The second lesson we learn from Ezekiel and Jeremiah is the difference between preaching and singing. While God’s comfort encouraged the exiles in Babylon, it didn’t upgrade Ezekiel’s position as prophet. Indeed, 33:3-33 reveals God’s criticism of Israel’s affection for singing over preaching. “You’re my prophet,” God told Ezekiel, “but they think you’re their psalmist. You’re my preacher, but they think you’re nothing but a singer.”
Notice that God made a distinction between prophet and singer. And demanded that Ezekiel observe the distinction, even if the people didn’t. In other words, as a preacher, he had to always be true to what God expected from him, never to what people wanted from him.
Singing and preaching are two distinct gifts. While Christian music offers the melodic voice of God’s people praising, preaching stresses GOD’S written VOICE teaching the saved and unsaved.
Singing by nature is entertainment begetting worship. Preaching by nature is worship begetting correction, change, repentance and action, begetting deeper worship by hearing GOD’S VOICE in his word. Even passages such as Philippians 2:6ff and II Timothy 2:11-13, likely quoted from early Christian hymns, have special meaning because the apostle baptized them in the Holy Spirit’s presence by including them in God’s written word.
Music is an inspirational, not a teaching, venue. Above all, music is humanity’s up-reach to God while preaching scripture is God’s outreach to us. In short, music is the person’s sacred expression of faith in God while preaching is God’s expression of himself to ALL mortals.
That’s why, when hearing music, we listen and feel while, when hearing preaching we listen, think and RESPOND with action. That’s why, singing will often uplift our spirit and fill our emotions full, though not many songs will CAUSE us to think of the challenges, corrections and admonitions in God’s word. But God’s word, preached with preparation and depth, both admonishes and challenges AS it encourages and uplifts!
Preaching is what America needs now, and it has to start with preachers in their churches, preaching that stirs, rebukes and inspires God’s people. And one of the first messages we need to hear preached is: Repent, for the Kingdom of God has come. Because it’s time for judgment to begin with the family of God I Peter 4:17. End Part IV