Wednesday, April 13, 2011
trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltry, bagpipe and all the rest
Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Glory and praise for ever; John 8:31-42
The words of the King Nebuchadnezzar to Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, "Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe and all the other musical instruments, otherwise you will be cast into the white hot furnace, and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?"
Over the past few days I have been speaking morality with the 8th graders in my class. I decided to guide them in evaluating the moral goodness of things they encounter on a regular basis like TV Sitcoms, movies, and most especially music they listen to daily.
So in class we have been on youtube locating their favorite songs and listening to them and evaluating and dissecting the words used in these songs.
We listen to "kick it in the sticks", "No hands" and "not by shakin' hands."
The rhythm and beat of the songs are very seductive. Yet, when we listen to the words we discovered that the moral goodness of want is being sung isn't so acceptable. The songs I mentioned above that seem so popular invite the listeners to sell sex for money, to stay our all night drinking and parting and even drinking and driving, all the while dressing not so modest and putting yourself in dangerous situations. They all speak of going to strip clubs and having lab dances.
The kids response was what I expected, "Father, we listen to it because of the beat not because of the words.
An dI tried to explain to them the reality of materially cooperating with the message but i am not sure I succeeded.
Nonetheless it is easy to get swayed by the trumpet, lyre, harp. bagpipe or in modern understanding the steel guitar, the base guitar, the drums and before you know you go along with the rhythm and get swept away in a moral decline that becomes a slippery slope.
Perhaps this is what the King hoped for. He hoped the rhythm would seduce the three young men and lead them to idolatry.
Yet they held their ground.
Listen the words of the three young men, "There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If our God whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up."
In the end it is the king who gets converted by the fortitude of the three, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego."
Amen. Don't be seduced by the music.