple, God’s established place of meeting with His people. It was a glorious day of celebration in worship of the God who had been faithful to His people, even when His people were unfaithful to Him. There were singers, trumpeters, and musicians of every kind. And they all “joined together to praise and thank the Lord, with one voice.”
But just how does a cymbal and a trumpet play in unison? We’re not sure what the other instruments were, but the idea that all these different instruments and voices presented one voice to the Lord, well, that must have been a great deal more than musical uniformity – that must have been a “spiritual unison.”
I think the principle of “spiritual unison” compels us to go further with our churches than just executing a finely tuned unison with our choirs and instrumental groups. To be sure, those can be particularly effective as we perform our music to the best of our ability. But do we lead with “spiritual unison?” Are we leading our people to worship with one voice?
If we want to see the temple filled with the cloud of God’s glory, I’m convinced it will take more than music performed with precision. It will take a group of worshippers, joining their voices and instruments a spiritual unison of praise to the God we love – where the focus is not on us but on Him, and what He wants to do in our lives.
So, let’s tune our ears to hear the unisons, but even more, tune our hearts to come before our Lord with one voice.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.