Does God Go to Church?
And what does that have to do with a song by Moses?
Does God Go to Church?
In the victory of those who overcome the Devil, the book of Revelation has its victors singing two songs. The first is “the Song of Moses” and the second is the ”Song of the Lamb.”
And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!”
Interestingly, the Song of Moses was a song designed to shame apostate Israel when Moses’ prophecy that they would be unfaithful to the covenant of YHWH was fulfilled. It is filled with lament about their behavior leading to such a drastic event: God forsaking his covenant people. Moses taught it to Israel before he died in the Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 32.
I ask the question, ‘does God go to church,’ because I believe that the people of the New Covenant have arrived at such a moment as is appropriate for the Song of Moses. It’s interesting as to why God has his victors over the devil and the devil’s incarnate ruler, the beast, singing a song about apostate Israel (the Song of Moses). After all, they’re victors! I believe it is because there are new subjects to that song. New apostates from a New Covenant.
God in both the Old and New Covenants is a deal maker, and a deal keeper. By Israel’s apostasy described in the Hebrew Bible and Gospels, God was not unfaithful to his promises to them. He kept the deal. Indeed, throughout the church age, a remnant of Jewish believers has from time to time filled the ranks of God’s chosen people, the church. Likewise, there being a huge “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2) in this generation by no means implies that God failed in his oaths.
Thus, the question, “does God go to church” is an important one. God certainly doesn’t attend meetings at churches that “draw near to Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is but rules taught by men” (Isaiah 29.13). God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. If they are proud, the whole lot of them, then by no means will he be helping, but rather resisting them. They may indeed say, “this is the house of God, the house of God, the house of God,” (Jeremiah 7.4) but God is not required to attend their services. He is not wanted there. They do not need him to pull off the service. The lights, music, sermon, and livestream is quite programmed. The only thing the church needs for it is the MAN-power, no God required.
“For they are a nation void of counsel,
and there is no understanding in them.
If they were wise, they would understand this;
they would discern their latter end!”
Song of Moses, Deuteronomy 32.28, 29
What God requires is being willing to follow him into the unknown. Into the praise-less realm of sheer obedience. The prophets were like this. They didn’t attend Temple services because that was the thing to do. They went where God went, and often that was deserts, caves, holes in the ground. It often meant not cotton, but camel skins as garments. It meant speaking that thing that would make most pastors scoff, or tremble at saying to their congregations. You do realize the whole New Covenant was meant to be like these prophets, right?
The New Covenant was meant to have the immediacy of God’s presence like prophets had in the Old Covenant. No one would need to say to their neighbor, “know the Lord” because “they will all know me” (Jeremiah 31.34). There was intended to be such a dispersion of the Spirit of the Lord that the lowest educated classes would have a heaven-taught education: “even on my male and female slaves I will pour out my Spirit...” (Joel 2.29).
Instead, we have the Song of Moses fulfilled. We have church buildings filled with everything but God. He’s so unwanted, they don’t notice He’s not there. If you try to tell them that He’s not, it will succeed in merely riling them up.
I wish I knew those who were called to sing the Song of Moses in this victory celebration described in Revelation. Perhaps they are even now in camel skins, found in holes, dungeons, and caves of the earth. These are persons Jesus is not ashamed to call brethren. These humans, scattered abroad through the creation, are churches Christ and his Father have not, and will not desert.