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Ecstatic worsship can be observed as an integral part of life throughout the history of Israel. Moses and Miriam sang prophetic songs after the exodus. When David and the Israelites dance, sing and play instruments as the ark of the covenant comes into Jerusalem, David's uninhibited dance before God clothed in a linen ephod is described as a whirling, sporting, agile leaping. (2 Sam 6:14-21) Prophetic singers were involved in anointing Saul, the first king of Israel. Hannah sang a prophetic song about the birth of Samuel.In I Chronicles 25, David set up an order of prophetic singers to minister in the Temple. Many of the Old Testament prophecies were actually sung. See: Ex. 15:1-21, Deut. 31:19-32:44, Judges 5:1-12, Psalms 1 - 150, Hab. 3

Zephaniah 3:17 says God rejoices over us with singing as He saves us. Hebrews 2:12 says Jesus sings praise to the Father in the midst of the congregation. Some of this singing occurs as God sings through us in prophetic song. The scriptures various instances of the use of musical instruments by prophets and prophetesses. The first instance of praise and worship is in the company of prophets in 1 Samuel 10:5: "After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying." The second instance is Elisha as he prophesies against Moab: "Now bring me a minstrel And it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said, Thus says the Lord: Make this valley full of ditches" (2 Kings 3:15-16). In these two instances of male prophets, the use of musical instruments was intimately connected with their prophesying.

Elisha lifted his praise to God in the midst of calamity, and was rewarded with prophetic direction. In the example of the prophets coming down the hill they were in an attitude of worship. Musical instruments were used by priests and Levites during the temple service.

With regard to women, Fwe see in scripture that women clearly sang praise and worship in the presence of men and occasionally even along with them, as is evident from scriptural account of the Song of Miriam: "Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Moses and Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her in dance with timbrels. And Miriam chanted for them (masculine suffix): Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously; Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea" (Ex. 15:20-21.

Also Deborah sang a victory song with Barak for vanquishing Sisera and his army: "On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang: �" (Judges 5:1). [1] Likewise we find that women sang and danced before King Saul after David slew Goliath: "the women of all the towns of Israel came out singing and dancing to greet King Saul with timbrels, shouting and sistrums" (I Sam. 18:6). Ecclesiastes describes choral groups of "male and female singers� (Eccles. 2:6), [2] and the song of men and women is mentioned also in the farewell words of Barzillai the Gileadite to David (II Sam. 19:36). In the book of Ezra, as well, the list of those who returned to the land of Israel in the first immigration, following the license given by Cyrus, includes "200 male and female singers" (Ezra 4:65).

"Chenaniah, the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it." (1 Chron 15.22) "David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals." (1 Chron. 25.1) The Hebrew word for "singing" used here is MASSA which has a three-fold meaning:

What purpose did music serve in these various examples? Many commentators believe that musical instruments in worship were used to induce a state of divine ecstasy or to more clearly bring the worshippers under God's influence and thus an environment suitable to receiving divine revelation. At times as seen in the case of Deborah, she expressed her praise to God as she danced and sang prophetically in a simultaneous way. The Bible teaches that the prophets spoke because the Holy Spirit moved them (2 Pet. 1:21). Prophets also prophesied without music. Music may have been an outward sign of the Spirit of God working.

Other examples can be observed in Ehud: "... he blew the trumpet in the mountains of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mountains; and he led them up ..." (Judges 3:27-30).

Where does God call us to prophetic worship? In scripture we read that Yeshua/Jesus Himself declared: The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4.23-24). How does this for of praise and worship take place in church services today? Prophetic worship starts with the “singing in the Spirit” often used in our churches today. Singing in the Spirit can be singing in tongues – see Paul’s words in I Corinthians 14:15. But if we sing in tongues, we can expect God to give us an interpretation of what we have sung. And from there, it is a small step to prophecy. Prophetic worship therefore can be in tongues or in our native language, but it is spontaneous and flows from our spirit, not from our intellect or memory. Revelation 1:10 states that Jesus utters His voice like the sound of a trumpet. He is the Living Word. It's His desire to communicate with His people. The Lord speaks to us in and through song as well. Hebrews 2:12 is a quotation from Psalm 22:22 in the Old Testament, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. The following scriptures speak of God's desire that His people would prophesy.

The Apostle Luke records several prophetic songs that attended the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. (Zech 2:12)

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