The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. — Exodus 15:2
How often the words of a song seem to express the innermost emotions of our hearts! Charles Wesley was conducting open-air meetings near Killyleagh, Ireland. During the course of his preaching, a number of people took exception to his views and assaulted him. Unable to withstand the mob, Wesley fled for his life. He took refuge in a nearby farmhouse, where a kind-hearted housewife hid him in the milk house. When Wesley’s assailants rushed up, the woman diverted their attention by preparing refreshments. Fearful that they might search the premises and discover the exhausted preacher, the farmer’s wife went to the milk house on the pretext of getting a cold drink for her visitors. She instructed Wesley to climb through the rear window and hide under the hedge. He clambered through the window and found a little brook flowing beside the hedge, forming a pool with overhanging branches that afforded a safe retreat. While waiting for the vindictive villagers to give up the search and leave, Wesley pulled a pencil and paper from his pocket and wrote out a beautiful plea for the protection of God. The words of the immortal hymn penned that day, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” have blessed and comforted many a troubled heart in the years since.
In today’s text, with their enemies drowned and their freedom secure, Moses and the Children of Israel rejoiced in song. After the triumph of escape and victory over the pursuing armies, it was natural to lift their voices in a hymn of praise to God. For us, too, the words of a song can make known our relief, praise, and thanksgiving.
Music and worship go hand in hand, for songs help us focus on worship by lifting our thoughts and emotions to God. Through music, we can reflect upon great themes of the Spirit, rehearse the incomprehensible mercies of God, and celebrate the greatness of our Redeemer.
Thank God for the fact that He has given His people this medium of praise and worship! What a joy it is to draw nearer to Him in the fellowship of other believers by singing His praises together.
Are you troubled or overwhelmed with the pressures of life? Are you rejoicing over an answer to prayer? Are you looking for a way to draw nearer to God? Follow the example of Moses, and use a song to express what is in your heart.
The first expression of Israel’s national life was a glad burst of inspired song, which was recorded in this chapter and is known as the Song of Moses. Music played an important part in Israel’s worship and celebration. Not only was singing an expression of love and praise to God, but it was also a creative way to pass down oral traditions to the next generation. Some scholars say the Song of Moses is the oldest recorded song in the world.
Hebrew poetry was often written in a parallel form. Each line was either repeated in similar words in the next line, or portrayed a contrasting thought. Most of this poem is in synonymous parallel structure.
The Song of Moses, in addition to being a festive epic poem celebrating God’s victory, was a prophecy foretelling the powerful effect of the destruction of Egypt’s army on the surrounding nations. It specifically mentioned that Palestina (the land of the Philistines), Edom (inhabited by the descendants of Esau) and Moab (area belonging to the descendants of Lot) would fear God’s power. It told of the future settlement of Canaan, the construction of the Temple on Mount Zion, and the perpetuity of the dominion and worship of God.
Moses was a poet as well as a lawgiver. He not only wrote history, law, and prophecy, but more than once, he perpetuated them in the words of an inspired song. We are told that the redeemed will sing the Song of Moses in Heaven (Revelation 15:3).
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The redemption of Israel from Egypt
B. The journey
4. From Pi-hahiroth through the sea
a. The crossing
(5) The singing (15:1-21)
When we think about all God has done for us, our hearts overflow with praise and thanksgiving to Him.