|Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people.|
|The Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places;…joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.|
|Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.|
|Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem:|
… And all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
|They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.|
|Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion,…and they shall not sorrow any more at all.|
Does anyone think the thousand years will be dull and silent? There will be music such as mortal ears have never before heard. Music and singing will be a vital part of the life of the millenarians.
How can we know?
Centuries ago David called upon all to praise God:
|“Praise God in his sanctuary:|
|praise him in the firmament of his power.…|
|Praise him with the sound of the trumpet:|
|praise him with the psaltery and harp.|
|Praise him with the timbrel and dance:|
|praise him with stringed instruments and organs.|
|Praise him upon the loud cymbals:|
|praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.|
|Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.|
|Praise ye the Lord.” —Psalm 150|
We are not told much about the singing and music in the Millennium, but we are told enough to know there will be an abundance of it. Throughout history, a great victory, an outstanding honor or any happy experience was always accompanied by music and song. When the greatest victory in the history of the world is won, when the highest honors and greatest blessings ever known to humankind are bestowed on all people upon the face of the earth, will not men and women sing and shout for joy!
If the ancient Temple in Israel during the reign of King David could have four thousand Levite musicians chosen to “play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy” (1 Chron. 15:16, RSV; 23:5), will not the walls of the eternal city vibrate and echo with the music of the millenarians?
Can we imagine the praise and thanksgiving that will pour from a whole world full of people so abundantly blessed as the people of the Millennium will be? Shall not the music extend as far as the dominion of the new King, “from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Ps. 72:8)?
With the music will be singing such as mortal ears have never heard. We find a few echoes of these heavenly strains in the books of the Prophets. Most are associated with the victory of the new immortals, as they sing in victory and triumph. But who can think that mortal ears will be excluded! And who can think that mortal voices will keep silent!
What say the prophets of God?
Isaiah had a vision of the Lord sitting upon His throne of glory, and heard the Seraphim singing responsively, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa. 6:1-3). And indeed it will be.
Isaiah, with the voice of prophecy ringing in his ears, could hear voices rising in grand crescendo. It was the redeemed of the Lord, as they come “with singing unto Zion; and everlasting j oy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (Isa. 51:11).
Those who had no power of voice are now exultant with joy, for “then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isa. 35:6). It is a joy which shall be shared by all the people on earth. “Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart” (Isa. 65:14). “And the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying” (Isa. 65:19).
The ancient prophecies ring with music. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isa. 55:12)—the language is figurative, but the music is joyous!
In Isaiah 52, the Prophet calls for everything to come alive with song. He is speaking of the time when the Lord will be reigning in Zion: “Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem:.…And all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Isa. 52:9-10).
The prophet Zephaniah added to the score. Strain will touch strain; music and praise will be answered with more music and praise. For “the Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
Again he wrote, “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem” (Zeph. 3:14).
Jeremiah foresaw the time when the redeemed would “sing in the height of Zion” (Jer. 31:12).
In Revelation 5 is a thrilling description of a great song. It is the song of the redeemed, who are represented by the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures. Each of them has a harp, and a golden vial for incense (the incense may represent the prayers of the saints which ascend to God as a pleasing fragrance). Accompanied by their harps, these victorious saints sing a new song of redemption which runs like this:
“Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood [life, or word], out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10). the victors of the first six thousand years of the day of salvation are celebrating their great victory.
No sooner is the song finished than a host of angels round about the throne lift their voices in reply. What a performance it is! John says, “I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne…they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice, Worthy is the Lamb…to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:11-12, NRSV). It is a chorus of sevenfold praise.
The ceremony becomes even more exultant as the host of living mortals, together with the newly crowned immortals and the attending angels all join the next movement of the song in a mighty outburst of praise, singing, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Rev. 5:13). The four beasts (the four living creatures) conclude the performance with a ringing “Amen” (v. 14).
Will there be music in the Millennium? Indeed, there will be! In fact, there will not be any real music, in the fullest sense of the word, until the Millennium!