When the Music Stops

I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Psalm 104:33 (NIV)

Series: Games People Play

Adrenaline rushes as the music stops. You run for the closest empty chair to grab your seat. If you are the one without a chair, you are out! Musical chairs is a well-known party game. Whether an adult or child, no one wants to be the one left standing. Each round of the game starts with one chair less than the number of people playing, and with each passing round, the number of people and seats becomes smaller and smaller. The music starts and you walk around the chairs, but when you hear the sudden silence, your goal is to beat someone to an empty chair. In this game, tuning into the music is critical to winning or losing.

Playing games as children gives us a chance to learn we don’t win all the time, but we can still turn up the music, have fun, and give it our best. Music seeps into many parts of our lives. We have favorite songs, artists, and even places we most enjoy listening. Does music play a part in your faith? Is it a constant or does it stop and start depending on the day? While music is used to worship and praise the Lord, it has also been used to belittle Him. The tunes we sing to ourselves, either of worship or the world, will affect how we see and experience Jesus in our own life.

Music and singing praise to worship the Lord resound throughout scripture. We sing songs of praise and thanksgiving in order to honor God and rejoice in all He has done. It is through His Word we honor Him with music. In Psalm 96:1-3 (NIV) we read:

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.

Paul writes of the power of song in Colossians 3:16 (NIV):

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

In situations that are joyful or challenging, we build endurance, strengthen each other, gain courage, and glorify God every time we sing out to the Lord.

In chapter 3 of the Book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar used musical instruments to lure the people to worship other gods, in particular a gold statue.

As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” (vs 5-6)

Many people of many nations obeyed this proclamation. Hearing the music, they bowed down to worship the golden statue that was built by the King. But, not everyone played by these rules. Three men by the names of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow at the sound of that music. They made the more modern saying “march to the beat of a different drummer” come to life. Their loyalty and praise went only to the One True God, Yahweh. This angered the King, and he gave them one last chance to bow to the statue. But the men stood firm and responded: 

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (16-18)

The King had them thrown into the blazing furnace. But the faith of these men saved them from a fiery death. They were protected even after being tied up and thrown in the fire. As the King looked down into the furnace, he saw not three, but four men walking.

He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (vs 25)

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. (vs 28)

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, unharmed. They sang praise to the Lord, stood together against what the world was doing, and God rescued them. They forever have a seat at God’s table. 

In our lives, there will be times we feel left out, overlooked, or pressured to change because of our faith in Christ. But if we are truly listening to the melody of God’s voice, we will always find His truth and righteousness. He is aware of our struggles, our sin, and our victories. Because of Jesus, we always have a seat. There will always be room for one more. He goes before us to make a place for us. 

When the music stops in the song of your life, where will you be sitting? We pray it is at the table with the Lord, singing praises of His glory!

Holding Fast to Hope,


Scripture References: Psalm 104:33, 96:1-3; 34:1-3; Colossians 3:16; Daniel 3; John 3:16; John 14:6


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