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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

July 26, 2017

Exodus  15:7-21

  1. Verses 7-11. In these verses the idea that the Lord is in control of the natural forces of our world, is emphasized. In verse 8 especially, God Himself is pictured as the source of the east wind that had opened the sea. This is no natural event, this is an action of God’s miraculous and divine providence, and notice also the irony of the vow of the enemies of Israel in verse 9. Pharaoh vowed to overtake the Israelites. Egypt did pursue and did overtake Israel, but Egypt did not destroy Israel. In fact, Israel did all three of those latter things to Egypt, though Egypt had boasted that she would do it to Israel. When God is for you, he will turn your enemy's schemes back on them. This is the way the enemy always ends up in defeat. The enemy always overestimates their power, and underestimates the power of God to fight for his people.

  2. Verses 12-16. In these verses a very important assertion is made about the source of salvation. Moses sings that the lovingkindness of the Lord is the source of our redemption. Redemption, you see, focuses us on God's love. What is the source of the redemption of Israel? It is in God's lovingkindness. You'll find the Bible translations in the Old Testament grasping to try and do justice to that great word. Sometimes they'll call it His everlasting love, sometimes they'll call it His unfailing love, sometimes they'll dump the words loving and kindness into one another and call it lovingkindness, sometimes they’ll call it covenant love, but it speaks of that love of God which is incomparable. It is God's unfailing covenant love for His people, and the reality of that love is fleshed out in the rest of verse 13. Notice that He leads His people like a Shepard. The result of all this, Moses tells us in verses 14 through 16, is that the people around fear God. We know this is the case, because in Joshua chapter 9, the Gibeonites confessed to Moses, or to Joshua and the children of Israel that indeed all the peoples in the land of Canaan had trembled when they heard what God had done at the Red Sea. But Moses’ point here is that God's covenant love is the sole source of salvation for His people. His love is His relentless commitment to fulfill His promises and to show His goodness to His people, and this song focuses on God's love.

  3. Verses 17-18. In verses 17 and 18, the kingship of the Lord is asserted, and Moses makes it clear that the Lord Himself is King. In redemption the kingship of God is manifested and that manifestation of the kingship of God commits us to acknowledge it. Moses in verse 17 speaks of the Lord bringing the children of Israel into the land and granting them their inheritance. He's looking forward, of course, to the land of Canaan and even to the establishment of the temple. Notice that God in salvation doesn't just bring us out, He also brings us in. His concern is not merely to bring us out of the world, but into the kingdom of His marvelous light. Not simply to separate us from sin, but to unite us to Himself and to His people that we might partake of His blessings and His holiness. So there is always that two-fold aspect of redemption, being brought out of sin, out of the world into His kingdom, into holiness, into fellowship. But in verse 18, Moses asserts that the Lord reigns and His reign is unending. This is an explicit exertion of the kingship of the Lord. Have you ever wondered why Samuel was so upset when the children of Israel said to him, “You know Samuel, we've noticed that all the countries around us have a king, we’d like to have a king too.” Have you ever wondered why Samuel was so upset? Well, he was so upset because God was the king of Israel, and for Israel to say, “You know Samuel, we’d like to have a king like them.” Well, as far as Samuel is concerned, that is a tacit rejection of the reign of the Lord in Israel, and isn't that what the whole exodus event was about? Pharaoh wanted the children of Israel to serve him, but God liberated the children of Israel from the tyranny of Pharaoh so that they might serve Him in freedom. So, the whole exodus was about the kingship of God, that God would be Israel's king. It shows His care and His concern for His people and it highlights this issue of our service, so Moses sings of the kingship of God. And even today, God wants to be your KING. He wants to rule your hearts and your mind. He wants to sit on the throne of your heart and guide you daily.

  4. Verses 19-21. Redemption is a vehicle for the display of God's glory. Verse 19 recapitulates and summarizes the song that has been sung in verses 1 through 18, and once again Moses contrasts the forces of Egypt, arrayed against God and shows the victory of God over Egypt. Then we're told in verse 20 that Miriam and the women sing and dance. She's called a prophetess, although that word is not explained here, that's a term that's used for Deborah, and for other women in the Old Testament. She brings out a timbrel. The name of this instrument is literally in Hebrew, the thump, and so you get of idea that this is some sort of tambourine, it’s some sort of a skin stretched over an instrument and it makes a thumping noise. It’s sort of a hand drum of some sort. And she and the women come out and they dance. Dancing was common at occasions of victory in the Old Testament. In times of national victory there would be dancing along with singing, but not in liturgical occasions in the Old Testament. Miriam focuses on the Lord and on His greatness and on His redemption, because God's works of redemption not only serve to bless His people, but they serve a greater end to exhibit His glory. Our redemption, marvelous as it is for us, has an even greater goal, and that goal is to display the glory of God. And He manifests that glory; He is highly exalted even in His work of redemption for His people. This is the outline of this great song. We are told in the book of Revelation (chap. 15), will be sung in Heaven, but when this song is sung in Heaven, it will be accompanied by a new and a greater song, which is the song of the lamb.

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