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“It is beyond dispute that everything instituted by God in His worship is purposeful. We may ask, then, for what purpose did God institute the Levitical use of musical instruments under David? They were clearly not given to be used in the accompaniment of congregational singing, as pianos, guitars, and organs are used in many churches today. Their function was typical and symbolic, like the rest of the ceremonial service.
1 Chronicles 25: 1 tells us that the Levites were commanded to ‘prophecy’ with the instruments of David, which indicates that they served a prophetic role in the service of the temple. They foretold something that was yet to be fully revealed. G.I. Williamson writes: ‘the whole system of ceremonial worship served as a ‘shadow of heavenly things’ (Heb. 8:5). It was ‘a figure for the time then present’ (9:9), but a figure of something better in the future. In plain words, here the drama of the redemption was enacted symbolically… that is why sound effects, and a musical background are so important. It helps His Old Testament people (as children under age, Galatians 4) sense something more in these animal sacrifices than was actually there. As the sacrifice was offered, the emotions of God's people were stirred by the cacophony of music.

There were many elements of the Temple worship which foreshadowed not only the Person and work of Christ- who was to accomplish our salvation, but also the Person and work of the Holy Spirit- who was to apply Christ’s finished work to His people. Among these typical elements of the worship of the Old Testament Temple were…

1. The ceremonial washing with water
2. The anointing oil
3. The oil in the Golden Candlestick
4. The Feast of Pentecost (Firstfruits)
5. Instrumental music

If instrumental music was a typical element of Israel’s worship-an element that has passed away with the fulfillment of the type- the question again arises, ‘What specifically was the instrumental music of the Temple designed to foreshadow? Girardeau offers several possible answers to this important question…

1. It was typical of Christ in his Person and offices
2. It was typical of the use of instrumental music by the church in the New Testament dispensation
3. It was typical of the Holy Spirit in his Person and offices
4. It was typical of some effect produced by the grace of the Holy Spirit

There is no conceivable sense in which the instruments employed in the Temple can be seen as types of either the Person and offices of Christ or the Holy Spirit. Further, it could not have typified the use of instrumental music in the New Testament church, since that would involve the absurdity of a thing typifying itself. We are left, then, with the fourth option-that the instrumental music of the Temple was a type of some effect that would be produced by the grace of the Holy Spirit when He was poured out in His fullness on the New Covenant people of God- namely, the spiritual and triumphant joy that would result from the fullness of the Spirit being poured out by Christ.” (Comin, 129-130)

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