- Sep 17, 2016
“May not music be described as the mathematics of the sense, mathematics as music of the reason? The musician feels mathematics, the mathematician thinks music: music the dream, mathematics the working life.”
-James Joseph Sylvester
Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe
"It is God who gives us the spirit of worship (Psalm 133:3), and it is what we know of God that produces this spirit of worship. We might say that worship is simply theology, doctrine, what we think about God, going into top gear! Instead of merely thinking about Him, we tell Him, in prayer and praise and song, how great and glorious we believe Him to be!"
- Sinclair B. Ferguson
Music and mathematics are a universal language given to us by the creator of the universe. We discovered the pleasant harmonics, rhythms, beats, and melodies that when connected to the right pitch, string length, width of string, shape of instrument, frequencies, the atmosphere, the ear, and many other technical variables causes us to hear the harmonic language of the universe.
It connects and alters us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Music can cheer us up, make us sad, amp us up during a workout, or unite us as a national anthem.
It physically affects our brains and has been proven to therapeutically heal different functions within the brain. This is why playing Beethoven to a child in the womb, having music classes in school, and giving iPods to the elderly has shown to help with different brain functions in both hemispheres of the brain including language, memory, coordination, and cognitive understanding. Music has been proven to help release Dopamine which is one of our feel good chemicals within the brain.
Spiritually our souls are wired to be amplified, live loudly and express boldly the joyfulness of our relationship with the Creator.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Psalm 150:6 NIV
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
John 4:24 NIV
We are spiritually connected to acknowledge the music of creation that compliments God.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him — his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
Psalm 68:4-5 NIV
When we experience God or see the majesty of His presence, we are moved within to rejoice. Scripture is filled with those who broke down in song or dance. Worship should be a experience that moves us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. A worshiper is often flooded with emotions, physically affected, and a spiritual hunger for more.
If we are singing with no joy or recollection of the words then what are we doing? Maybe it is because we do not fully understand worship or see its importance? As music is connected to memory, we are obediently realigning our minds, body and soul to God.
It has also been shown that good music increases blood flow within the heart. Life is largely dependent on the heart. As we realign with God it reminds us we are solely dependent on God for life both physically and spiritually.
One of the very first examples of worship was seen in Exodus 15 as the Israelites escaped Pharaohs army by walking through the Red Sea. A wall of water on each side and the floor completely dry. As they reached the other side, God consumed the army of Pharaoh as the waters was released. Pharoah and his army was completely destroyed. The Israelites immediately recognized the glory and strength of God by song and dance.
Exodus 15 NIV
15 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.
2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
20 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.”
Is your worship alive or dead?
Is our modern churches failing to see the majesty of God as to why worship often seems emotionally, physically or spiritually lacking? Or have we religiously created a habit as a individual that no longer has the feeling it once had?
This isnt picking on the choir or bands but is looking at the individual. You can have a awesome band but the worship of the body be extremely weak. Nor is this to say we have to worship a certain way. It brings it down to the heart of the matter. Why are you worshipping?
The answer to why should provide a honest examination of does your worship bring glory and honor to God?
Worship should always point back to God. The Words of the song should always honor God and remind the people of the glory of God.
Romans 12:1-2 NIV:
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, or well pleasing and perfect.”
Worship as explained in Romans should be a whole body experience that involves the renewing or realigning of the mind with God's will and to honor the characteristics of God.
A early secular source outside of scripture spoke on the habits of early Christians. Pliny the Younger was governor of Pontus and Bithynia from 111-113 A.D.
Pliny sent a letter to Emperor Trajan about his (Pliny's) rulings on forcing the Christians to denounce and curse Christ or face execution. Here below is a excerpt from the letter and Pliny explaining the rumors.
"they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so."
New Testament motivation to worship within the early church is also found in
Ephesians 5:18-20 NIV
18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our modern churches have been carrying the same practices throughout the centuries. But we must be cautious not to turn worship into a idol as the lights and music become the center of our message. Or the idol of self dampens or mutes the purpose of worship.
Matthew 23:27-28 provides a warning to the hypocritical worship that on the outside looks beautiful and righteous but on the inside the individual is dead, hypocritical, or wicked. In right place but for the wrong reasons.
Matthew 23:27-28 NIV
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Do not be like this. In the right place for the wrong reasons. Be alive in Christ. Rejoice in the grace and mercy of God. Understand the beauty of worship, song, dance and how the arts compliment the creator. Seeing how the music dances to the mathematical language of the universe. Hear and feel the words as if they are your own heart cry to the Lord. Respond with joy or even in humble repentance as worship can stir the soul.
1. What was your idea of worship before this thread? Has it changed after reading this thread?
2. In what ways can you improve individually your worship?
3. What is your favorite style of worship or how do you worship?
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