Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD. Psalms 149:1-9
This was one of the main Scriptural references during the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem with the ICZC (International Christian Zionist Center) and Director Jan Willem van der Hoeven.
As I studied the theme Scripture I felt a completion to this year’s Sukkoth would have an added dimension to being in Israel whenever my harp would be part of the festivities. After my lost luggage arrived, and my harp unharmed, I was able to join in the songs of Zion with it during praise and worship a few evenings. One night, as I opened the case and brought out the harp I began to weep, and so did the people behind me. I truly believe that we’ve only begun to experience the healing abilities that is found in a harp that is referenced in I Samuel.
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. 1 Samuel 16:23 KJV
One of the very significant things that are happening as people are introduced to the harp is healing. I believe, in part, that the quiet strumming of the harp reaches the depth of our souls and we can just “rest”. As I would place my ear and strum my harp I found a place in my spirit and soul where I could communicate with the Creator of the Universe is a special way.
I also began to understand, although not fully, some of the prophetic significance of this ancient instrument and how it is needed today. I know as one explores the healing modalities of the ancients we can understand why they believed that music had a mysterious influence in healing mental disorders. Today, many are seeking natural and ancient healing remedies, perhaps the harp should be considered to part of them. In the Talmud (Jewish writing) we find a very important comment on the restoration of not only the Tabernacle of David, but when the 10-string harp is restored it would mark the imminent coming of the Messiah. The 10-string harp is a key to our future. It has been restored by artisans in Israel and around the world, including my friends Rick Woods, the craftsman of my Jubilee Harp. To have had the blessed opportunity to take it to Mount Zion during Sukkoth is an experience that I will never forget.
It was after great anticipation of my lost luggage being delivered to me is when the amazing opportunities I had to share my 10 string harp and its prophetic significance it has in our future. I was amazed each time I took it out of its case and hooked up the small amplifier and began to strum HaTikvah to small and large groups. On-lookers were being drawn, first from curiosity, and then just to take a few minutes of “reprieve” from the fast-paced tour they were on that day. I found myself sharing Scripture references and even some aromtherapy trivia that pertained to the harp.
The last time I took my harp out was near the statue of King David that is located outside of his tomb and the tourist location of the Upper Room just outside the Zion Gate, on Mount Zion. (I would sit to the right of the statue and play.)
This was the third time I played at this location. That Shabbat afternoon hundreds of people were visiting the sites and many stopped to talk to me. I let young and old get their picture taken with them strumming the harp. I have many few stories worth sharing but will only reflect a few here today.
Perhaps the one I continue to chuckle at was after a couple had stood and listened to me strum HaTikvah. They applauded and asked if I had a “disk” for sale. They wanted to buy my music. I smiled and said “no”. He said I should as the music was so beautiful.
At another point on that afternoon a man came and sat to the left of the statue on another stone pillar. I glanced at him and could relate to what he may have been feeling. Tours can be exhausting as the tour guide hurries groups from one site to another so they can be back to their hotels in time for dinner. I knew he was Jewish and so, I began to play HaTikvah. All of a sudden he began to say “HaTikvah, HaTikvah”. His eyes lit up and he began to sing; I began to cry. What a moment.
