“And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.” (Exodus 32:18 KJV)
Their song? It is an interesting thing for Moses to notice about the people as he returns to the camp after being with God. God had told Moses about the golden calf and how they had worshiped and sacrificed to it, yet Moses sought the Lord’s mercy for the people. What was it about their song that so quickly turned Moses’ heart against the people? Joshua claimed it was a shout of war, yet that was not what stood out to Moses. Why? There is something very revealing about a song. In the wilderness, you can listen at night to the sounds and songs of the wildlife and learn certain things about their communication. Sometimes it is a song for mating, sometimes a noise or a song to identify territory, or sometimes a way to communicate where one animal or bird is in relation to the group. A song can identify who (or what) you are interested in attracting. So much can be communicated with a song that reveals what the business at hand is and where a person’s passion is. You can tell by the song a person willfully sings what is in their heart and on their mind. It is no wonder that Paul writes in Colossians about the necessity of psalms and songs in helping to identify what is really on a person’s heart and mind. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16 KJV)
I can only imagine the shock Moses must have felt as he heard with his own ears the song that the people were singing. I think it must have been much more than the song’s beat, the song’s volume, or the specific lyrics within the song (although, who knows, as there may have been contributing factors there). I think it must have been the overwhelming realization of the enormous distance that their hearts were from God. Not that the people had merely “strayed” or been “swindled” into bad council, and they were having an irrational moment, but that they were revealing the total contents of their heart and none of it gave any praise to God. What do the songs that you carry in your heart reveal about your acknowledgment of God? They may be sad songs, glad songs, passionate songs, quite songs, popular songs, or old classic songs; yet what part of that song shares that sorrow, rejoicing, remembering, healing, celebrating, or longing with God? What part of what is in our hearts and minds reflects to those who hear us from a distance the wonder, the majesty, the strength, the forgiveness, or the compassion of God? It is a good thing to sing! “Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” (Psalms 33:2-3 KJV) A song is deeper than prayer. A song comes from the inside out where prayer comes from the mind in. Ask yourself the question, when you sing, what part of your song is about Jesus, that which He is doing, and that which He has done? It reveals how much you are interested in surrendering to Jesus for His control, judgment, forgiveness, victory, or even His simple wonders compared with how much is never released from your own management. If we are to join with heaven’s song, consider what that song is.
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” (Revelation 15:3 KJV)