On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song: “Israel’s leaders took charge, and the people gladly followed. Praise the Lord !
Judges 5:1-2 NLT
Why does the Lord call His people to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs? Two reasons readily come to mind.
First, worship ushers in a tenderness of spirit that allows us to intimately connect with Him in ways that the reading and studying of His Word cannot.
Second, song lyrics are a memorable, creative way for God to teach His people who He is, what He has done and what He will continue to do.
In Judges 4 we read the dramatic narrative of Israel’s victory over the Canaanites. Deborah composed the song in Judges 5 to forever commemorate that victory. Jewish history reveals God’s people often celebrated special occasions with song. We find two beautiful examples in the song of Miriam and Moses in Exodus 15 and the song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32.
Theologians consider Deborah’s song among the oldest poems in Scripture. It was her way of honoring the Lord’s faithfulness, fulfilling Psalm 145:4, “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.”
Songs don’t need paper. Once learned, they remain hidden in our hearts. So, if people cannot read, if people have no Bible, they can still know and celebrate the working of God’s magnificent hand. Deborah’s song became a national hymn and, through Scripture, lives in perpetuity for generations to come.