Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction

1 Comment


OT InstrumentsI am not musically inclined. I do not play an instrument, sing, or even remember tunes or lyrics. In fact, I have trouble turning on the radio.

However, I love the fact that it’s been in our lives since old testament times and that God commands it. Music was used to worship, to celebrate, to mourn, to soothe, and to go into battle.

Here’s a quiz for you music-lovers and bible-readers. How much do you remember about instruments, how they were made, and when they were played?

  1. “Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal . . . His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the ________ and ________.” (Ge 4:19; 20-21)
  2. What was the instrument the prophetess Miriam used in her victory dance to celebrate the Lord saving Israel out of the hand of the Egyptians at the Red Sea? (Ex 15:20)
  3. What material did the Lord tell Moses to make two trumpets out of to call the people together in preparation to set out of from camp? (Nu 10:2)
  4. What were the trumpets made of that the priests used when they marched around Jericho? (Jos 6:4)
  5. Why did King Saul’s servants search for someone to play the harp for him? (1Sa 16:16)
  6. Who did his servants find to play for him? (1Sa 16:23)
  7. “David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.” (2Sa 6:5) What is a sistrum?
  8. “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.” His wife Michal was watching from the window. Did she join him? (2Sa 6:14-16)
  9. What kind of wood did King Solomon use to make harps and lyres for the musicians? (1Ki 10:12)
  10. What name of a book in the Bible comes from a Hebrew word meaning “praises” and a Greek word meaning “twangings” [of the harp strings]?
  11. What do you call a person who plays the flute? (Ps 150:4)
  12. What musical instrument “clashes” and “resounds”? (Ps 150:5)
  13. Daniel was ordered: “As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.” (Da 3:5) What is a zither?


Answers to All About Music

  1.  Harp, flute (Ge 4:19, 20-21)
  2. “Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines [or timbrels] and dancing.” (Ex 15:20)
  3. The LORD said to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out.” (Nu 10:2)
  4. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. (Jos 6:4)
  5. Saul’s attendants said, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better.”  (1Sa 16:16)
  6. “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.” (1Sa 16:23)
  7. A sistrum (plural: sistrums, sistra) is a percussion instrument family which consists of a handle and a U-shaped metal frame, made of brass or bronze. When shaken the small rings or loops of thin metal on its movable crossbars produce a sound that can be from a soft clank to a loud jangling.
  8. “. . .  Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.” Also, “And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.” (2Sa 6:16)
  9. The king used the almugwood to make supports for the temple of the LORD and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. (1Ki 10:12) [Almugwood is thought to be red sandalwood.]
  10. The Book of Psalms.
  11. A person who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or less commonly a fluter.
  12. “. . . praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.” (Ps 150:5)
  13. A zither is a musical stringed instrument with strings stretched over a flat sounding board; it is laid flat and played with a plectrum and with fingers. (Da 3:5)



My Faith: Once Loose and Sloppy Now Strong and Firm

worshipI pulled an old devotional book off the shelf that I’d devoured years ago: Every Day Light: Treasure for the Heart by the late Selwyn Hughes.  I did not expect to be wowed again. I was wrong.  The lines I had not underlined originally are now underlined; the ones that were, are now starred. The quote below struck me on a day when I thought my daily walk had become “loose and sloppy.”

“How do we get the framework, the sense of structure we need to be able to move effectively from one day to another, in a world where everything that seemed to be nailed down is coming apart? What is the coordinating point that pulls together our confused thoughts and feelings as we look out at the comedy we call a civilization? It is to be found in our worship of God. We enter into the presence of the Lord and lo, His unity becomes our unity. Things that were once loose and sloppy become strong and firm. Worship helps us get our heads together. It helps us know where we stand.” From Every Day Light: Treasure for the Heart, Selwyn Hughes, Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, TN 1973.

Often, I try to make things more difficult and complex than they are. To be told that simple worship could change my walk back to “strong and firm” was a welcome message. And I didn’t have to wait until I felt like worshipping; I just had to do it. Hughes tells us we should be glad that God has given us a command to worship Him “for if we are not [glad], we would be left to the vagaries of our feelings.” Feelings are fickle; God’s statutes are not. (If you’re questioning that, just read Deuteronomy 5.)

In this context, when I speak of worship, I mean those times when I abandon my busyness and give all my attention to Him. When I let down my guard and lift up my voice (and my hands) in praise. When I open my heart and close the world out. When I turn up the volume and sing a song of adoration. Honest worship, true worship, without pretense. The kind that God craves.

Eugene Peterson puts it this way: “Worship is an act which develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God which is expressed in an act of worship.”