God delivers the Israelites from slavery to Egypt and Moses breaks out in song. Thirty-two verses begin with, “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God!” (Deuteronomy 32). God destroys the Canaanites in Judges 4, and Judges 5 is another song, this time by Deborah and Barak, “Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes; to the Lord I will sing; I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel.” God is great. God is good! But the next time, nothing. A mighty victory over the Midianites in Judges 7. Turn the page and nary a note. The songs we sing, or don’t sing, matter. There is one fleeting reference to God from Gideon, but rather than praise, it was an excuse to duck the anger of Ephraim. The Ephraimites accosted Gideon for not including them in the fight, but Gideon dodged, “God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb” (Judges 8:3). This isn’t praise, it’s blame. God was in charge. Talk to him about it.
It matters what songs we sing, and don’t. Instead of praising God, the Israelites want to make Gideon king. To his credit, Gideon responds with a rare word of wisdom, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you” (Judges 8:23). But I will take your gold, thank you. Gideon proclaimed, “One nation under God,” but his actions speak louder. When leaders prefer the gold of the people to the goodness of God, there can be no surprise at the outcome; “the people of Israel turned again and whored after the Baals” (Judges 8:33).
Sovereign God, Maker of everything. Your Son, King of kings, Firstborn over all creation. You hold all things together. You not only made the planets, the stars, the suns, and the moons, You determined their path. Silly people worship the created rather than the Creator.
God, may I always keep You in my thoughts. May I always allow You to determine my steps. God, may I have the wisdom it takes to hear Your voice, know Your thoughts, follow Your lead.