Can Music Be Good for Your Body, Soul, and Spirit? Psalm 33

What does music do?

  • It can reduce stress by reducing the production of cortisol and increasing the release of stress-reducing neurotransmitters. It can also reduce stress by reducing a patient’s sense of isolation and helping them reconnect with positive places within themselves. 
  • It can help healthy circulation by reducing blood pressure and stabilizing the heart rate. 
  • It can strengthen the immune system by triggering the production of gamma globulin A and killer cells. 
  • It can help improve mood by increasing the production of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. 
  • It can help patients manage pain better than medication alone. 

(Source: Listen4Life Foundation website)

Called to Make Music and Praise

Clearly, music is good medicine for our bodies. In Psalm 33, verse 1, David talks about how “praise befits the upright.” It seems that our creator designed us to be at our best when engaged in music and song.  In the first three verses of Psalm 33, David directs believers to sing, shout, give thanks, compose new songs, and play instruments.  

1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
Psalm 33:1-3 ESV

Since each verse begins with the command form of these verbs, we can assume these activities are required. All believers are called to the ministry of making music to praise God: those who have talent and those who do not.

4 For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
(Psalm 33: 4-9 ESV)

Every day I can look around me and see God’s faithful work. In His grace and mercy, He created a beautiful world that continues to amaze me. Seeing a sunset, a sunrise, or my beautiful granddaughter’s smile fills my heart with praise for Him.

 The Lord spoke into existence all we see around us. We learn new things about Him by observing the complexity of His creation. Scientists continue to discover new creatures, new systems, and new ways they live.

God demonstrates His power by gathering the water of the sea, controlling the waves, and knowing the depth of the oceans. Watching waves roll onto the shore captures my imagination as I can see the powerful rhythm the Lord alone controls, and I might even catch a glimpse of all that lives below those waves. Each drop of water is teeming with aquatic life.

God’s creation inspires us to praise Him.

The Counsel of the Lord

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
13 The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned, he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
(Psalm 33:10-15 ESV)

When the counsel of the nations is compared with the counsel of the Lord, every human’s limited perspective is revealed. God’s wisdom rolls out over generations because it is based on His eternal perspective. He can see everything in the past, the present, and the future. He knows every heart and all about things done and left undone.

16 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
(Psalm 33:16-22 ESV)

What cannot save us?

Kings and governments of this world may have mighty armies and terrible weapons, but their might cannot bring the ultimate victory. Even when they appear to win the war and defeat God’s people, they will not gain eternal victory.

What can save us?

God’s steadfast love, His deliverance, and His provision of gladness and hope.

Sometimes God calls us into a season of “soul waiting.” Times when we don’t see anything changing in the physical world, and we are desperate for spiritual change and growth. These are likely times when the breakthrough may only come through praise—quite the opposite of how I might want to respond to waiting. Try praising the Lord by singing, shouting, giving thanks, composing new songs, and playing instruments. A praise break or season might be just what is needed to shift my limited perspective and remind my soul of the truth of who the Lord is.

A Prayer for Times of Soul Waiting  

Lord, thank You that behold, Your eye is on us. Give us the ability to fear and revere You and continue to hold onto the steadfast hope found only in You. Thank you that You are our help and shield. Strengthen our waiting souls with resilience. Anoint us with the oil of gladness. Inspire us to praise You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

How about you? What kind of music tends your soul?

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