Read Deuteronomy 32:1-47
So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites. (31:22)
God had written a song. And He chose Moses to perform it. It would be among his final public proclamations before following God up the mountain to die. (v48ff) Had Moses himself written the song, perhaps it would have been a bit more upbeat. But God Himself wrote the lyrics and hand-delivered them to Moses. A song written by none other than God Himself.
When I think about “songs of praise,” my thoughts don’t go to God’s judgment or His chastening. Rather, I think of the more likable characteristics of God. Remembering the great things He has done in the past. Admiring His beauty and almighty strength. The greatness and faithfulness of God my Rock are what I like to sing about when I lift my voice in praise to Him. Perhaps Moses felt the same way. In fact, maybe that’s why God wrote the song rather than giving Moses a blank slate with some musical notations and a general direction.
The song was to be a testimony against the people of God for when they would rebel and oppose His ways. A way for them to remember that God called it right, even as they would forget all that He had done on their behalf.
Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. . . And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. (Dt. 31:19,21)
The lyrics read like a story. One that begins and ends with the mighty and perfect name of the LORD. The Rock Who always acts perfectly and justly and “who does no wrong.” (Dt. 32:4) Even in their chastening, the LORD God is just. Even in the difficulty that the Israelites would eventually bring on themselves, Faithful God would remain true to His Word. And the Israelites needed to know. They needed the lyrics inscribed on the pages of their minds so that they would not forget Yahweh, the LORD.
The song rings true for us as well. It begins with the mighty name of God. And it ends on the same note. Always just and faithful and true, God the Rock has always been and will always be the One True God. When we choose our own way and go against His, He remains true. When He works on our behalf to show us the emptiness of an idol we have let take His place, still His faithfulness never wavers.
Oh, that we would learn to trust His song and sing it too.