Ask almost anyone, "Where will you find songs recorded in the Bible?" and undoubtedly the majority would reply, "The Book of Psalms," and they would obviously be correct. But ask those same people, "Where is the first song recorded in the bible?" and I'm certain the number of those who know the answer would greatly diminish. Why? Well, most likely because it's just one little song placed in a tapestry of stories, prophecies, blessings, curses, history, and the other rich forms of scripture that make up the word of God. It's not like there is a whole book dedicated to just one song. Or is there?
The psalmist in me sees the entire word of God as His Great Overture - His song of deliverance that is being sung over all creation. As you read through the bible, you can hear His tender, delicate melodies dawning in Eden, followed by His bluesy, minor harmonies sung as Adam & Eve choose their own way. You can hear his drumbeat driven marches thundering in Joshua and The Kings & Chronicles; His mournful, broken-hearted romantic melodies in Hosea and Jeremiah. The song of His heart crescendos in The Gospels with a potpourri of romantic ballads and dramatic rhythms all culminating at the cross when a suspended fermata hangs with bated breath until the rapturous melodies cascade the score with hope again at the empty tomb. Yes, every Timbre, Texture, and Dynamic in His song as recorded in scripture can be summed up in one title, "God's Song of Deliverance," with the high point being Christ's death and resurrection.
Deliverance has been God's song since man first sinned and He was already humming the tune before then - for Christ was slain from the foundations of the world, not from the foundation of the fall in the Garden. Yes, from the moment God spoke, "Let their be light," He was already composing His song of deliverance and that was long before the forbidden fruit had even grown on the tree. Deliverance was always in his heart. This is why I find the first song recorded in the Bible so fascinating. Why? Because it is a song of deliverance.
The Bible records the first song in scripture in Exodus 15 as, "The Song of Moses". It's a catchy little tune that starts out, "I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and rider he has thrown into the sea!" The background score for this song is a dramatic one, indeed. It is built upon the bass-filled, thundering tones of chariots blazing out to war and the trembling falsetto sounds of the Israelite's screaming voices as Pharaoh's army approaches. Right before Moses and the children of Israel begin his song, the score climaxes in the ear-splitting crashing and resounding of cymbals as a wall of waves crushes the enemy army in the sea. As the final cymbal's tones diminish, I can hear a slight pause of utter shock resting on the children of Israel before a rapturous roar erupts from the crowd. As trumpets blare and dancers dance, Moses takes the lead and with the children of Israel (vs 1), begins to belt such lyrics as:
"The Lord is my strength and my song! He has become my salvation!" (vs 2)
"The Lord is a man of war...and in the greatness of Your excellence you have overthrown those who rose against You." (Vs 3, 7)
"The people...you have purchased...you will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of our inheritance." (V 16 -17)
What a song of declaration! What a backdrop of emotion! What a song of deliverance! It's understandable that this song should be recorded for all of mankind to witness for the rest of history. But still - one must ponder, with this being the first song recorded in the Bible, is there more to this song than just the dramatic demise of Pharaoh and his armies and the freedom of the Israelites? Is there a prophetic reason why this song was recorded first?
I believe the answer - in part - to this question is found in the history that went before it. You see, the children of Israel had been in captivity for over 400 years. Imagine: toiling day and night, night and day as slaves of Pharaoh after Pharaoh for over four centuries. Slavery would have been their norm, their children's norm and their children's children's norm after them. As slaves, they would have been silenced of their own opinions, preferences, and creative expressions. In short, they would have had no joyous song to call their own. The only sound escaping their lips was the moans and cries of oppression that went up to the Lord (Ex. 3:7). But - when the cries of oppression reached the Songwriter of Deliverance - well, He could not help but rewrite their orchestration. So, he sent to them the Maestro with stammering lips - Moses (Ex. 6:30) who began to declare new lyrics over a generation. The new lyrics were direct from The Songwriter himself - "Let my people go!" And with more real-life drama than any Opera could produce, the people were let go on the shores of the Red Sea.
Then their song begins.
Up until this time, the children of Israel were hearing the lyrics but not singing the song. They were hearing God's declaration, "Let my people go," and even seeing very dramatic flares to accompany those words - the Nile turned to blood, frogs and locusts, the plague of death - but for all of that, they were still in Egypt. To them, they were still just lyrics sung by another. But in that sacred moment when the walls of the Red Sea came tumbling down, there was a shift that took place and the lyrics became their own: 400 years of moaning and despair, 400 years of oppression and violence, yes, 400 years of songless silence was broken as the children of Israel filled their mouths for the first time with the song of deliverance.
What had happened in that moment was so much more than Israel finding their freedom - they found their song - and it was His song. The original song. The song of The Deliverer. They had simply shifted their mournful cries to line up with the lyrics that God was already singing: "Let my people go." As previously stated, they could only hear the lyrics while still in Egypt. They only sang them once they were free. I cannot fault them. Truly, it takes a special kind of faith to change the bluesy playlist to a praise-filled one while still standing on the sands of oppression. I must ask myself, in light of this, could I sing a song of deliverance while still in Egypt? Before the promise arrives? After 400 years of silence?
It's no coincidence that her's is the first song recorded in the New Testament. It came yet again after 400 years of silence - the silence between the Old and the New Covenant, the time period when the voice of the Lord seemed to be quenched. Still, in a dusty land of oppression and hopelessness, one young lady found the faith to sing while the promise was still in embryonic form. Study her song as penned in Luke 1:46-55 and you shall see that the lyrics of the Great Deliverer and all He had done for Israel were woven into her being. They weren't just lyrics being sung to her - they were lyrics that were being sung by her. When Gabriel came to Mary with the news that God had chosen her, could it be that God indeed chose her because he was looking for a womb in which His song was already birthed? For before the Deliverer came forth from her that night in Bethlehem, she was already declaring His song. She was already carrying the song of faith. And that is a song that has the power to birth deliverance. It's the song that was carried in the heart of Daniel while in the Lion's Den. It's the song that Nehemiah sung while rebuilding the walls. It's the song that is recorded so eloquently in Hebrews 11. And, I believe, it's the song that the end-time church must resound louder than ever before.
The end-time book, Revelation, records the church singing 'a new song' in Revelation 5 - the song of the Lamb. Even while the anti-christ is raging and the earth is reeling, the song of the Lamb is being sung by His people in faith, knowing that He is the Deliverer to whom all 'blessing, honor, glory, and power is due' (Rev 5:8-14). It's the kind of faith that looks the darkest hour in human history right in the eye and still sings the song of deliverance. It's the kind of faith that comes into agreement with the lyrics that God has already written even while standing on the sands of the oppression of this wicked world. It's why, I believe, Revelation 15 tells us that the end-time church - the ones who 'have victory over the beast' - sing, not only the song of The Lamb, but also the song of Moses (vs 3) - the song of deliverance - the last song recorded in the bible.
The first song and the last song are the same.
The only difference is that the last song, now recorded on the other side of the cross, is mingled with the Song of The Lamb. For although they are recorded as different songs in the Bible, you cannot separate the two. They are one and the same. The blood of Jesus is our deliverance; our deliverance is His blood.
You and I stand on the other side of the cross seeing back through history, knowing all God has done. We stand looking forward, facing the growing darkness that seems to be crescendoing every day. As we step into these future days, we must join with the lyrics that He is singing. We must be the Mary's of our day who will sing to the promised seeds of revival the very song that heaven sings - the song of the Lamb of of His deliverance.