Why do our armed forces have bands and choirs? The answer is found in our text for today:
1 Chronicles 25:1 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.
There you have it! Another example of Biblical precedent informing our modern conventions! But the real question before us is "Why"? Why in the world would anyone ever think that church choirs and worship bands should ever go to war? Isn't war always indefensible? Isn't war an evil thing? Isn't it sacrilegious to even think that God would approve the combination of war and worship? The answers: "No", "No" and "No"!
If you would like a more circumpsect answer to the questions above, consider this Scripture:
2 Chronicles 20:21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.”
22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
Righteous warfare has always been a God thing. Given that all of humanity is broken by sin, the opposition of evil (even with arms) is an indsiputable reality of history. Furthermore, we are clearly instructed by God's Word that this present age will conclude with a war intiated and completed by Christ Himself:
Revelation 19:11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
As strange as it may seem on the surface, choirs and worship bands going to war makes perfect sense- but only if the warriors are primarily concerned with accomplishing the will of God. No doubt, history is replete with examples of godless, evil warefare. But know this- there is a righteous side to the subject as well. The best thing that we can do is make absolutely sure that we find ourselves as combatants for good on the side of God.