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Daily Devotional | Sing to the Lord | Music in the Bible | A music score on a blue background. Daily Devotional | Sing to the Lord | Music in the Bible | A music score

Daily Devotional | Deborah and Barak’s Song


Since biblical times, God’s people have been a singing people. But when we sing in worship, who is our audience? Apart from giving honor and worship to God, for what purpose do we sing?

Much like today, Deborah and Barak lived in a time of great evil (Judg. 4:1). And it was only when the rebellious people of God were oppressed by the Canaanites for 20 years that they cried out to God for help (4:3). God answered their cries and delivered them from the hand of Sisera by the hands of Barak and Jael (4:16, 21), after which a song of salvation (like in Exodus 15) was sung.

In Judges 5, Deborah and Barak sang to four different audiences. First, they sang to the Lord and praised Him in song (5:3). When we sing, our audience first and foremost is the One who created our voices and gave us eternal life through Jesus Christ. In that same verse, Deborah and Barak also addressed kings and rulers in a time when Israel had no king. They declared to the world, to foreign kings and rulers that they were giving praise to the one true God, the God of Israel (v. 3).

But they also sang to fellow believers. As we saw in the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32), a song of faith can teach, warn, and even rebuke the people of God. Different tribes of Israel were addressed with specific questions, truths, and exhortations (Judg. 5:14–18). Lastly, a hymn or worship song can stir the heart of the individual worshiper: Deborah is encouraged to wake up and break out in song; Barak to arise (v. 12).

Go Deeper

In these days when God’s Word is often twisted and compromised, what is the power of song? Can you think of ways that the church can use music to speak God’s truth both within and outside the family of God?

Pray with Us: Your Word teaches us to sing to and praise our Creator in all circumstances. Help us, Lord, we pray, to trust You and to have faith not to lose heart. Glory to Your powerful and merciful name!

BY Brian Lee

Dr. Brian Lee is a professor of Music at Moody Bible Institute. He serves in music ministry at Maranatha Bible Church in Chicago and is an active classical pianist as a soloist and chamber musician. He earned a doctorate from The Juilliard School and has been invited as a guest artist, adjudicator, masterclass teacher at many institutions, competitions, and festivals. He and his wife, Helen, are the parents of three sons.

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