Jerusalem is an amazing place; there is no place like it in the world. There are times, as in this story, that being at the right place, at the right time was planned by the Spirit of God to enhance, or perhaps confirm, the ability to hear from the Ruach. It was later in the day as I was playing and having interaction with people when a tour group arrived. It was also becoming dark and the wind was beginning to blow through that alleyway and it was getting quite chilly. A few minutes earlier I had become torn in my heart trying to decide if I should pack up and go and get a cup of tea to warm me up or just perhaps I needed to stay just a bit little longer. Staying a little while longer would have its own joyous conclusion to the day. I decided to stay until 5 o’clock so I could listen to the church bells chime that it was a new hour. (Taking a few moments to reflect on the spot on Mt Zion in itself is a beautiful experience and one I recommend.) A group, from Australia, arrived shortly after I decided to stay. A man came up to me and told me he was the Pastor. He began to tell me why he was so excited and astounded, to see me; he could hardly believe I was there with a HARP. He asked to hold it and told me he dreamed of owning one, someday, as he also was a musician. “Of course” I said as I handed it to him. As he held the harp close to his heart, and began to strum the strings, tears came to his eyes. He began to tell me that he had wakened up very early that morning. He said that the Ruach (The Holy Spirit) had spoken to him and told him that he would, that very day, hold a harp. He said when his wife woke up he told her what the Lord had said. She was standing next to him and was also so amazed how the Lord granted him confirmation of what was spoken that morning. I was totally awed as I listened to him. At that moment it didn’t matter how cold the wind had become; perhaps I had fulfilled my hearts mission not only to play the songs of Zion on Mt Zion, but to be part of a stranger’s spiritual journey that the Lord does have his eyes on Mt Zion and all of those who love her.
The interaction with my harp perhaps is some of most memorable of any of my 26 journeys to Israel. While I wish I would have a picture of me playing it, I don’t. Somehow in my travels I lost my camera case that contained my SD cards. As far as my harp, well, I gave it away; yes I gave my harp away. It was the same afternoon, a few hours before going to Mt Zion to play, as I was sitting at Christ Church with a group of Believers. Something happened when a woman from South Africa held it. She intently looked in my eyes and said “You have no idea what just happened to me”. Of course I did, it happened to me when I first held a harp and when I won it the depth of God’s hand on the significance of the harp is just one of those things that you can’t explain, it has to be experienced. I knew the intense confirmation that the Lord is calling the harp to be heard not only in Zion, but in every corner of the earth. It was at that moment I promised she could have the harp and all the accessories I had bought for it (tuner, amplifier and case). While we made arrangements to meet at a later time for me to give it to her I knew I had to take it to Mt Zion, just one more time.
Today, the Lord is calling His people home to Israel, many are hearing the Ruach as He calls all of us to rebuild David’s Tabernacle (Amos 9:11 and Acts 15:15-16). The restoration of David’s 10-string harp has made a prophetic return; it’s been 2,000 years. It is once again time to sing (strum) the songs of Zion. The 10-string harp was chosen and anointed by God for this time in history, in the world that is to come, and in the redemption of all man-kind.
I’ve learned a lot of things in this experience, and as I write this blog I’m even learning more of myself.
Is it hard to write and tell you that a part of me had a secret dream fulfilled when I won that harp? Yes, it was.
Was it hard for me to give the harp (part of my heart) away? Yes, it was. I’ve layed in bed often since and have wondered how I could give away something that I had dreamed of for years; and yes, I’ve cried.
Will I have another harp? Only my Father in heaven knows that. Giving something up that we really desired is never easy, it isn’t suppose to be. If we truly think something is “ours”, it really isn’t. This is one thing that is required of us as we trust in the Lord in every area of our lives and if we know that all things belong to Him. As I wrote this blog today I was reminded of this Scripture.
The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29 KJV
The secret things are the mystery, just as the song of a harp is a mystery of healing. This Scripture verse seems to be added as a solemn admonition of Moses. It is found as closure to the series of blessings and curses which he had delivered. The “secret” behind it seems to say: “The future, when and how these good (like my dream harp fulfilled) and evil things (like the evil spirit of Saul) will take effect, it lays with the Lord our God to determine how it is fulfilled, it is not within man’s sphere, nor is his duty to do it, but it should be in our heart to trust the one who will perform each thing that is written in Scripture, and to those of us who trust in the Lord with our whole heart.
The timing of me playing my harp on Mt Zion was during Sukkoth. Perhaps, next year, you will be there also and we will be able to dance and sing with the timbrel and the harp and all the nations that come up to Jerusalem to worship the King.
My harp “dream” picture is back up in my office. I look at it and once again I’m dreaming that I might get to play the songs of Zion, on Mt Zion with another harp. Until then, I know it is being heard in Cape Town and being used to bring forth the praises of God and to bring healing to anyone who hears or plays it.