Music can be such a powerful vehicle to enhance verbal communication, can’t it? Whether it be the powerful and dramatic music in an opera, the happy and playful songs in a musical production or the lullaby at bedtime, it sets the mood. It influences not only the emotions, but the imagination of those who are listening. Words which are set to music are often easier to remember and sometimes they can remain in your mind for a very long time. The power of a song can comfort, inspire, reassure, remind, renew and refresh the spirit and heart of both the singer and the audience.
So when God appeared to Moses at the end of his time of leadership to affirm him and to commission his successor, Joshua, He gave them a song and instructed them to teach it to the people. Why do you think that God chose to do that? What do you think the music sounded like? Perhaps it was more like one of those compositions that has a melody line that is repeated, but the harmony, volume and tempo changes periodically to help convey the intent of the words.
If you were living in a radically different culture where the threat of persecution, hunger, and danger surrounded you every day of your life, do you think you would hear the words of this song entirely differently? Is it possible that both the reality of God’s mercy and provisions, as well as His anger over the rebellion and sin of His chosen people, would make more sense to you? To know that God would not always allow the injustice and foolishness of idolatry and evil to abound might actually feel like a soothing and renewing song to sing. It’s worth considering, isn’t it?
How Moses must have longed for every individual, young and old alike, to embrace or to “set their heart” on the truths within his final song so that they would have the same abundant life that God has given to us through His Son, Jesus – the promised Messiah.