The Importance of Song

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods in the land they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 17 Then my anger will be kindled against them, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say, ‘Have not these evils come because our God is not among us?..’

“’Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that [it] may be a witness for me against the people of Israel… And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land...’ So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the people of Israel…

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he…
But the Lord’s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.

“He found him in a desert land,
    and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
he encircled him, he cared for him,
    he kept him as the apple of his eye.
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
    that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them,
    bearing them on its pinions,
the Lord alone guided him,
    no foreign god was with him.
He made him ride on the high places of the land,
    and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
    and oil out of the flinty rock…

“‘See now that I, even I, am he,
    and there is no god beside me.'” Deuteronomy 31:16-17,19,21-22a; 32:4,9-13,39a

In this poignant preparation for his pending death, God plants in His servant Moses a song to leave with the nation he’d faithfully led for forty years. Israel would soon enter the promised land, but would turn from their God who had steadfastly loved and protected them. Their ensuing troubles would be the result of their own rebellion, and the fulfillment of God’s word of warning. Their judgment would be a glorious upholding of His holy justice, not capricious anger.

It is human nature to expect God to bestow prosperity and favor no matter our spiritual aloofness, and to blame Him for difficulties and suffering. The song of Moses would remind Israel who God was, and why they’d get tangled in predicament. It’s vital for an enlightened mindset to be reminded of accountability and proper position under divine, benevolent authority.

What songs ring true in our hearts? What biblical melodies do we oft recite and share? Truth in doctrine and scripture guards and guides our minds in Christ Jesus, and is the proper lens for making choices and perceiving the world around us. It is our very life that fortifies us. (Deuteronomy 32:46-47; Philippians 4:6-8)

Father, keep me singing songs of truth all the day that remind me of Your mighty deeds and righteous character, and adorn You with the honor and praise You deserve.

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