Read This Week’s Passage: Deuteronomy 32:35–47

Covenant in Song

When one thinks of covenants, solemn and somber agreements with lists of requirements come to mind, along with promises and pledges. Although these are part of the picture, the book of Deuteronomy ends differently, with a song and a poem of blessing. The importance of music cannot be overstated. Often even those who cannot talk because of dementia are still able to sing. A song can take us back to a particular time and place that was decades ago. Thus, God called Moses to write a song that encapsulated the covenant. The people were to learn it and sing it and pass it on to their children. This would help them remember all that God had done for them, to pass on the stories of how God had blessed them.

The content of the rest of this song with many stanzas is to review and recall God’s blessings to Israel, along with their rebellion and disobedience. God is gracious, but sin has consequences, and singing about Israel’s past history would help it to remain more vividly in the memory. This is the reason that the psalms are also powerful to many people even today. Poetic writing itself has a musical quality to it, and it invites the readers to sing along and remember. Music can also lead to prayer, and is a form of prayer, so that the singer is drawn to worship God and communicate with Him in new ways. The covenant in musical form makes a fitting end to this book that is really all about the heart and love and life.