What Kind of Music Are You Making?

Landschaft mit der Anbetung des goldenen Kalbes by Claude Lorrain


At a critical point in the history of Israel, the children of Israel came to the base of Mount Sinai. God told Moses to take Joshua and go up to the top of the mountain. They left Aaron and Hur in charge of the people.

Moses and Joshua were obedient. After six days and nights, God led them to the top of the mountain. Moses remained there for 40 days. In Exodus 24 – 31, you see the instructions that God laid out for Moses as he would lead the people. He gave Moses the ten commandments to give to the people.

While they were gone, the people of Israel decided they wanted a different kind of leadership than that which Moses and Joshua were giving. They melted their gold and made images to be worshiped.

When Moses and Joshua started down the mountain, they could hear singing. In a very intriguing conversation, Moses said, “I hear music, but it’s not the music of victory and it doesn’t appear to be the music of defeat.” (32:18)

When he came closer, he saw the people worshiping the golden calf. In their absence, the people of Israel changed. They had turned secular. They were so unaware of their indifference to God’s plan for them that they were actually singing.

The sad thing is that they had convinced themselves that their collapse was actually progress. They deceived themselves, deceived by their own noise in singing. They were unable to weep over their shame. The music they were producing was a musical death rattle. It was not a symbol of victory, but it was a funeral dirge leading the people to defeat and destruction.

Does this sound like America today? They were utterly unaware of their danger. There are at least four things that were happening to them:

  1. They were leaving God’s leadership through Moses and listening to other people who simply flattered them. Is America’s real message, “In God We Trust” or are we slowly removing God from the equation?
  1. They did not want to endure any hardship for the sake of moral integrity. Are we sacrificing truth for nice sounding platitudes?
  1. They were also ready to abandon what God was asking them to do because it made stern demands upon them. Are we more influenced by what’s easy than what’s right?
  1. They assumed all of their excitement, celebration, and noise represented progress, but it was really a death rattle set to music.

I hear music in America today. What kind of music are we producing? Is it the music of defeat or the music of victory? The rhythm of ruin or the vibrations of victory? A death rattle set to music?

What kind of music are you making?

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