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I'll never forget the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

I wasn't around for the event, but the event lives on in history.

Most memorably in a song - "In 1492, Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue."

Without the song I would be hosed.

In fact there's a lot of stories, facts, and histories I learned (and remembered) as a kid because I didn't memorize the fact but instead memorized the song.

Now the words and melodies are lodged into my brain.

This is one of the reasons cultures for 1,000s of years have made use of songs to retell their people's past - it was a way of community learning, remembrance, and transmission.

In Genesis 3, there is a problem of learning, remembrance, and transmission - and this plunges humanity and the whole of creation into a spiral.


The short story in Genesis 3 is this.

The serpent doesn't retransmit God's word to Eve accurately.

Eve gives a rebuttal, but even her rebuttal isn't a transmission of God's word properly.

Than Adam fails to transmit anything - he goes along in silence.

It's a failure in the transmission of God's word (and then obedience to it!), that plunges the cosmos into disarray.

All throughout scripture and there are two primary ways God transmits his word to us.

First, simply through speaking it. All throughout scripture we see God speaking to his people through prophets (most notably his Son, Jesus) as a way of communicating to them.

Second, we see God singing over his people in Zepheniah 3:17: "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”


The idea of teaching one another is not so much lost on us (althought we ought to do it more), however, singing to one another is almost completely foreign.

Yes - we may be familiar with singing to God, but don't often think about singing as a mode of teaching.

Here's just two quick samples from Paul (with plenty more throughout the Old Testament and Gospels).

Ephesians 5:19 - "[sing] to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Colossians 3:16: "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts."

From these passages alone, it seems that we ought to sing to one another because God first sings over us.

It's a powerful form of learning, remembering, and transmission.

This kind of singing can help keep us from the sin that so easily entangles.