Exodus 15: Sing a Song to the Lord

This week is a #throwback to when Grace Norberry helped me study Exodus 15. We walked through it verse-by-verse, prayerfully considering the things God was speaking. I’ll preface her comments within the study with “[GN]” after the bullet point so you can note this beautiful young lady’s contributions (she was 10 years old at the time).

Setting the stage:  In Exodus 14, the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and then witnessed their enemies swallowed up by the mighty waves. Now, their hearts turn to praise the Father. When the Lord moves in our lives, our natural and immediate response should be to praise Him for His glorious work! Even though we haven’t experienced a physical Red Sea parting, as believers, we have experienced the Lord parting the sin in our lives and providing dry ground for us to walk on.

Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying:

“I will sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
2 The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

-        [GN] “The Lord is my strength…” This means God gives us the strength to keep moving on! Proverbs 10:29 says, “The way of the Lord is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.” For people who believe in Jesus, the Lord strengthens them and that’s why they can keep going.

-        [GN] “The Lord is my…song” Some people don’t believe God can do powerful things, but this song says it! Just like the Israelites, we are to count our blessings (everyone sing with Grace...“Count your blessings name them one by one...”). If we’re ever stuck and not sure how to praise God, all we have to do is remember all He’s done for us.

3 The Lord is a man of war;
The Lord is His name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea;
His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.
5 The depths have covered them;
They sank to the bottom like a stone.

6 “Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power;
Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.
7 And in the greatness of Your excellence
You have overthrown those who rose against You;
You sent forth Your wrath;
It consumed them like stubble.
8 And with the blast of Your nostrils
The waters were gathered together;
The floods stood upright like a heap;
The depths congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue,
I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil;
My desire shall be satisfied on them.
I will draw my sword,
My hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with Your wind,
The sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders?

-        My favorite chapter in the Bible is Isaiah 6. It was actually the first chapter I ever wrote a very-by-verse study on and that was back in January of 2011. Time flies! I love the picture Isaiah 6 paints of God’s throne room and the willingness of Isaiah to be sent out as a prophet. Verse 3 is especially powerful , but we’ll start in verse 1 to set the context:

o   In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

-        Exodus 15:11 talks of how the Lord is “glorious in holiness,” and Isaiah 6:1-4 provides such an awesome mental picture of what that glory is like. The seraphims continuously cried to one another about the holiness of God. As we go about our daily lives, is our continuous cry to one another (either through our words, actions, or behaviors) referencing God’s holiness?  May the voice of our lives shake the thresholds of this world!

12 You stretched out Your right hand;
The earth swallowed them.
13 You in Your mercy have led forth
The people whom You have redeemed;
You have guided them in Your strength
To Your holy habitation.

14 “The people will hear and be afraid;
Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed;
The mighty men of Moab,
Trembling will take hold of them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away.
16 Fear and dread will fall on them;
By the greatness of Your arm
They will be as still as a stone,
Till Your people pass over, O Lord,
Till the people pass over
Whom You have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
In the place, O Lord, which You have made
For Your own dwelling,
The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.

18 “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”

19 For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and the Lordbrought back the waters of the sea upon them. But the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them:

“Sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!”

-        [GN] Miriam went out and set an example through her words and actions – and people followed! We are to be godly examples. In Philippians 3:17, Paul is speaking to the people of Philippi and says, “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” 

-        Growing up, my grandma did quite a bit of sewing. I remember going to fabric stores and browsing through all the different clothing patterns. Contained in those envelopes were pieces of thin, brown paper with lines you laid on top of the fabric. The pattern was how you knew where to cut the fabric and how to stitch it. Christ is to be both the fabric and the pattern for our lives. That’s the only way our life can be truly meaningful – if we pattern ourselves after Him.  

22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.

-        The Israelites had just experienced a powerful work of God through the deliverance process out of Egypt and then the parting of the Red Sea. But, pay careful attention to what happened next – a TEST!

-        The wildernesses in life are used to refine us and make us more dependent upon God. As we are removed from the cushion and comforts of the world, we are directed to rely completely on God. As we study Exodus, you’ll see how the wandering in the wilderness was a necessary season for the Israelites because it took 40 years to strip away the unbelieving generations.

-        The Israelites excelled at several things – one of those being complaining. Make special note of how many times you see that word, or one like it, throughout this study. Whenever something happens in our life that we’re not fond of, what’s our first response? Usually it’s to go and gripe to someone else about it, right? Instead, we must do what Moses did and cry out to the Lord. He is the first place we should go to with our troubles!

There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, 26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”

-        [GN] If you do what God commands and don’t just ignore it, He will bless you!

-        “Diligently heed the voice of the Lord…” The Lord is talking about hearing what He says and responding to it in obedience. In John 10, Jesus uses a figure of speech to explain this idea of diligently heeding the voice of the Lord:  “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Do you know the voice of the Lord? Are you not only hearing what He’s saying, but doing?

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.

-        Ah, Elim! Elim was on the northern skirts of the desert of Sin. It’s said that nine of these wells still exist today, and three are filled with sand. The 70 palm trees have multiplied into nearly 2,000!

-        Can you imagine not having anything to drink for three days, being weak and hot, and then coming upon a beautiful setting such as this? Fresh water, palm trees to provide shade, and an opportunity to rest. This is such a beautiful picture of our Father’s provision for His children.

-        There was a well for each of the twelve tribes. This is a great reminder of how we don’t have to joust for God’s provision – there is enough to go around! Just like when the Lord fed the 5,000 – accounted for in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-15. Our God is a god of more than enough. Amen!