Amos 5:23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
“Amos 5 says, “Stop your songs, your hearts aren’t right.” I would simply say this: all I would ask of a musician is whatever musical style he chooses to use, I want to know that he is filled with the Spirit.
Because if the Spirit of God is using him, his sensitivity to the Holy Spirit will come through in any musical style. He’ll modify it enough so that it doesn’t cheapen the profound.
If his heart isn’t right, God doesn’t want to hear his songs, that’s Amos, chapter 5, “Stop your songs, your hearts aren’t right.”
Go back, get your heart right and then come and sing your song to me. I really believe that you leave it at that point; if the heart of the musician is right, it is amazing how many different kinds of forms and styles he can communicate the truth in. ~ John MacArthur”
Whilst the verse that John refers to in Amos 5:23 probably refers to the harp, the sense is right. The singing of their psalms is nothing more to God than a wearisome noise, which is to be brought to an end. Scripture is clear, if we embrace and hold on to sin in our heart, God will not hear us when we call out to Him. The issue of the heart is the heart of the issue.
John Wesley goes further, “Used in their sacrifices, and solemn feasts; herein they imitated the temple - worship, but all was unpleasing to the Lord.” Role playing, empty hearts, going through the motions… today is a day to stop the song, correct our hearts and move on.
Jesus said the same, that if you are going to give and on the way realise that you have something adrift with your brother, you are to leave you gift, go and get reconciled. Differences sorted, it is then appropriate to present your gift. God is always watching, noticing and discerning the thought and intentions of our hearts.
Remember when Moses came down from the mountain with his assistant. Israel had made a golden calf and were enthusiastically worshiping and celebrating that ‘a cow had brought them out out of Egypt’. Their celebrations were loud. Moses enquired about the noise, that it was not the sound of victory, not the sound of defeat, but just the sound of singing.
It was a Laodicean song.
This is not just about the general congregation. I know a few prophets that have bitterness and resentment festering in their hearts, and the outcome is revealed openly in pride. God actively opposes pride - He’s a jealous God, and all the glory belongs to Him. So that is a warning in itself!
“How many are loud in voice, dumb in heart! How many lips are silent, but their love is loud! For the ears of God are to the heart of man. As the ears of the body are to the mouth of man, so the heart of man is to the ears of God. Many are heard with closed lips, and many who cry aloud are not heard.” Augustine
Search your heart, sort things out - and let’s hear you sing.
from Prophetic Reformation