by Dr. Brad Black
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Hymns have came up several times in the last few weeks. So I feel God leading me to write a blog on Hymns.
One of the radio shows I lessen to did a two day series on teach hymns to your children and in choir last Sunday we also talked about hymn. The main point of all these conversations was that the hymns have great scripture and theology in them and we need not for get them in our worship and when we are teaching are children. When I first inter in seminary I started as a Christian Ed major. And I learn all the Scientific facts way singing hymns is so good to for teaching scripture and theology. Let me explain.
They have found that putting something you need to remember to songs, rhyme, and rhythm, greatly speeds up the time it takes memorize something and it stays in your memory longer. The best way to think of it is like channels on a music mixer the words are one channel, the melody another, the rhyme another, and so on and so forth. All of these channels in the brain are sandwiched together and form one memory that can be recalled easily by triggering one of the channels. Therefore, the more channels used to memorize, the better able to pull up the memory. Because of this, these hymns are easily recalled in their memories.
What is neat is that Martin Luther, who started Protestantism and the Hymn movement, knew that to get people to learn their Bible they needed some help. Therefore, he took the tunes the people knew and changed the words to scripture. In fact, the he wrote the hymn, “The Church is One Foundation”, and the tune he used was a drinking song used in the taverns of his day. This is why hymns have such good theology in them because they were taken from the Bible.
To tell you the truth, it really did not start with Martin Luther, but God. God told Moses before He called him home that the last thing he was to do was to put the law into a song so the people could remember it and keep them from sinning. (Deut 31:18-22)
16And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.
17Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?
18And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.
19Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.
20For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.
21And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.
22Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.
See God designed us and knew that music would help us learn His word. But we forgot is for thousands of years. Till Martin Lurther used it. I say lets do not forget it but lets use the old hymns and write new ones so we and our children can remember God’s word. And let make a Joyful noise and sing to God.
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Thank you Dr Black for this instructional article. Simply didactic, prophetic and timely.