KEYWORDS: word, songs, bible, scripture, lot, musicians

Scripture Songs

Karen Zerby

—The Songs Those Christians Should Have Sung! 9/87

—By Maria Maria #94 DO 2503

(The following excerpts are from a talk that Mama gave some time ago, when the Memory Book Scripture Song Project was first being launched. This will not only help you understand some of the background & motivation behind the tapes‚ but will also inspire & help you to appreciate them once you receive them. PTL!)

1. With all of the thousands upon thousands of songs that the Christian world has written & sung all these hundreds of years, they actually have very‚ very few that are taken straight from the Bible!—They've got the most wonderful source Book in the World, God's Own Word, yet they have hardly any songs that directly quote or use it! They've got lots of songs based on the Bible, on certain verses or Biblical principles, but why did they hardly ever take it directly out of the Bible & make their songs straight Scripture, using the power & inspiration of the straight Word of God? I've gone through many hymn books in my time, & there are hardly any of them that quote the Word just the way it is in the Bible.

2. I think it was a real trick of the Devil! Those songwriters could have just as easily taken verses from the Bible & put them to music, just like our own dear musicians are doing right now with this Memory Book Song Project. They didn't have to cook up their own words. In fact, it's harder to get your own words & figure it all out yourself! Why should they, when the ready–made, straight, powerful, beautiful Word of God is right there!

3. If they're real songwriters, & if they're going to write a song, then why didn't they just use the Word the way that God has given it to us in the Bible?—Maybe a lot of them just wanted to do their own thing & get their own words & thus get the glory for it. They weren't satisfied with just getting their own music, they wanted to get their own words too instead of using the Word of the Lord!

4. Sure, a lot of their songs & hymns are nice & inspirational, but nothing is as powerful as the Word itself!—Like Aaron's Word songs, you listen to them & you get really inspired!—They're good verses & good songs, & they've got real power, the direct Words of the Scripture, not watered-down at all. Maybe some of those System musicians & artists just have a "star-complex" of some kind, a typical songwriter mentality, that it's got to be their own thing, their own creation, their own words, & they want to get the glory for it.

5. That might not always be the case, but what other explanation is there for all these thousands upon thousands of choruses & songs that the churches have put out, yet hardly any of them are word-for-word straight from the Bible? Of course, the church people hardly study their Bibles, they hardly know the Word at all, yet they could have been learning straight Word just from their singing had the writers put the Word to music like they could have! (AMEN!)

6. Most church people love to sing, they sing all the time, & most of them know their songbooks much better than they know their Bibles! I remember when I was going to church, you sing a lot, you sing those songs every service‚ song after song, choruses for the kids, choruses for the adults‚ but you never stand up & quote Scripture!

7. But even if they didn't want to study the Word, if they never even cracked open their Bibles, look what they could have been learning during all those years in church had the Scriptures been put to music like they should have been! They could have almost had the whole Bible memorised just through songs if they had had the right kind of songs!

8. Even if they didn't want to study their Bibles, they could have gotten the message, & could have memorised it too, even if all they did was sit there on their pews singing songs for their own entertainment & inspiration! So I really think that it was a trick of the Devil that more of those musicians didn't get inspired to put the Word to music!

9. They've got all kinds of great songwriters & beautiful hymns that the church sings, but they're hymns of the church & not of the Word! Those same songwriters could have certainly used the straight Word & gotten some wonderful songs, straight from the Word of God! They're certainly capable of that, but instead they got sidetracked off into their own thing‚ giving their own little messages or sermons or whatever‚ out of their own minds.

10. True‚ many of them are beautiful songs‚ good, inspiring & helpful, & have been a great blessing to many.—But think how much greater a blessing they could have been if they were straight Word! Every important subject in the World is right there in the Word!—Comfort, Salvation & all the different things they write about in their songbooks. If they had just taken it word-for-word out of the Bible, how much more powerful‚ how much more helpful it could have been & would have been, how much greater a blessing!

11. They have beautiful hymns, & I love many of those hymns, & Dad loves those hymns, and we like a lot of the choruses, but how much better they could have been!—It's like a second best. The hymns are beautiful, but I would have much preferred to have heard the straight Word, to have sung the straight Word, and it would have done us all a lot more good!—But they don't have songs that are the straight Word, so all we had to sing were their hymns.

12. Dad has often said about the songs & hymns of the church, that they have very few that have anything to do with service. Most of them are on comfort & making you feel good, reminding you about how wonderful the Lord is etc. But they have very few about going out & doing the job & witnessing—reaching the lost & winning others for the Lord. Whereas if they would have used the Bible more, I'm sure they would have had a lot more songs along that line.—Maybe that's why they didn't want to‚ those verses are too convicting!

