Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
I want to address a piece of music that is used by some religious groups. It is the song with the tittle: “Hallelujah”. The word Hallelujah is never found in the King James Bible, however, the word “Allelujah” is found 4x in Revelation 19. That word is of Hebrew origins. It is made up of two words: “halal” meaning “to shine or to praise” and “yaw” which is an abbreviation of the name of God —“Jehovah”.
While this song has a title that makes it seem to be a God-honouring song, it is a song written by a man named Leonard Cohen. He was not a born again Christian. I have never listened to this entire song. I have heard pieces of it, but it never seemed to me to be a song worth listening to. I was sent an invitation to a religious event recently and they had this song as one of the musical songs they were going to be using in their meeting.
I thought I would find out who wrote the song and what it is supposed to be about. I have already stated who the writer is. The song is actually a mockery of two Bible characters: David and Samson. It is supposed to reflect on David’s sin with Bathsheba and with Samson’s sin with Delilah. It is not a song that Christians should be listening to or using. Apparently several individuals, who are well known for their ungodly music, have “performed” this song. Christians do not “perform”, they minister.
This song is not designed to praise God. It is a song that promotes the flesh. This should not be surprising to those who are truly born again and seeking to glorify God. Much of the CCM music is not about praising God. It is sensual and devilish in nature and purpose.
The apostle Paul was directed by God to exhort born again Christians of the importance of walking circumspectly. That word speaks of walking accurately. Paul contrasts circumspectly with: not as fools. The fool rejects a holy God. He or she may have a god, but not the God of the Bible. The wise person is the one who has come to know the true God as his Saviour and Lord.
In verse 16 we are reminded to redeem the time. To redeem is to buy back. The clock keeps ticking. The one on your wall may be stopped because the battery is dead or it just quit working. Recently I was collecting some garbage for a person in our town and at one residence there was a nice looking clock that was being thrown out. I liked the looks of this clock and took it home to see what was wrong with it. I started by putting a new battery in it but that did not fix the problem. I looked it over some more and eventually opened the time piece. As I moved one of the contact pieces for the battery, the clock would work. I looked a little closer and discovered that the piece needed to be bent and tightened up a little. The clock works fine now. It is a nice clock and helps us to keep track of the time.
The time is moving by very quickly. God tells us that the days are evil. As we look at the opening discussion of this devotional, we see that lost people are always busy trying to lure Godly people away from their faithfulness to the Lord. We know the devil is behind this.
In verse 17 we are again reminded of the importance of not being unwise, but understanding the will of the Lord. We can know that God does not want us polluting our minds with songs like the one discussed above. The song was not written to encourage worship of the true God. It was a song written to try to help a song writer who was not selling much music at the time, to find a way to sell more music. The song does not glorify God, it glorifies the flesh.
In verse 18 we are challenged not to be drunk with wine. Alcoholic wine has no place in the Christian life. Proverbs 20:1 states:
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Those who consume alcoholic drink are deceived. They may like the taste or the way it goes down or the effect of that drink on their body. Whatever it is that lures them to it is deception. Proverbs 23 ends with some very descriptive words that describe the drunkard. The drunkard starts with looking on the wine “when it moveth itself aright”. If you don’t look at the wine, you will not be enticed to try it. If you take a look at it and start to admire the way it moves in the bottle or the cup, you have already begun to fall for the deception the devil wants you to know. God says that wine brings excess. It certainly does. Read the last verses of Proverbs 23 and you will see exactly what wine does. It describes the drunk quite well.
God says that His children need to be filled with the Spirit. God’s children need to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. We need to be listening to the Word of God and find our pleasure and blessing in Him. Those who are truly saved and walking with Him will do just that.
We see in verses 19-20 that music is a form of communication. Some people claim not to be very good at singing. The way to get better at singing is to sing. Attend a good church that glorifies God and join in the congregational singing. If you are saved your spirit will want to do that and you will be surprised at the blessing you will receive when you sing to the Lord. If you are not able to stay on tune there will be someone in a good church who can help you to learn how to do that.
Godly music is not for the flesh. It is for the Lord. Paul lists several types of songs: psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
There are a number of the psalms that were sung by the people. There are good hymns that we have in our hymn books that exalt the Lord. There are some that are not theologically correct and thus we do not sing them. There are also other spiritual songs that are designed to exalt the God of Creation.
We see that Godly music is music that comes from the heart of the true saint. Godly music comes from a heart that has been changed by God and has the capacity to glorify the Lord. Godly music will come from a heart that is thankful to the Lord for His goodness. Again we see that our thanksgiving is to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not difficult for a true child of God to thank God. He has done so much for us and it is a natural outflow of the heart of the true saint to want to glorify God in all things.
In verse 21 we are reminded of the importance of submitting to one another in the fear of God. God has an order to things. He explains that further in this chapter. It is not difficult to submit to God’s order when we know Him. God’s child needs a true reverence for God. We learn the importance of this as we study God’s Word and submit to His Word and His authority.
True saints are not an entity unto themselves. True saints live to serve the God Who saved them. They love Him and want to bless Him and be a blessing to others as well. The song we began this devotional with, does not do that. It is a secular song that steals a theologically good word and corrupts it for sensual purposes.
Psalm 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.