At first, seers and worship leaders may not have an obvious connection. What does seeing in the spirit realm have to do with worship?
Many years ago in a church my wife and I attended, the worship leader told me that during the worship part of a service, “Sometimes the presence of God is so thick in this place, I can see it like a cloud, just hovering over the congregation.”
I thought to myself, “I’ve never seen a cloud during worship.” Afterwards, I even would look around during worship. Nope. No cloud. Was she blowing smoke?
What is Worship and Who are Worship Leaders
Certainly, an act of worship for a Christian can mean devoting anything in his or her life to God. But in the context of this article, I mean it to be specific acts of adoration and devotion for a higher deity.
Worship leaders, then, are people who lead a group of people into God’s presence through specific acts of worship.
Worship leading is not singing a bunch of songs in front of a crowd. It’s not putting on a concert. It’s not even singing real pretty.
It’s ushering in God’s presence through acts of adoration. We praise God not out of fear or obedience, but out of love and honor.
It’s commonly said that God inhabits the praises of his people. I’ve said that, actually. Just now, when I went to find that verse, and I discovered that “inhabits the praises” isn’t a great translation from the original Hebrew text. I’ll dig into this below.
Three Seers in the Bible
When considering anything related to the supernatural, it’s useful to check out what the biblical authors wrote, interpreted through the lens of Jesus: through his worldview. His view of things is absolutely true. To begin that journey, start here.
The bible mentions many seers. Three of them shared a unique profession:
They were also worship leaders.
King David was passionate about his worship of God. He wrote many inspired and anointed songs that have been preserved for us in the Book of Psalms. He organized constant worship for God with musical instruments, singers and dancers. He personally worshiped with abandon.
It should be noted that David wasn’t perfect and he was mocked by members of his own family for how he worshiped. 1 Fervent worshipers will always be mocked by members of the family. Their theology may be off and they may have sin issues in their lives, but none of that, including being mocked, dissuades true worshipers from worshiping God with abandon. True worship is not about putting on a show or impressing other people. It’s not related to contemporary versus traditional, choirs versus teams, rock concert-style versus acapella style, stage lights or stained glass versus fluorescent whites. It’s about loving God and ushering in His presence.
David employed several seers. They included priests, warriors, and musicians. Some of the seers are named, including Gad, Heman, Jeduthun, Zadok and Iddo.
David placed three of them in charge of worship. I find this fascinating. Some aspect of being a seer benefited them as worship leaders. The three seers David placed in charge of worship are
- Asaph, who wrote several of the worship songs preserved in the Book of Psalms. 4
- Heman wrote one of the most depressing Psalms in the entire bible (Psalm 88). 5
- Jeduthun. 6 Psalms 39, 62 and 77 include his name in their titles.
Did these three seers have 8 hour shifts, so around the clock worship was stewarded by seers? Perhaps. Certainly these worship leaders could see into the spiritual realm with their eyes, determining how to direct worship, and how to engage in spiritual warfare if needed.
The Cloud Descends
I find it very interesting that in the Bible, when the tent or temple was filled with worship, often the tent or temple would be filled with a cloud. 7 Sometimes the cloud would be so thick and heavy, the priests could not stand in it.
And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. 8
What about seers make them such great worship leaders? (Given the choice, David did not appoint any non-seers to lead his worship teams).
Do they see the cloud of God’s presence, even when some of us cannot see this with our natural eyes? Perhaps they see angels worshiping with them, and can tell what songs or type of worship would best please God at a particular time. Maybe they can see the sin issues that should be dealt with, or sense a particular move of God and lead worship in that direction.
I know worship leaders who do this without seeing… They are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and can discern how He is moving. I suspect worship leaders who are seers do it somewhat differently. Their heightened gift of discernment maybe aids greatly in responding to moves of God when leading worship.
Training Seers and Worship Leaders
Do you know a seer who loves to worship? Train that seer in the seeing gift, in musical skills, singing, song writing, and in how to lead worship. Steward that gift and that love. It’s a precious gift.
Enthroned on the Praises of His people
The King James translation renders Psalms 22:3 as
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”
The Hebrew word yashab translated in the KJV as “inhabitest” is more correctly worded in modern translations as “enthroned.”
“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (ESV)
I wonder if seers have actually seen God rest on the praises of His people. I have heard worship leaders chatting about a worship service or how God has moved in their lives, and they share ideas, and from those ideas, new worship songs are written.
I can imagine Asaph hanging out with David one day, and saying, “Dude. I totally saw God enthroned on the praises last night during my worship shift. It was awesome.”
And David replies, “Oh man, I’m so using that in this Psalm I’m working on.”
This recalls a time when my young seer daughter and I were at a worship service at our church. In the middle of it, I asked if she saw anything in the spirit realm. Specifically, I was curious if she saw angels worshiping with us, as I’ve heard other seers say they see this from time to time.
She looked around and said, “No. But I see a throne.” And she pointed towards the empty space above the congregation. Empty to my eyes, at least.
(An earlier version of this stated incorrectly that Heman and Asaph were brothers.)
- 1 Chronicles 15:29. ↩
- 1 Chron 23:3. ↩
- 1 Chron 25:1, 4; 2 Kings 3:15. ↩
- Asaph is called a seer in 2 Chronicles 29:30. ↩
- 1 Chronicles 16: 39-40. But really, the whole chapter provides the context. ↩
- 1 Chron 25:1, 2 Chron 35:15. ↩
- Exodus 40:35, 38, Leviticus 16:2, Numbers 9:15-22, 1 Kings 8:10-11, 2 Chronicles 5:13, etc. ↩
- 1 Kings 8:10-11, ESV. ↩