Did You Know There’s a Symphony In the Bible? (by Lowell Hohstadt)
It’s not the New York Philharmonic, but it is filled with beauty and wonder.
It’s the unity of Christian believers in worship.
The Greek word sumphoneo, where we get our modern English word Symphony is used to describe being in agreement, in unison, in one accord, to speak together, to concur with one another.
Jesus said, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” (Matt.18:19-20)
Evidently, agreement creates power: the power of answered prayer, the power of the Presence of God.
The Greek word sumphonia, which is directly related to sumphoneo, means “to sound together, accordant, harmonious, Symphony, concert of instruments, music.” Its synonyms are humnos (a hymn, a religious metrical composition), psallo (to make melody by the twitching and twanging of strings, to sing), and ode (a chant).
There are two Scriptures which use these exact words in sequence, written by the Apostle Paul, as he was encouraging the Church to participate in these activities when they came together.
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” (Eph. 5:18-21)
And here’s the second one:
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col. 5:16)
Coming together with music is not only a spiritual command, but an opportunity to participate in something profound. When we do this, we apparently tap into an extra dimension, something not at all ordinary, something unusual and powerful.
According to the Scriptures, we are encouraged to do this through the activity of singing and making music through composed and spontaneous songs and the use musical instruments.
“Yet You are holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon (literally, inhabit) the praises of Israel.” (Ps. 22:3)
God inhabits the praises of His people.
When Matthew 18:20 is compared with Psalm 22:3 a pattern emerges. As God’s people come together in united praise, He says, “There I am in their midst.” He “inhabits and is enthroned upon” their praises.
As this happens, there is not just earthly human power available. According to Scripture, there is super-natural (or above natural) power which is present to heal, set free, deliver, fix what is broken, release what is bound, and set straight what is crooked. Everything you know in your imagination that God can do, in this atmosphere He is present to do it.
It all happens when His people come together in united worship. He is right there, ready to touch anyone who has faith to draw upon the power of His presence.
The woman with the issue of blood, who touched Jesus’ garment and was instantly healed, was surrounded by a multitude of people who experienced no miracle at all for themselves. She was the only one who reached out in faith to touch Jesus. He was physically being touched by people all around Him, but only one touched Him by faith. (Lk. 8:43-48)
When we are in the presence of God through united worship, we need to draw upon His available power to touch our lives, to do the things that natural man can never accomplish, inviting the power of a loving God to give us breakthrough.
It can and will happen in the Symphony of God, His manifested presence through corporate worship, the united gathering of those who draw near to Him by faith.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (Js. 4:8)
It’s a Symphony more powerful than anything this world can create, one that uses song, voices and instruments, but it’s a Symphony that goes much deeper than music, one that taps into the spiritual realm and touches the regenerative power that only God Himself can give.
Will you come to the concert? The tickets are free.
Lowell Hohstadt is a music director, composer and violinist who has led the music teams of Odessa Christian Faith Center since 1987. He has composed over 400 works for worship and seasonal productions, and has written for a wide variety of venues in styles ranging from Modern Classical to Jazz and Contemporary Pop/Rock. He recently produced and released Free Eternally, an album of original songs for worship. You can follow him at www.lowellhohstadt.com.