The Role Of Musical Instruments


This is a very good question because as amazing as it may seem most people don’t know the biblical role of instruments. However the bible is full of verses that reveal the importance of instruments in our services and in worshipping God. Here are some of the roles that have been revealed to me:

  1. Instruments are used to bring the manifest presence of the Lord to a service, area or individual

In 2 Samuel 6:1-5 when the children of Israel were bringing the ark of God(representing the presence of God) in verse 5 it is said, ”and David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments…..” Its amazing here that there is no mention of singing. It was just the instruments. For that manifest presence of God at times you don’t need singing, you need just to have the instruments.

In the same chapter in verse 15 it says, “So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of a trumpet” The Ark of the Covenant represents the presence of God and actually in the Old Testament it carried the presence of God. So when the children of Israel wanted to bring the ark they needed all manner of instruments to accomplish their task. We are no exception. For that manifest presence of God in our services we need to play instruments (as many as we can actually) and we will experience a great move of God in our Churches.

  1. Instruments rally the people of God to prayer and warfare

1 Corinthians 14:8 says, “for if the trumpet give an uncertain sound who shall prepare himself to battle” I n the olden times when calling soldiers to war or when warning a city of an impending onslaught the trumpet would be blown. Instruments are like the radar of the Spirit. We call the people of God to prayer or cause them to stop by what we will be playing.


In 2 Samuel 18:16 it was after Job blew the trumpet that the children of Israel knew that the war was over. Also when the house of Saul and the house of David was at war with each other it was only after Joab blew the trumpet that the people stopped fighting with each other(2 Samuel 2:28). Actually there is an insight in Nehemiah which I have so loved. The trumpet was so important to the extent of its holder having to be near Nehemiah (Nehemiah 4:18b). It is because the trumpet is a great rallying instrument that would bring the people together to focus on one goal. This is exactly what instruments do. Nehemiah says,”In what place therefore you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us, our God shall fight for us

Also see Numbers 10:1-10 and Isaiah 27:13

  1. Instruments release us into the prophetic

In 2 Kings 3 when Elisha wanted to prophesy to Jehoshaphat and Jehoram he asked for a minstrel and it was only after the minstrel had played that Elisha released the word of the Lord. Actually verse 15 says,” And it came to pass, when the minstrel played that the hand of the Lord came upon him and he said……” There are times when you cannot go to higher realms and release a fresh word from God unless instruments are played. And yet some think they are not important or worse still you consider them a nuisance!

In 1 Chronicles 25:3 we are told of Jeduthun and his sons who prophesied with the harp, to give thanks and praise to the Lord. Certain preachers have caught this revelation and that’s why you see them preaching accompanied by a pianist.


In 1 Samuel 10:5-10 we see the story of Saul who receives the Spirit of the Lord and prophesies only after he has met a band of prophets. The logical thing was for him to receive the Spirit as he was with the man of God (Samuel) and then prophesy in his presence. Yet God was not to have it this way. A certain atmosphere had to be created first and this atmosphere could only be created by instruments. Verse 5b-6 says, “ and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy : And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shall prophesy with them and thou shalt be turned into another man” Here is a full band that just creates a powerful prophetic atmosphere that just causes the Spirit of God to hit Saul like a tonne of bricks. O that this would take place in our services.


  1. Instruments create a heavenly atmosphere

Instruments are so important in heaven that we find in Revelations 5:8-9 the 24 elders having harps and they sing a new song to God on these harps. Do you want to bring heaven here on earth? Play instruments and see if it will not work.


  1. Instruments are used to aid singing

This point is evident even without a verse. Compare a person singing without an instrument and a person singing with an instrument. That’s why it’s called an accompaniment. Psalm 98:5 says,” Sing to the Lord with the harp; with the harp and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the King” and Psalm 68:25 says,” The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels


  1. Playing Instruments brings refreshment and deliverance to the hearer

In 1 Samuel 16 is the story of Saul who was tormented and he looked for a cunning player on a harp. Verse 23 says,” and it came to pass when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed


  1. Instruments aid worship by creating an atmosphere for worship

You might be thinking that point 5 and 7 are the same. They are different because singing and worship are two different things altogether. Singing can be part of worship but singing alone is not worshiping. Also you can worship God without singing.

In Daniel 3:5-7 instruments are used to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s idol. The unfortunate thing is that these people were worshiping an idol yet God wants us to learn from this. When we worship God aided by instruments our worship goes to a whole new level and this is especially true in corporate gatherings and in our places of worship. This is why the 24 elders in heaven have harps as they worship him who sits on the throne (Revelations 8:5-9). Also if you look at David, a man after God’s own heart; we find that he instituted worship for the nation of Israel and there were people whose work day and night was to play instruments in the tent of the meeting-the place of worship (1 Chronicles 25:6)


  1. Instruments are used to celebrate

In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 we are told that as the elder son was coming from the field, drawing near to the house he heard the sound of music and dancing. This was a party to celebrate the homecoming of a lost son. On the alter call it is wise to have your instruments and have a celebration for those people who will have come to Christ because guess what? The angels in heaven will also be having a party!

In Numbers 10:10 God says,” Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginning of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord your God”


  1. Instruments bring the salvation of God

In Numbers 10:9 God says,” And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.’’ Now isn’t this just great. We see a clear demonstration of this concept in 2 Chronicles 20:20-29.


  1. Instruments are used to proclaim God as King

Now you might be wondering what exactly this point means. You see in the olden days when you would proclaim somebody as King you would do it with a trumpet while shouting, long live the King. This is seen in 2 Kings 9:13, 1 Kings 1:39, 2 Kings 11:14. We use our modern day instruments to proclaim Jesus as King to those who don’t know it yet and also to the devil and his demons. You want to announce the presence of the King with style and what better way than using instruments.