I was up before my kids today, working and doing some reading. I was in Exodus 15 and found myself reading Miriam’s song in Exodus 15:1-21. That’s a passage I’d love to preach on, especially in a Mennonite Brethren Church (as if that’s happening before the second coming). Miriam basically sings a song about how wonderful God is at slaying his enemies (15:1-10) and how glorious he is because of it (15:11-18).
“The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name.” – Ex. 15:3
I don’t see that praise song coming out of Hillsong anytime soon.
I’ll have to do a separate post walking through that magnificently metal worship song, but something caught my attention that I’m going to share with you. Guess what? Exodus 15:20-21 says:
“Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.And Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”
The English says “tambourine”, but I had a conversation with someone where I ended up looking into the term. It’s the Hebrew word toph and it refers to a small drum with bells on it. So quite literally, Miriam and all the women started banging drums (with bells on) and started singing about how the Lord has triumphed gloriously by slaughtering their enemies.
So much for all those Evangelical myths about the Bible never mentioning drums or drums being from Africa and therefore demonic, or “the rock beat” being the source of all evils in the church. I’ve heard those lines time and again and I just ignored them as the silly rantings of superstitious people, but I never actually looked into the issue. A few minutes with a lexicon has proven quite therapeutic for me, especially after decades of playing drums in church but being endlessly guilted by elderly folks in the church who threw certain books (like this book and this book and this book and this book and the book by the guy who’s name is Marijuana…no church musician can read that seriously) at every drummer who ever came into the church.
When young people left the church, they knew I had something to do with it.
Well, now I can finally sleep at night.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “Searching for exegetical support for headbanging now” Unger