Eternal Poet

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

Staying Faithful to the Fatih

In artists on July 16, 2012 at 1:21 am

In the Old Testament, there are several stories of how Creatives used their craftsmanship to conquer the spiritual world and their enemies on earth. One of my favorite stories is when David plays the harp for Saul. God had departed from Saul and gave an evil spirit authority to torment him. Saul forgot God during his reign and began to follow other gods. He, like Adam and Eve, turned against God first, before God departed from him.

One of Saul’s attendants comes up with this idea to find someone who can play the harp for the king to feel better. David’s reputation as a harpist was known by one of the court servants. We can conclude that David had not been shy about playing. This servant knew about David’s musical skills. And because David shared his musical talent and because David was a man after God’s own heart, he was given an opportunity to glorify God. Scripture says:

Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him. 1 Samuel 16:23

There’s more than meets the eye here. i really want to point out Saul’s attendant who came up with this idea to find a harpist to play. It was the attendant who told Saul “He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better.” This attendant must’ve had great faith. It sort of reminds me of the story of the Centurion who astonished Jesus with his faith. He told Jesus, “just say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8).

So which was it? Was it the attendant’s faith, or David’s anointing which resulted in the healing? In a few verses earlier (v13), David was anointed by Samuel with a horn of oil and “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.”

Could it be both? David was a practiced musician. Prior to being anointed he practiced his music. He had never healed anyone before this or driven away spirits with his music. He killed a bear and lion, but didn’t heal anyone. After David was anointed the Spirit of the Lord stayed upon him and with “power” scripture says. David was described to Saul by a servant as “a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” (1 Samuel 16:19-20).

The Lord was with David, and this fact was known. David must have played in an area where this servant frequented. So David played for the king’s servants before playing for the king. On top of this, if David hadn’t practiced, sweated and toiled on the harp, then we wouldn’t have been summoned to play for Saul. But his dedication to his craft of songwriting and harp playing paid off once he was under the Lord’s anointing. David was able to play with an anointing and the result was a healed king of Israel.

After David and Solomon’s rule over Israel, Israel divides due to abandoning the law of the Lord and foolish advice. Amid the successors to the throne of Judah rose Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was “devoted to the ways of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 17:6).

One day he hears news that the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites are heading towards Judah to make war. Before the battle, Jehoshaphat calls out to his people:

Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful. 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.” 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

This was the moment God showed up! As the attacking armies drew near, “Jehoshaphat and his people began to sing and praise” and “the Lord set ambushes against” the invaders (2 Chronicles 20:22-23). The invading armies began to attack each other and when Jehoshaphat and his men looked down at the battle “they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped” (2 Chronicles 20:22:24).

This all sounds fine and dandy, but it wasn’t their singing alone that allowed Jehoshaphat and his army victory. Recall the desperate reminder of Jehoshaphat: “have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”

Again, there’s more than meets the eye. The first action Jehoshaphat took after hearing about the oncoming invaders was he “proclaimed a fast for all Judah” (v3). Not only this, but “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord, Indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him” (v4).

The faith had already started before the battle began. Before the singing began, “the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord”.

One of the popular battles discussed in every Sunday school class is the battle of Jericho. As you know, Joshua and his men are told by God to march around the walls of Jericho one time each day for six days. Then on the seventh day they are to march around the city seven times and on the seventh time they are to blare their instruments (Joshua 6).

The walls of Jericho fell, not because the music. It’s because the fighting men obeyed God to march in circles. The act of marching, was preceded by faith. They believed that if they marched around Jericho, that God would deliver the city unto their hands as promised. What can faith teach us about being artists?