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Church youth leader wows ‘The Voice’

Brooke Simpson Blind audition Credit: Youtube Caputer/The Voice

Brooke Simpson Blind audition Credit: Youtube Capture/’The Voice’

It was a four-chair turn for church youth leader Brooke Simpson on ‘The Voice’ as she sang a song by Demi Lovato called Stone Cold.

Entering is sixteenth season, the winner of ‘The Voice’ receive $100,000 and a recording deal.

Simpson is a graduate of Lee University, a Church of God University based in Cleveland Indiana. She works for Potential church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In a YouTube video uploaded earlier this year, Brooke said that she and her husband Ray started a program called ‘Youth in Revolt’ encouraging youth to live as rebels for God in a society that is increasing becoming anti-Christian.

Before she was done all four coaches were standing applauding her performance. Pop Singer Miley Cyrus said “You know you’re good because I am a little speechless and that never happens.”

Adam Levine called her “one in a million.”

I find it more than a coincidence that Simpson is following in the footsteps of another Lee graduate Jordan Smith who won ‘The Voice’ in 2016. All four judges turned their chairs for Jordan in his blind audition as well.

Lee University is renowned for its musical training and choral groups, with one of its choirs invited to sing at President Obama’s inauguration in 2013. Other graduates of Lee have also done well with Clark Beckham finishing runner-up in 2015 on ‘American idol’.

Because of its strong musical emphasis, Lee not only attracts talented people, but provides training to take them to the next level.

In the Old Testament, music played a very important role in worship through both vocals and musical instruments.

One of the primary qualifications of musicians was skill or ability.

Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy. (Psalm 33:3 NASV)

But more than that they needed training and we see that clearly emphasized in a passage talking about the development of King David’s choir that ministered before the Tabernacle of David:

Their number who were trained in singing to the Lord, with their relatives, all who were skillful, was 288. They cast lots for their duties, all alike, the small as well as the great, the teacher as well as the pupil. (1 Chronicles 25:7 -8 NASV)

This passage tells us that the people chosen were not only skillful, but just as importantly they were trained (Hebrew ‘lmd’). One of the meanings of this word refers to an animal, like a horse, being tamed so it could be used for riding or pulling a chariot. It can have all the strength, but unless it is properly harnessed it will be useless.

The word ‘lmd’ is also translated learning or practice and it was used to describe how the Reubenites were trained for war (1 Chronicles 5:18)

In this choir passage, we also see mention of teachers training or mentoring pupils and developing their singing ability.

So ability and training were necessary qualifications to serve in a music ministry in the Kingdom of God.

But the anointing is also important.

I remember years ago a young married woman came to the front of the church one Sunday morning to sing the song of the Lord. She had not been scheduled to sing, but felt the Holy Spirit giving her a song for the congregation.

Kathy had an incredible voice and by the time she was done, the congregation was sitting in awe over the words and the anointing. The service should have finished there. They should have given an altar call for prayer and then send everyone home after her song, because it was all downhill from that point on, including the sermon.

I believe there can be a prophetic anointing on music. We have the curious account involving the prophet Elisha:

14 Elisha said … 15 But now bring me a minstrel.” And it came about, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. (2 Kings 3:14-15 NASV)

As Elisha was preparing to prophesy over the kings of Judah and Israel, he asked for a harpist to accompany him. As the harpist played, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha, meaning the music carried an anointing that fell upon Elisha and he began to prophesy.

When David was setting up his choir, we see references to prophets who were to be accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals (1 Chronicles 25:1-8). And one verse implies that Jeduthun may have sung his prophecies:

Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun with the harp, who prophesied in giving thanks and praising the Lord. (1 Chronicles 25:3 NASV)

Understanding that some prophets sang their prophecies helps us understand an unusual passage in Ezekiel where he compared his words to a singer suggesting people were coming to enjoy Ezekiel’s voice, but not hearing the words of his prophecy:

31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. (Ezekiel 33:31-32 NIV)

Skill, training and anointing are all necessary qualifications for those wanting to minister musically in the House of God.


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