I love 2 Kings 3:15 for several reasons. First of all, my wife is a wonderful minister and musician, so music is such a large part of the worship experiences she leads.
Also, as a church staff, we share prayer requests and concerns in our weekly meetings and one concern involved the proposed new contemporary service. We are praying that God provides a worship leader and musicians to help lead our dynamic new worship experience. So, I guess we’re literally praying for God to “bring me a musician.”
I also love what this verse represents. Music creates an environment where God can speak and we can listen. Here’s the context of the passage (more details are below). Three Kings (of Israel, Judah and Edom) come to Elisha asking for spiritual guidance or a revelation from God (2 Kings 3:12). It seems Elisha is pretty perturbed at Jehoram (2 Kings 3:13, 14) and he feared he might not hear God speaking to him, so he asks for musicians (2 Kings 3:15 ESV).
These were minstrels, players of stringed instruments, like a harp. Somehow the music calmed Elisha and stimulated his spirit in such a way that it unleashed his prophetic gift. This is not the first time the Bible records this sort of soothing music thing, remember Saul (1 Samuel 16:23)? For Elisha, it must have worked because the Bible says: “when the musicians played, the hand of the Lord came upon Him” (2 Kings 3:15).
In church, we need to create environments that foster God’s revelation of himself. We need to put ourselves in places where God can speak to us without distraction. We need to feed our spirits in ways that unleash the gifts of God inside of us. This works in the church, it also works when we are alone with God. We will hear God only as we eliminate distractions. Can music calm the savage beast? We know that music can calm our spirits and helps focus our attention on God speaking to us. Try listening to soothing music as you spend time listening for God’s voice.
Details of This Interesting Story:
- An Incompetent King: 2 Kings 3:1-9
- Idolatry (2 Kings 3:1-3) Ahab’s son Jehoram becomes the 9th king in Israel
- Intent (2 Kings 3:4-8) He convinces Jehoshaphat to fight against Moab, who rebelled against him
- Ineptness (2 Kings 3:9) after seven days they are in a place with no water for the army
- An Indignant Prophet: 2 Kings 3:10-27
- The Request (2 Kings 3:10-12) Jehoshaphat asks Jehoram to seek a prophet’s advice
- The Rebuke (2 Kings 3:13-14) Elisha tells them he wants no part of him or even look at him (Jehoram), but agrees to help for the sake of Jehoshaphat
- The Reply (2 Kings 3:15-19) God tells him the dry valley will be filled with water
- The Red water (2 Kings 3:20-23) In the morning the sun causes the water to look like blood to the Moabites and they think the other armies have killed each other
- The Running (2 Kings 3:24-27)
- Moab’s Defeat (2 Kings 3:24-25) the Moabites come to collect the spoils of war and then Israel’s army rushes out to kill them
- Moab’s Desperation (2 Kings 3:26-27) the king sacrifices his son as a burnt offering; Israel freaks out and they decide to go home.