Dr. Dan Hayden •
One of the things I don’t like about New Age music is that so much of it doesn’t seem to have a melody. I’m probably old-fashioned, but I like songs that have a definite melodic structure – not those that wander all over the place and never seem to go anywhere.
The songs that are mentioned in the Bible have a definite structure and content. Whether psalms, or hymns, or spiritual songs – they aren’t just “feeling songs” like New Age music – they are musical creations specifically designed to express the truth of God.
In Ephesians 5:19 the Apostle Paul says, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Now did you notice the two verbs “singing,” and “making melody”? They sound redundant, don’t they? Paul seems to be repeating himself. Well, not really.
The word for “making melody” is actually the verb form of the word for “psalm”. So he literally says, “singing and psalming in your heart to the Lord.” Strong’s Concordance suggests that this word comes from a root word meaning “to rub or touch the surface; to twitch or twang as when playing on a stringed instrument.”
The idea, then, is to put music and melody to a psalm. The psalm is the important thing. The melody is simply a beautiful way of expressing it.
Now we all know how to sing. We do it a lot in our churches. But have you ever “psalmed”? “Singing and psalming,” Paul says. Well, you “psalm” when you put the words of Scripture to music.
Recently I have noticed an abundance of Scripture songs – a sort of return to the early church method of singing. Personally, I like Scripture songs, don’t you? We’re not only singing – we are “psalming” again.
Hey, New Age music won’t take you anywhere, but “psalming” will – it will take you to the Word of God. ■