“Let’s go down to the river, to see what’s going on. Let’s go down to the river, to remember what God has done.”
There are two types of people who will read the lines above. One group will just read it—they didn’t help with VBS. The second group can’t help but hum or sing it—because of VBS! It’s a catchy song that worms its way into your brain. It is unforgettable. Sure, you may forget it for a season, but whenever you hear that synth intro, or even the word “river,” you start humming all over again.
In today’s passage, Moses is composing a song at the Lord’s instruction. It will be unforgettable, and as such, it will bring judgment when Israel forgets its Composer. God says, “Teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel” (19). The song may be forgotten for a season, but the people will be reminded. As Israel turns their faces away from the Lord in the Promised Land, they will remember that they have forgotten the Lord—at that point they can repent or continue going astray.
God tells Moses his time is running out. Joshua will follow Moses in leadership. This song will be a legacy of sorts. When they forget everything else, they will not forget the song. There are three things worth mentioning about this event. First, for Moses to leave behind a song about a relationship with the Lord (which is what we presume it’s about), he must be an example in his faith. Only a person of integrity could compose such a song.
If you left behind a song, what would it say? If it had nice things, biblical things, would they be true of your life right now? If you said that a relationship with the Lord is the most important thing in life, does your life evidence that?
Secondly, notice that Moses had Joshua. Many leaders never consider a transition of leadership. Moses had clearly invested in Joshua. Who are you investing in?
Lastly, this passage illustrates the need for reminders in our lives. I once heard of a study done on spiritually mature teenagers. They had several things in common including several deep adult relationships. One surprising thing was that they listen to Christian radio or Christian music. Now, don’t get me wrong, not all Christian music is created equal. In fact, I don’t really love Christian radio—it’s incredibly cheesy. There are moments though, driving along, when I hear a lyric that makes me think. It calls to mind some scripture or biblical truth. The radio can serve as a reminder. It shouldn’t be the only reminder in your life, but it’s a good one.
So, what reminders have you established in your life so that you don’t forget to prioritize your relationship with the Lord? What patterns have you set so that you can faithfully gather with other believers?
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate