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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 | Uncompromised Worship


At the start of our study, we learned that the word music comes from the Greek mousa, which is where we get the word muse, meaning to become absorbed in thought and to think carefully, even biblically. But in ancient mythology, a muse was also a pagan goddess, an idol who presided over the arts and sciences. The root of the word music reminds us that if we do not think well, music can become an idol or even a means to worship a pagan god.

In the book of Daniel, Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar created a golden image and decreed for people from every language and nation to fall down and worship as soon as they heard musical instruments. The phrase “all kinds of music” (v. 5) is repeated no less than four times in this chapter and represented all nations, peoples, and languages (v. 4). Even today music is used to glorify and worship images that are attractive, made of “gold”, but also idols “made by human hands” (Ps. 115:4). This music exalts idols that cannot speak, hear, smell, or walk.

This passage also contains a message for the church. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego risked their own lives by being thrown into the fire because they were faithful to their Maker, rejecting the values and teachings of Babylon. As followers of Christ, it is our call to live and worship with the same faithfulness to the true King.

Uncompromised worship may cause even an earthly king to acknowledge a higher power (v. 28). We look forward to that day when a multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language will stand before the true King and the Lamb. Perhaps with all kinds of music, we will declare “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Rev. 7:10).

Go Deeper

Consider the music you listen to outside of church. What does it “worship”? What values are central to that music? How might this change your listening habits?

Pray with Us: Heavenly Father, keep us from listening to ungodly music and looking at ungodly things. May we reject compromises even in small matters. Make us faithful followers of the true King.

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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