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Daily Devotional | Sing to the Lord | Music in the Bible | A music score on a blue background. Daily Devotional | Sing to the Lord | Music in the Bible | A music score

Daily Devotional | Elisha and a Musician


One of the joys I have serving at my church is playing the prelude music for weekly Friday night gatherings. And while people may be just arriving or still in a conversation, I strive to prayerfully consider those few minutes as an invitation to pray, to focus our minds and hearts before hearing from the Lord.

In 2 Kings 3, we see the desperate circumstances of Jehoshaphat, one of the more righteous kings in Judah’s history. As the Moabites were preparing to attack Judah, Jehoshaphat joined forces with the kings of Israel and Edom. At this critical moment, they found themselves stuck in the desert with no water for their armies and animals (v. 9).

They called for a prophet in the land named Elisha. Notice Jehoshaphat’s first words concerning this prophet: “The word of the LORD is with him” (v. 12). We are told that before meeting Elisha or music being played, the word of the Lord, the presence of God was with Elisha. This reminds us that when we worship with God’s people or even in our private moments, it is Christ and His Word in which we are called to abide.

Instead of offering immediate counsel, Elisha called for a harpist (or musician). Why? Perhaps it allowed the prophet time to inquire of the Lord. Scripture tells us he was a man of prayer (2 Kings 4:33). But perhaps it was because Elisha knew that music, when directed to the Lord and used for His purposes, could help prepare his mind and heart to hear from God. As the harpist played, the Lord’s hand came upon Elisha, and God spoke to him with a message of hope and salvation for His people.

Go Deeper

Has God used music to prepare your heart for worship? Why is music, directed to the Lord, so powerful in refocusing our attention? Maybe for the remainder of this devotional study you can listen to worshipful music, preparing to receive God’s Word.

Pray with Us: Our Savior, show us how to prepare our hearts and minds to hear from You. Teach us, like You taught Elisha, to become people of prayer. May the presence of Your Spirit fill us with life and music.

BY Brian Lee

Dr. Brian Lee is a professor of Music at Moody Bible Institute. He serves in music ministry at Maranatha Bible Church in Chicago and is an active classical pianist as a soloist and chamber musician. He earned a doctorate from The Juilliard School and has been invited as a guest artist, adjudicator, masterclass teacher at many institutions, competitions, and festivals. He and his wife, Helen, are the parents of three sons.

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