The Song Of Moses


Exodus 15

A. The Song of Moses.

1. First stanza. The Lord is a man of war, Exodus 15:1-5.

a. This remarkable song is assumed to have come spontaneously, as Moses led the nation into the wilderness on the other side of the Red Sea.

i. God prizes these spontaneous expressions of praise and worship, this is a new song sung unto the Lord, Psalm 40:3.

b. I will sing to the Lord: one of the greatest principles of worship is that it is unto the Lord, not unto man, when we worship God in song, our audience is the Lord Himself, not the people around us.

c. God is praised because He did what Israel could not do. The horse and its rider, He has thrown into the sea!

d. When we let God be our strength, He will also be our song, we will have a ‘singing joy’ in our lives because His strength will not let us down.

e. He has become my salvation is a glorious phrase, we cannot save ourselves, but God must become our salvation.

2. Second stanza. You have overthrown those who rose against you, Exodus 15:6-10.

a. Here, Moses and the people describe what God did to the Egyptians, and they glory in the defeat of God’s enemies. If we really love the Lord, we should glory in the defeat of God’s enemies.

i. Especially when those ‘enemies’ are areas of sin in our life, too often, we have a sense of regret when we see them being defeated!

b. The right hand was thought to be the hand of skill and power; when God does a work with His right hand, it is a work of skill and power.

i. Obviously, this is the use of an anthropomorphism, understanding something about God by using a human figure of speech, even though it does not literally apply.

ii. This idea of the right hand is used in the Scriptures more than fifty times. including passages like.

God’s right hand teaches us, Psalm 45:4.

God’s right hand is full of righteousness, Psalm 48:10.

Remembrance of the years of the right hand of the Most High, Psalm 77:10.

The Father invites the Son to sit at His right hand, Psalm 110:1.

The cup of God’s judgment is held in His right hand, Habakkuk 2:16.

Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, Ephesians 1:20.

3. Third stanza. Who is like You. O Lord, among the gods? Exodus 15:11-13.

a. If the people of Egypt still did not know who the Lord was, the people of Israel did, they knew the Lord was not like any of the false gods of Egypt or Canaan.

b. In our worship, we should proclaim the superiority of the Lord God over anything else that would claim to be god, but we must not be like Israel, who soon forgot this.

4. Fourth and fifth stanzas. The people will hear and be afraid, Exodus 15:14-18.

a. Moses and the children of Israel know that the victory will also say something to the enemies of Israel, they will become afraid when they hear of the great things God has done for them.

b. Some forty years later, Rahab the Jericho prostitute could tell the Israeli spies. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, Joshua 2:10.

i. God wants to build victory upon victory in our lives, to use one victory as a platform for the next.

ii. Some foes will be paralysed by fear when they hear of the great things God has done for us, others will fight all the more out of fear.

c. The Lord shall reign forever and ever. A gloriously true statement, but how long will Israel recognize the reign of God among them?

5. Miriam, Moses’ sister, leads the women in worship, Exodus 15:19-21.

B. The bitter water is made drinkable.

1. Three days into the wilderness, Exodus 15:22.

a. Three days is time enough to forget the victory, now Israel is faced with a long trip through a difficult, dry desert.

‘Three days is the maximum time the human body can go without water in the desert’. Buckingham

b. It would have been easy for them to question God’s leading, after all, why didn’t He take them the easy way, along the major trade route along the sea? But God knew what was best!

2. Bitter waters made sweet at Marah, Exodus 15:23-25.

a. It must have seemed like a cruel joke, after three waterless days, to finally come upon water, and then to find that water undrinkable!

b. But by God’s direction, Moses makes the waters drinkable, and provides for the nation.

i. How did the tree work? Buckingham thinks ‘the chemicals in the sap of the broken limb drew the mineral content down to the bottom of the pools, and left only good water on top.’

ii. Even though the waters were now drinkable, there was undoubtedly still a significant magnesium and calcium content in the water. The laxative effect of this would have effectively cleaned out the systems of the children of Israel of common Egyptian ailments such as amoebic dysentery and bilharzia, a weakening disease common among Egyptian peasants.

In addition, calcium and magnesium together form the basis of a drug called dolomite, used by some athletes as a performance enhancer in hot weather conditions. At Marah, God was providing the right medicine to both clean out their systems and prepare them for a long, hot march to Sinai.

iii. God was not only interested in getting the children of Israel out of Egypt, but He also wanted to get Egypt out of the children of Israel, both physically and spiritually.

3. The testing of Israel, Exodus 15:25-27.

a. How did God test Israel? By giving them a command to obey. When God tells us what to do, He is really giving us a test, and our obedience determines if we will pass the test or not.

i. Were the children of Israel a worshipping people who occasionally murmured or a mumbling people who occasionally worshipped? Our true nature is revealed in times of testing.

b. If Israel would obey God He would put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. In many ways, their physical health was directly connected to their obedience.

i. Dr S. I. McMillen, in ‘None of These Diseases’, notes that so ‘many of God’s laws had a direct impact of hygiene and health, practices such as circumcision, quarantine, washing in running water, and eating kosher made a real medical difference in keeping the children of Israel free from disease.’

ii. Beyond the direct medical implications, obedience also means we are at peace with God, and free from a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety in life.

c. Then they came to Elim, after the time of testing, God had a time of refreshing for the people of Israel. He knew exactly what they needed!



"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."