Exodus 15 (NRSV)
The Song of Moses
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider
he has thrown into the sea.
2The Lord is my strength and my might,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.
4“Pharaoh’s chariots and his army
he cast into the sea;
his picked officers
were sunk in the Red Sea.
5The floods covered them;
they went down into the depths like a stone.
“Notice, the song is all of God; there is not a word about Moses. Read this song through, and neither Moses, nor Aaron, nor Miriam are in it: God is all in all.”
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“Pharaoh, Pharaoh” with clips from the Charlton Heston-Yul Brynner movie classic, The Ten Commandments, 1956.
6″Your right hand, O Lord,
glorious in power—
your right hand, O Lord,
shattered the enemy.
This idea of the right hand is used in the Scriptures more than fifty times, including these passages:
- Psalm 45:4: God’s right hand teaches us
- Psalm 48:10: God’s right hand is full of righteousness
- Psalm 77:10: Remembrance of the years of the right hand of the Most High
- Psalm 110:1: The Father invites the Son to sit at His right hand
- Habakkuk 2:16: The cup of God’s judgment is held in His right hand
- Ephesians 1:20: Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father
7In the greatness of your majesty
you overthrew your adversaries;
you sent out your fury,
it consumed them like stubble.
8At the blast of your nostrils
the waters piled up,
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
Psalm 78:13 (New International Version)
He divided the sea and led them through;
he made the water stand firm like a wall.
9″The enemy said,
‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil,
my desire shall have its fill of them.
I will draw my sword,
my hand shall destroy them.’
10You 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,
majestic in holiness,
awesome in splendor,
12You stretched out your right hand,
the earth swallowed them.
13“In your steadfast love you led
the people whom you redeemed;
you guided them by your strength
to your holy abode.
Psalm 77:20 (New International Version)
You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
14The peoples heard, they trembled;
pangs seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
15Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed;
trembling seized the leaders of Moab;
all the inhabitants of Canaan melted away.
16Terror and dread fell upon them;
by the might of your arm,
they became still as a stone
until your people, O Lord, passed by,
until the people whom you acquired passed by.
17You brought them in and planted them
on the mountain of your own possession,
the place, O Lord, that you made your abode,
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established. 1
8The Lord will reign
forever and ever.”
Revelation 15:2-4 (New International Version)
And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb:
“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the ages.
Who will not fear you, O Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
19When the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his chariot drivers went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them; but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.
The Song of Miriam
20Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21And Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the Lord,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider
he has thrown into the sea.”
HERE is “Miriam’s Song” written and performed by Debbie Friedman, who was an aluma of Highland Park High School in St. Paul, MN, and a faculty member at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s School of Sacred Music in New York.
Bitter Water Made Sweet
22Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter. That is why it was called Marah. 24And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”
25He cried out to the Lord; and the Lord showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
Even true believers, in seasons of sharp trial, will be tempted to fret, distrust, and murmur. But in every trial we should cast our care upon the Lord, and pour out our hearts before him. We shall then find that a submissive will, a peaceful conscience, and the comforts of the Holy Ghost, will render the bitterest trial tolerable, yea, pleasant. Moses did what the people had neglected to do; he cried unto the Lord. And God provided graciously for them. He directed Moses to a tree which he cast into the waters, when, at once, they were made sweet. Some make this tree typical of the cross of Christ, which sweetens the bitter waters of affliction to all the faithful, and enables them to rejoice in tribulation.
–from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible, written in 1706
What bitterness might there be in your life? Could the wood of the cross of Christ help change the bitter to sweet? The promise is this: “We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him ” (Romans 8:28, CEV).
There the Lord made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he put them to the test. 26He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”
Exodus 15:26 (The Message)
“I am God your healer.”
Luke 8:47-48 (New Living Translation)
When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
27Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they camped there by the water.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.