(Based on The Song of Moses)
There are over 185 songs woven throughout Scripture that were written on particular occasions, for specific reasons. Some are simply a few lines and others are several pages in length (i.e., Psalm 119).
Of all the songs preserved in God’s Word, one stands out to me in particular. In fact, it’s not even the song itself that strikes me the most. It’s the writing process.
Here are 3 insights I’ve gained from reading Deuteronomy 31:
1. Songs Are To Be Written for God’s Purposes
“Now therefore, write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me…” (v.19).
God not only instructs Moses to write a new song, He gives Moses the reason and the purpose for doing so (“…that this song may be a witness for me.”). For those of us who are songwriters, it’s important to remember the reason why we’re writing worship songs – not for the sake of just writing them, so that we have something to sing about, but with the heartfelt desire for God to use them for His purposes.
2. Songs Are To Serve As A Reminder Of God’s Glory
“And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness…” (v.21)
God, in a sense, is telling Moses that songs need to be sung over and over again because His people are quick to forget. The Israelites witnessed God deliver them out of Egypt, but immediately forgot His faithfulness and turned away. We need to remind ourselves and others over and over again of God’s great glory and what He has done. He does not want us to forget!
3. Songs Are To Be Taught To God’s People
“So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the people of Israel.” (v.22)
When people gather to worship, our hearts become unified around a common set of truths. Someone once told me that when we give people songs to sing, we’re also giving them portable theology. This is a huge responsibility for those of us who are worship leaders and songwriters. Let us joyfully declare the great truths of our Lord in the songs we teach and sing!
Whatever your role is in the church, here are a few questions I want to leave you with:
Songwriters: Are you asking God to give you specific songs for your church to sing?
Worship leaders: Are you praying earnestly over the songs you’re feeding your people’s ears, mouths and hearts every week?
Worshipers: What songs are you letting become the soundtrack of your lives to remind you of God’s faithfulness & glory beyond the church walls?
I encourage you meditate on this passage this week and allow The Song of Moses to challenge, equip and encourage you.
Taylor Agan is the Managing Editor of CentricWorship, a Staff Writer at Centricity Publishing and the Worship Leader at Redemption City Church in Franklin, TN.