When I was a senior in college I worshiped with some ladies who developed a curriculum for teaching the Bible to little children. Along with it they created several original songs which were designed to help children memorize key events in Bible history. One of the songs was about the plagues, and I will never forget how surreal it was to see the smiling faces of the children as they sang - in very upbeat and bright melodies - about the devastating pestilences that God brought upon Egypt! "Water to blood, frogs, lice, flies!" just doesn't strike fear in the heart when sung to a tune that is as chipper as Barney's "I love you" song!
But those kids learned the plagues - and that was the point. Songs are great tools for the memory; our brains are hard-wired to deeply imprint information that is put to music. This is undoubtedly one of the reason the Lord gave His people the Psalms.
Today's scripture reading combined a narrative account with the plagues (Ex. 7-9) with a musical account, Psalm 105. Commentators sometimes label Psalm 105 as a "historical psalm," or a "psalm of remembrance," along with others like Psalm 78 and 106. Such psalms reviewed the history of Israel as an expression of praise and thanks for God's mighty acts of deliverance. This reflection was designed to motivate Israel to greater obedience, to remember Israel's past failures and avoid them in the future, and to celebrate God's faithfulness to His covenant even when Israel was unfaithful.
In Psalm 105 we are told how to respond to God's works in history:
-"Remember the wondrous works that he has done" (v. 5) - remember
-"Oh give thanks to the Lord" (v. 1) - worship
-"Make known his deeds among the peoples" (v. 1) - proclaim
-"Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice" (v. 3) - celebrate