So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites. Deuteronomy 31:22
Most Americans knew little about Alexander Hamilton—until 2015, when Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote his hit musical Hamilton. Now schoolchildren know Hamilton’s story by heart. They sing it to each other on the bus and at recess. He’s their favorite founding father.
God knows the power of music, and He told Moses to “write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it” (Deuteronomy 31:19). God knew that long after Moses was gone, when He had brought Israel into the Promised Land, they would rebel and worship other gods. So He told Moses, “This song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants” (v. 21).
Songs are nearly impossible to forget, so it’s wise to be selective about what we sing. Some songs are just for fun, and that’s fine, but we benefit from songs that boast in Jesus and encourage our faith. One of the ways we “[make] the most of every opportunity” is when we speak “to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.” So “sing and make music from your heart to the Lord” (see Ephesians 5:15–19).
Songs can be an indicator of the direction of our heart. Do the words make much of Jesus? Do we sing them wholeheartedly? What we sing will influence what we believe, so choose wisely and sing loudly.
What should you look for in a worship song? Is there a favorite song you can sing more often? Why?
Father, this song is my prayer to You. (Sing your favorite.)
The final chapters of the book of Deuteronomy may seem a strange way to conclude the books of the law (Genesis–Deuteronomy). In Deuteronomy 31:27, Moses says, “If you have been rebellious against the Lord while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die!” Then he gives the people the song in 32:1–43, which contains a litany of dire warnings and predictions about Israel’s past and future rebellion against God. But Moses also said that the words in this song and in the entire book “are your life” (32:47) because they’d remind them of the goodness of God.