Deuteronomy chapter 31 and verse 19 reads:
“Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.”
This verse picks up the story of the Children of Israel after they have spent 40 years in the desert. They are now in the land of Moab, soon to be crossing the Jordan River into the promised land.
Moses has just been told by God that he will not be able to go into the promised land and his life would soon be over.
God wants him to do a few things to help the children of Israel remember the years that they have spent in the wilderness learning to follow God with all their hearts, soul, mind and strength.
God says that when you die “these people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.”
Then God gives Moses an odd command. He tells him to “Write a song.” Now God gives him what the song is going to be, but God composes a song that the Children of Israel will sing.
The question is why? Why does God want them to have a theme song when they enter the promised land?
You can see them marching into the promised land flowing with milk and honey and you can here the underlying score being played with a full orchestra and choir pounding home the emotion and triumph of this journey.
Andrew Lloyd Weber or Rogers and Hammerstein are nothing compared to the closing number that God and Moses arrange at Horeb.
Can you picture it. In the closing act of this 40 year epic God says…Hey I want you to remember this tune, this melody, this theme as you enter into the promised land.
So the song begins.
“When you enter into the promised land. The land that I have promised to you and your father Abraham.
It will be flowing with Milk and Honey, and you will eat. And you will be full. And you will become fat.”
(I am liking this song already.) What a song!
“When you have done this, THEN WILL YOU TURN FROM ME AND SERVE OTHER GODS, AND PROVOKE ME AND BREAK MY COVENANT.”
Wow…this song took a turn in an unexpected direction.
But it goes on.
“Than it shall come to pass, that many evils and troubles will befall you, THAN THIS SONG SHALL TESTIFY AGAINST YOU AS A WITNESS.
For it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of your children; for i know your imagination, even now, before I have brought you into the land which I promised.”
As human beings there is something in us that loves a life of ease and plenty. This promised land would be the greatest test the Children of Israel would face in understanding their desire to love God. God knows the “imaginations” of his children and already recognizes a tendency in them to be drawn to the gods of the land.
He sees how easily that people forget about the God that has brought them into the land of plenty when they have eaten their fill and are getting fat. This is identical to one of their first tests in the desert when they desired to “eat to the full around the flesh pots of Egypt.”
God doesn’t want them to enter into another form of slavery in the promised land. God knows “thy rebellion and thy stiff neck.”
Have you ever thought about your own theme song? That song that keeps popping up in all major scenes of your life? What song is God writing about you to warn you about the things that allure you? When you are entering into the promised land what crescendo of music will be playing?
Your song will be a witness against you, just as the children of Israel’s song was was a witness against them.
God wants you to remember this song. This song of warning. Sing it to your children so they understand. Don’t forget it.