13. Thank the Lord, in our own Family, on a percentage-wise comparison, over the years we've had a lot more songs straight from the Bible put to music than the churches ever had! Of course, in our case, we couldn't expect too much, because most of our songwriters weren't professional musicians, so I can't really blame them if some of those they've written haven't been that professional. But at least they've tried, & they have gotten a lot of good ones, PTL!—And even the ones that aren't so good, at least we can sing them, & it's something, it's the Word, & it reminds you of the Word, & even if sometimes the melodies haven't been the best, the Words are terrific!

14. But I think even our own musicians would have done better had they concentrated more on getting good Bible songs.—Like some of Aaron's Scripture choruses & some of the beautiful Psalms we sing, such as "Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord", "I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes Unto the Hills" etc. If our own musicians had concentrated more all these years on writing choruses for different Bible verses, I bet we'd almost have the whole Bible in music by now, if they had put as much time‚ attention, concern & prayer into it as they have into some of their other songs.—And it would have done the Family a lot of good!

15. Let's face it, when you're singing the Word, the only thing that you can make a mistake on is the music‚ the melody. Even if it's not the greatest tune in the World, it will still be useful because it's God's Word, & that's what makes it powerful!

16. So I think these Memory Song Tapes are going to be just tremendous! They're straight Scripture & they're catchy tunes! And I think people are going to be able to easily learn those verses when they hear those catchy & inspiring tunes that our inspired musicians have composed for them! I love them!—And listen to them over & over. They make me cry, they make me pray & praise, they inspire me to do what they say‚ they draw me closer to Jesus! PTL!

17. Tapes like this will not only be great for the Family, but they'll also have a great use & real value for many Christians around the World, & they shouldn't hesitate to buy them & play them because they're straight Scripture. So even with nominal Christians, you can tell them, "These are verses straight out of the Bible!"

18. A lot of nominal Christians think the Bible's great, & if they can listen to it on tape, I think they'll be happy to try it. They know they should read it, but they don't. But if you give them a tape & say‚ "Look, these are Scriptures right from the Bible, put to music!"‚ I think they would almost feel convicted to take it & listen to it because they know they're supposed to be getting in the Word, even though they never even crack open their Bible!—And tell them that it's for their children too, that these tapes will also help their kids get in the Word!

19. The churches have hardly anything like this at all! Out of all their thousands upon thousands of hymns & choruses, there are so very, very few that are actual Scripture songs.—So I think even a lot of church people would use them & be inspired by them! PTL!—These are wonderful, they're tremendous, they're the best! The Lord's going to love to hear His Word sung to such tunes & you're going to love to sing it!


Dearest Family,

GBY! Mama wanted to pass on to you the exciting news that the first tapes of the Memory Book Scripture Song Project are now finalised & will be on their way to you soon! This project has been a monumental task, as our dear musicians—mainly Jeremy & Windy—have had to come up with well over 100 brand new tunes to fit well over 200 key Scriptures from our Family's Memory Book‚ which is in itself quite a miracle!—Not to mention the phenomenal job the inspired musicians at our Eastern Studio have done in producing & finalising these Scripture songs!—Special thanks to Jerry Paladino, Michael Listen & Michael Fogarty!

Mama instructed the composers to use straight Scripture, not to add any extra wording to fit their tunes‚ but to make their tunes fit the already written Scripture verses as they appear in the King James Version of the Bible! Although the musicians were allowed to repeat different phrases from the verses, they were to try not to add or subtract any words. Only some very, very minor changes were made to help make the verse easier to memorise & sing.

In some ways, it seemed like an almost impossible undertaking, yet the Lord mightily anointed them, answered their prayers, & the results are absolutely beautiful!—Thrilling! In fact, after recently listening to the "finals" on one of the tapes, Mama exclaimed that it was the musicians' crowning work!

You will find that these tapes will no doubt turn out to be an excellent tool to use with the GP, particularly for those of you who are pioneering "Church in the Home" ministries back in your home fields. The contents of the tapes are straight Scriptures, they don't contain or overly-emphasise any Family–only doctrines, so they should prove to be a tremendous help to any Christians who are interested in listening to, learning & memorising the wonderful Words of God as found in the Bible!

They'll also, of course, prove to be a tremendous help to our own children & teens—as well as our adults—as they'll make memorising these key Scriptures so much easier! We hope to get these tapes out very shortly, but wanted to ask for your prayers & continued faithful giving & support to make it possible. PTL! WLY! (AMEN! GBY!)

Love, Your WS Family

P.S. Because we won't be able to put credits on the tape cover itself, we also wanted to thank Zeb Gepetto, Ruthie David & Barry Mountain for the songs which they wrote for the project, as well as the Brazil studio musicians for all of their help!—Special thanks also to Clare (of Justin), Rachel, Singin' Sam, Armendria, Jonas Inspiration, Elam, Pethuel, Peter Pioneer & Solo Touchstone for their vocal & musical participation!